Political Despair

Please see Poll: Public Losing Trust in President Obama and Great Hopes for Obama Fade to Reality.

There are so many thoughts that articles like this bring to mind, but after a few minutes’ reflection the predominant question in my mind is this: Who exactly are the people who have trust in political figures in the first place?

I don’t mean to express particular cynicism about politicians, although of course that’s a pretty common sentiment from me. But there would seem to be little reason to presume that any randomly-selected individual can be trusted to, say, handle moderately large sums of money, or watch young children. It’s not that the average person is especially likely to be incompetent or evil, but that the risk of their being so is too great given what’s at stake.

Those who are selected to be successful politicians strike me as being even less trustworthy to carry out their promises, approach policy rationally, and make things better – and I see no reason for anyone to believe that, at the national level, any presidential candidate ought to be “trusted” to any extent. Skepticism and doubt are appropriate, not faith.

What’s worse: that people had such bizarre expectations about what Obama could accomplish, or that people have similar expectations for politicians generally?

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