An old friend of mine says he want’s a president he can trust. He raises the issue of Hillary’s emails and Benghazi, and I concede, he does make a point. On the other side of the coin, there is this graphic from Robert Mann, based upon data from politifact.


Who Lies More, A Comparison
Who Lies More, A Comparison

Granted, some would say that politifact is biased against conservative views, being Bachman and Trump are rated so low, and Hilary and Obama are rated high. I think there is some wiggle room to allow for this, as all politicians spin, but the impact of their lies vary’s greatly in severity.

Trumps far out crazy lies are likely for media coverage, as any coverage whether good or bad is a positive for him and supporters see it for what it is, and thus don’t take the crazy seriously. Reagan had some real doozies as well, like trees causing more pollution than automobiles, and that sulfur dioxide emitted from Mount St. Helens was greater than that emitted by cars over a 10-year period… and yet he accomplished  a lot of good, including serious dents in crony capitalism, raising the medicare tax, NFA weapon regulation, and amnesty for 3 million undocumented immigrants.

All of that being said, there is an issue of trustworthiness of the individual, apart from the political spin and campaign press manipulations. Trump’s record of business dealings wreaks of being a seedy used car salesman. Hillary’s recent spin handling the email issues in combination with decades of spin lawyer responses doesn’t present a sense of trust either. Such is what I wish to dig into a bit, with respect to my old buddies thoughts on wanting a president he can trust.

Would you trust a well regarded, typically diligent and well liked employee in your organization who did similar things as Hillary did in regards to confidential communications? For most folks, the answer is yes, whether they are a subordinate, or even a coworker. The reason being, there are systems issues at play that make keeping information confidential, either insanely difficult and/or borderline impossible in light of being able to handle their primary responsibilities. Ie, if you truly want secure communications, you keep them 100% sequestered and distant from day to day communications. You handle them only in a EmSec(TEMPEST) room, despite the obvious difficulties and inefficiencies of doing so.


By the same token, if you have someone who is a jerk^4, it is easy and fairly common practice to discharge them based upon mishandling confidential information, despite the issues that most everyone else does it knowingly or unknowingly. Add in that high powered politicians are for the most part considered above the law (as its too hard and expensive to prosecute with their ability to spin and the high powered lawyers they surround themselves with).

Thus, the old saw about peon’s being subject to laws that the powerful are not is replayed over and over.

In addition, as unequal treatment under the law play’s out over a period of years, increasingly powerful politicians end up feeling they are bulletproof… until finally they go too far, and/or their power wanes. Case in point Rod Blagojevich the former and Dennis Hastert the later. It takes a great deal of blatant unspinnable evidence to put a dent in a politician, and even then, as spin masters with loads of high powered attorneys, convictions are near impossible, consider John Edwards as a recent example.

 The question then becomes… would you trust John Edwards as president. He was not found guilty in a court of law, and yet his behaviors seem far from ethical. I think the same applies today… could Trump or Hillary be convicted of criminal behavior? Probably not. Were their actions ethical, or if not that far, were they even morally acceptable? Would you consider either of them trustworthy, like as in the idealized values put forth in Sunday school?

Yes, I’d like a president I could trust… but I think we are so far beyond that. Trustworthy folks get thrown off nearly all political tickets shortly after they start even at the lowest levels. Its a mess, when deception and spin are what we choose to promote in our leaders irrespective of party.

I’m not sure how we change that.