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Monday
August 15th, 2022
L&T Opinions Page

earl watt mugL&T Publisher Earl Watt

 

Perhaps my grandpa was a bit more astute about politics than many might have thought, and his view probably represented most. When asked any question about the politics of the day, his answer was always the same. “They’re all crooks.”

Today, the feedback we receive about government activities does not instill a lot of confidence, even though mainstream media and the representatives themselves don’t even realize that they are the ones eroding the trust.

Businesses that compete tend to inflict the same damage when they choose to be destructive rather than constructive.

For example, we compete for advertising dollars with other media outlets in the area. If we tell you to choose us because our competitors are bad, and our competitors do the same, all you hear is that advertising is bad.

Pepsi advertising has taken jabs at Coke in their ad campaigns, but Coke never has. If they did, all you would hear is that colas are bad.

Instead, Coke tends to share a positive message about drinking Coca-Cola. We all remember, “I’d like to teach the world to sing in perfect harmony, I’d like to buy the world a Coke, and keep them company.”

Government also functions on consumer trust. While they may have different views on how to move the nation forward, our elected officials spend more time sharing negative feedback about those in government than it does positive.

Recent events have only galvanized that view.

Did Trump work with Russians to get elected?

Did the FBI plant a spy in the Trump campaign?

How did the ballots in Debbie Wasserman-Schultz’s election get destroyed?

Each night, no matter what channel you watch, one side accuses the other of being criminals, making grandpa’s statement harder to dispute.

They aren’t all crooks, but if the American people lose faith in the system, the facts really won’t matter, and every day, we trust government less and less.

Is our government protecting us, or de we feel like it is out to get us?

Even local government has given us pause to trust it. When the softball fields were sold, and it was shown that a mistake was made, the cover-up became worse than the infraction. Even at the local level, government won’t admit a mistake, and it erodes public trust.

What’s worse is when these attacks are not fact based but politically driven.

An investigation into the president has done more to erode public trust in the system than it has in preserving it.

The true winners in all of this are the Russians, not because they sought to interfere with an election. The Russians have always done that. Acting as if this is something new is only a partisan tactic.

The Russians win because their entire goal was to discredit our system of government.

There have been colluders in this effort, from those who called for a special prosecutor and the mainstream media who believe that removing Trump is justifiable even if it involves illegal tactics and abusing the role of government. 

The Russians win because they have caused many to doubt how our government works.

After all, if the FBI is spying on a political campaign while refusing to file charges on another where a violation clearly occurred, how can we trust that government is truly fair and impartial?

This even flows down to the states.

California is going to put a secession vote on the 2020 ballot if they get 600,000 or so signatures. I have no doubt they will. 

California voted to become a sanctuary state, basically choosing to not follow federal law or to aid federal authorities.

California also attempted to pass a Socialist Workers Day in place of celebrating President’s Day. That is not a joke. They actually passed this out of committee and it narrowly failed on the California House floor.

Special investigations, a Department of Justice and FBI that cannot be trusted, political operatives manipulating the system for partisan purposes, and secret FISA courts being used all bring additional doubt to government activities.

The Russians weren’t working to get Trump elected. They were working to bring doubt to the American system of government.

There are several ways they win. When our leaders attack each other rather than work together, the Russians win. When the symbols of America are seen as oppressive rather than hopeful, the Russians win.

When we allow racial differences to become the narrative rather than the racial harmony that we have all worked so hard to achieve, the Russians win.

When college campuses no longer allow all views to be discussed openly, the Russians win.

It’s much harder to be the beacon of liberty for the world when we can’t trust the government that is supposed to be the beacon of liberty here.

When our lawmakers accuse each other of being un-American, when we turn Republicans and Democrats into enemies, and when we destroy the very fabric of the Great Melting Pot of cultures with claims of cultural appropriation and racism, we don’t win. The Russians win.

No matter the outcome of the Mueller investigation, the Russians got exactly what they wanted — an America divided.

Perhaps we ought to stop playing Russia’s game and start to restore trust in government. Any government agent who abused their position by participating in partisan politics should be fired. And there are patriots on both sides of the aisle. Until we stop making each other the enemy, we will continue to aid Russia in the destruction of America from within.