There’s a new poll out that brought things around to a recurring theme: trust. I wrote a little about this before, but not as much as I think about it. Whether we trust or don’t trust a politician, a candidate, a boss, seems to have so much influence on how nearly everything that person does is colored. Today we’re seeing trust have an enormous impact on how we view President Trump. His approval ratings continue to dip into the 30s, but perhaps more important, a CNN poll found that only 24% of Americans say that they trust “all or most of what they hear in official communications from the White House.”
My wife has some strong opinions about things, and some of them she raises over and over again. One (of the many) with which I agree is that trust plays a fundamental role in how we feel about our leaders. We trust some leaders, and we don’t trust others. If we trust a leader, we assume that some action is legitimately justified. If we don’t trust a leader, that same action can be nefarious or a sign of incompetence. I’ll come back to something more contemporary in a minute, but let’s start with Obama and Bush.