We live on trust
Trust is as necessary as air to live. We trust a lot. Consider a car. We trust the brakes won’t fail, that the engine will turn, and the tires will stay inflated. Of course, some of that trust is merely assumed, but we rely – trust – the car for transportation overall. We depend (trust) on technology and experts and family and friends and more. When trust fails us, we’re left frustrated and often angry. We expect things to work!
Creating trust is hard
David Brooks, columnist for The New York Times, offered an article to explain what we’re witnessing in the presidential election: Why Sanders Will Probably Win the Nomination. While his article is obviously giving an expectant nod towards Sanders, he has noticed something else from his interviews. Something more important than a campaign assessment:
Everywhere I go I see systems that are struggling — school systems, housing systems, family structures, neighborhoods trying to bridge diversity. These problems aren’t caused by some group of intentionally evil people. They exist because living through a time of economic, technological, demographic and cultural transition is hard. Creating social trust across diversity is hard.
Life isn’t easy. Nor is building trust easy. Yet, one of the requirements of a government of and by and for the people is to trust those for whom we vote to represent us. It’s not easy to trust, especially someone elected to be president.
History has given us lots of advice about trust. As we pick our way through the ages and note the social, philosophical, and political advice provided, lessons about what to trust are everywhere. Solon, an Athenian statesman living around 600 BC and credited for laying the foundations of Athenian democracy, advised:
Put more trust in nobility of character than in an oath.
Elections are meant to create trust
Promises and policies are attractive and deserve consideration. As presidential candidates deliver their speeches and argue for their support, promises and policies can also be distractions. Who are we listening to? What thoughts or emotions moves us to trust them? Can we trust what we perceive is true?
Mr. Brooks got it right: Creating trust across social diversity is hard. On the flip side – the side of the voter – being moved to trust in the midst of political noise and societal stress is also hard. We must be careful with our vote!
Russia destroys our trust
Now we’re told that Russia is, again, interfering with our elections in the hopes of shaping the 2020 results. They’re good at it. As Maggie Miller reports in The Hill in her article: Russian Interference Reports Rock Capitol Hill:
…former acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker, who worked in the Trump administration, said during a speech Friday that Russia was indeed “trying to interfere in 2020,” and that the Justice Department and the FBI are constantly “on guard” against those efforts.
Such reports scare us, or should. Evidence of complacency by our leaders should concern us more. Clearly, our nation is under attack similar to an act of war. A foreign agency (Russia) is meddling in our elections to shape and control the outcome and our future. We, as a nation, should be alarmed.
The news of our day should elicit outrage. Our expectation should be for our leadership to quickly and actively respond, defend, and preserve our elections, our nation. Our outrage should be a call for what we can trust, a call for patriotic character.
What creates distrust?
- Silence while Russia disrupts our elections
- Corruption in our national leadership
- Ignoring facts
- Punishing truth tellers
- Political partisanship that divides the country
- Distractions from core values and interests
NPV is a distraction
Anyone who has read this blog space before know that I regard the National Popular Vote (NPV) as a ridiculous, radical, and dangerous idea. NPV is a needless distraction. It puts voters of any state within its compact at risk of not having their votes represented in the Electoral College. NPV, much like the Russian meddling, is a national attack! Anyone who supports it should, by now, wake up to its shortcomings or not be surprised if voters no longer trust them.
Elections are meant to restore trust
Our national future depends on the trust of its voters. Therefore, the winning presidential candidate must earn the trust of the voters. Our election process, now under attack, must be protected and secured to earn our voting trust.
Equal Voice Voting (EVV) makes all votes matter. It’s a simple promise that every voter can trust. The diversity of the nation’s voters shows a wide variety of perspectives and values and desires. EVV’s promise for every voter to be heard is fundamental to building trust in our elections.
Trust is the common factor our voters must demand from the election process and the 2020 election results. Building trust is hard. It takes time and diligence and consistency. Wisdom’s promise through the ages tells us it’s worth it.
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By Jerry Spriggs and the Equal Voice Voting Team