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WHY DO WE TRUST POLITICIANS?

Posted by Tim Bryce on July 2, 2019

BRYCE ON POLITICS

– Shouldn’t they be periodically evaluated?

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I was looking over some political polls recently and noticed the approval ratings of Congress are dismally low, approximately 20% according to the polls. Offhand, this would indicate we do not believe they are doing the job we elected them to do, and a violation of our trust. However, America is not alone in this regard; in the reports I read, politicians around the world are generally not trusted. In one report I read, used car salesmen were judged to have better integrity than politicians, and they may very well be on to something here.

We may like to grumble about politicians but I tend to believe we trust them a lot more than we think. After all, how were they elected to office to begin with and why do we keep reelecting them term after term? Is it because there are no other qualified candidates to do the job? Is the pay and benefits bad? I don’t think so. Actually, I think the public’s outrage is gone and, knowing this, our government officials feel free to do whatever they want.

We elect government officials to uphold the interests of their constituents and for the common good. Hopefully, the politicians will have the same interests and moral values as the people they represent, but somewhere along the way the politicians inevitably get their priorities mixed up and forget what they were elected to do. After a politician has promised the voter the world on a platter, he is basically free to make decisions and vote as he sees fit, regardless of pertinent opinion polls. In fact, politicians are probably more interested in what the lobbyists have to say than their own constituents. This means accountability is really the issue here.

It has been my experience that voters tend to gloss over the politician’s record while in office. As an employer, I tend to keep track of employee obligations met, punctuality, absenteeism, and decisions and mistakes made. Conversely, voters should be made aware of their elected official’s actions in office, such as attendance at meetings, and voting record. Since we periodically prepare evaluation reports for employees, what’s wrong with producing a similar report for our officials on a routine basis, such as annually? After all, who works for who here? Aside from implanting electrodes in the politician’s head, I know of no other way to rebuild trust than to routinely review the official’s work. If it works in business, why not in government?

Perhaps the biggest fear we have as voters is political corruption, and the temptation to become such can be irresistible to even the best of us. Far too many politicians have become exceedingly rich and powerful due to kickbacks in support of lobbyists. Interestingly, I cannot seem to find this in the job description for any government official.

Years ago, Milton Eisenhower pointed out the President of the United States has the power to call for a Continental Congress whereby our governing rules can be reexamined and amended accordingly. Such a Congress has not been held for over 200 years. Think about it, this would be a golden opportunity to revise our electoral process, rethink the role of lobbyists, and determine performance evaluations for our officials, among other things. Regrettably, there is nobody on the horizon with the political fortitude to do this. Only the American people can put forth the necessary political pressure to call for such a Congress, but unfortunately, the public isn’t that strong or sophisticated, consequently, the politicians will continue on their merry way.

Next time you find yourself upset about politicians violating the public trust, ask yourself how outraged you are and what you are willing to do about it.

Keep the Faith!

P.S. – Don’t forget my new book, “Tim’s Senior Moments” now available in Printed and eBook form.

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 40 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb1557@gmail.com

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

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Copyright © 2019 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

Listen to Tim on WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube. Click for TIM’S LIBRARY OF AUDIO CLIPS.

 

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5 Responses to “WHY DO WE TRUST POLITICIANS?”

  1. Joe Duhamel said

    I examined this congressional approval rating issue back in the 90’s. Historically, about 20% approval is the norm. The general reasoning is that while we seem to dislike most elected officials (or at least half), we tend to like or at least approve of our personal representatives. Taking Nancy Pelosi as an example, there isn’t any chance in hell her constituents would vote for a GOP candidate, and no chance that another Dem would oppose her. So we get into office for decades someone with insane power over us all and yet 99.99% of the population has no say in her election. I have been praying for Term Limits since the Reagan years. It would be one solution to end the cycle of corruption.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Tim Bryce said

    A B.B. of Dunedin, Florida wrote…

    “Excellent idea! Let’s pick a Florida politician and write the evaluation questions. This could be a local Mayor or County Commissioner or even the Governor. Let’s get his or her record, write the questions, and distribute the evaluation and then report the results. This would be a lot of work. If standardized, the process would be easier and could be called the “Bryce Evaluation”. “

    Like

  3. Tim Bryce said

    An I.T. of Tampa, Florida wrote…

    “Because they lie and they build their political careers on selling us false hopes and dreams to get into office and forget everything they said. Another reason is because they stop representing their constituents by party lines.”

    Like

  4. Tim Bryce said

    An M.W. of Virginia wrote…

    “It’s hard to trust politicians. I think the majority of them run for office because they want to be popular. “

    Like

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