In a recent campaign speech, the President declared that the person elected to the presidency must be trustworthy. He then stated that his opponent is not. Sadly, too many blindly accept that statement from the leader they adore without much thought or without making their own assessment of the President’s trustworthiness or that of his challenger.
What makes a person trustworthy? If a person is untrustworthy, why do people to follow him?
Trustworthiness is the sum of a person’s character and competence. An assessment of trustworthiness cannot be made from a position of blind adoration. It must be a critical assessment, especially if you are voting for the future leader of the most powerful nation on the planet.
Character is determined by modeled principles and modeled values. Not what one professes to believe and practice, but what one actually does.
If I declared to you that I believe in a strong middle class, yet my actions moved to fundamentally transform the middle class into the government dependent class thus destroying the backbone of America would I be modeling the principle I espoused? If I told you that I believe in the vaunted American dream, then daily vilified those who worked to actually achieve the dream would I be modeling the principle I claimed? If I told you that I believe in and support the men and women who serve in our armed forces then went about stripping away their ability to defend themselves and our nation or I abandoned Americans to die at the hands of terrorists, would I be walking my talk? If I declared that Jesus Christ is my Lord and Savior, would that align with my priorities of promoting homosexual marriage, homosexual military service, and abortion on demand?
To follow such a person, one must believe and support what he does not what he professes. Or, you must be too ignorant to compare the words that come from his mouth to the actions generated from his heart.
Character is just one component of trustworthiness. Competence is the other. A person’s competence is measured by demonstrated skills and demonstrated ability. If I told you that my plans and policies would reduce unemployment and then unemployment increased and stayed high. Or, if I told you my plans and policies would cut the national deficit in half, but instead added to it 6 trillion dollars, would I have demonstrated to you that I had either the skill or competence that I implied?
So, if a person’s modeled character and modeled competence do not match his professed character and competence how does he lure and keep followers?
The President also declared that his opponent is a bullshi**er. The President’s words not mine. Might this be some level of projection? If you cannot get people to follow you because of what you do, then you try to convince them to follow you because of what you say. As our President less eloquently declared, you use large doses of bovine scatology. You sprinkle fairy dust over reality and promise all a utopian helping of hope and change. Many, who want to believe in you, think that giving you a chance will actually heal the land, lower the sea levels and provide the added bonus of expunging their societal built guilt complexes. Because of their unquestioning gullibility they will follow you – right on through the gates of hell. Or maybe when arriving at the gate, they will decide they have gone far enough.
What is the answer to the question? How does one so untrustworthy lure people to follow him? Not hard to figure. To succeed, he must become a Trustworthy Scatologist. He must convince people to believe his bovine scatology. It works for a while, but it is a structure built on a flimsy foundation. It is a structure that collapses in spectacular fashion rather than crumbling slowly. It collapses because as 1st Century BC writer Publilius Syrus wrote: “Trust, like the soul, never returns once it is gone.” And it is gone.