Do you trust me?
For those of us who have been in a serious relationship, this simple four-word phrase can have long-lasting repercussions. Why is this person asking me this? Has he or she done something wrong? Do I have reason to believe they have done something wrong? Is he or she testing me? Is he or she going to ask me something monumental? Is he or she going to accuse me of having done something wrong? Have I done anything to arouse suspicion? Is this relationship about to move to the next level? Is this person going to leave me?
The concept of trust is sacred in any relationship; so much so that there is good reason to be concerned should your significant other ever bring it up unprompted. For couples to be truly successful there needs to be an unyielding trust in all aspects of their lives from finances to child rearing to roles and responsibilities to faith and religion to work/life balance and beyond. That trust needs to be established and needs to be reinforced throughout the relationship. A relationship built on that level of understanding and commitment doesn't need to even question whether one of the participants trusts the other; it is already implied. To have true, genuine trust in each other is the foundation for any successful relationship.
Trust in politics is a different story.
Because in politics, the concept of trust means vastly different things to different people. We are at a point in our nation's history where the term "politics" has become a dirty word, synonymous with terms like dishonest, unethical, and untruthful. The notion that all politicians lie has become a staple of American life right up there with death and taxes. The advent of the internet has only exacerbated this notion. We now have an entire industry based on fact-checking where politicians can be instantly held accountable for their misinformation. Seeing a politician speak at a campaign event or during a live debate and then seeing him or her be questioned about an inaccurate statement the next day on the news has only reinforced the belief that all politicians will say anything to get elected.
It is this exact cynicism that has hurt Hillary Clinton.
Because Hillary Clinton has come of age during this era of mistrust in the political system. She has been in the public eye for twenty-five years going back to a time where she was First Lady during the Clinton administration. It was during this time that President Bill Clinton established himself as a successful Democratic president who presided over a remarkably successful economy. There's a reason that Fox News began a month before President Bill Clinton's second term: conservatives needed a way to somehow bring down this man before his democratic policies paved the way for Democrats to control the White House for the foreseeable future. Fox News claimed to be "fair and balanced" but their agenda was simple: attack the sitting Democratic president and democratic principles via an agenda set forth by their conservative Australian owner Rupert Murdoch, and their CEO, Roger Ailes, who was a media consultant for three Republican presidents. Their plan was to whatever it took to do so, ethics be damned.
And Hillary Clinton got caught in the crossfire.
Attacks against her husband became attacks against her. She was painted as being guilty by association. She was either directly involved in or had knowledge of all incidents during her husband's tenure and yet she refused to intervene. She was damned if you do, damned if you don't in the eyes of her conservative opponents. At a time where a young network like CNN was emerging, any allegations against the Clintons were seen as headline news regardless of their validity. Just look at all the so-called "scandals" that attempted to involve Hillary during the Clinton administration: Hillary's "involvement" in Vince Foster's suicide, Hillary's "alleged" missing law firm records, the fake "Travelgate" scandal, the fake "Filegate" scandal, and even the accusation that Hillary helped to "loot" the White House and send furniture to New York after her husband's second term had expired. Combine all that with her somehow being "blamed" for her husband's infidelity and you can see how much damage Republicans did to Hillary's reputation over the course of those eight years.
It is because of those lies that people today do not trust Hillary Clinton.
Because just like the movie Inception all it takes is one idea to plant a seed. In this case, the seed that has been planted is one of doubt. Voters today doubt that Hillary Clinton is trustworthy. Voters today doubt that Hillary Clinton told the truth about Benghazi even though seven separate probes found she did nothing wrong. Voters today doubt that Hillary Clinton is telling the truth about her State Department emails even though Hillary Clinton has been cleared by investigators as far back as September. In fact Hillary Clinton was even asked in the most recent debate why voters doubt her trustworthiness as opposed to Bernie Sanders whom voters deem as being the more trustworthy of the two.
It is that seed of doubt that has prevented Hillary Clinton from earning the trust of the American people and it has caused concerned voters to flock to her opponent, Bernie Sanders. Unlike Clinton, Sanders has never been in the public eye up until this past April and even then his candidacy was largely dismissed by the mainstream media. He has nearly forty years of public service as mayor of Burlington, Vermont, a congressman, and a senator but it was not until this past fall that the majority of people heard the name Bernie Sanders for the first time. Even then, it took another six months and it was not until the Iowa caucus and New Hampshire primary in February when Bernie Sanders' candidacy was finally legitimized. Seeing as he was the new kid on the block and spoke in support of many dreams of the progressive left, people immediately flocked to Sanders and he earned their trust.
The only problem is that Bernie was never properly vetted.
And so now, Bernie Sanders has amassed an army of loyal supporters who have misplaced their trust in a false prophet. They trust someone who is a "civil rights icon" but has been absent from the movement for the past fifty years and cannot connect with people of color. They trust someone whose political career was launched by the NRA. They trust someone who supports the brutal regime of Fidel Castro. They trust someone with a Marxist worldview who only sees the world's problems through an economic lens. They trust someone who will raise their taxes by $5,000 and hope the math works out.They trust someone who has railed against Wall Street but whose campaign has benefited from their support. They trust someone whose campaign has been caught in shady activity time and time again. They trust someone who co-authored a bill to dump nuclear waste on a poor Latino town in Texas. They trust someone who has been calling for a "political revolution" but has had low voter turnout. And they trust someone who has sold out time and time again for political expediency.
This is the more trusted candidate.
Which goes to show just how effective the smears against Hillary Clinton have become. Rather than trust a progressive who has been on the frontlines fighting for the less fortunate her entire life, many progressives, including record numbers of millennials, are flocking to a man who just became a Democrat a few months ago. A man whose progressive agenda is just as likely to be made permanent as Donald's Trump's wall. A man who went for two decades without a formal job and didn't participate in our democracy until he turned age 40. A man who rails against Super PACs but has them himself. A man who claims to be capable of leading a political revolution who has authored a total of three bills that have become law, with two of them being enacted to rename post offices. And a man who has made it a habit of attacking our commander-in-chief.
I do not trust Bernie Sanders.
He is an ideologue, focused on a Marxist class struggle, which he sees as being the panacea for all our country's ills. He cannot separate class struggle from systemic racism. He rests on his civil rights laurels from his time in college yet he did nothing for Vermont's high incarceration rate of African-Americans nor did he hire any people of color for his congressional staff. His inability to renounce Fidel Castro's human rights abuses is mind-boggling. His act of environmental racism toward the Sierra Blanca community and subsequent heartless response is deeply troubling. His track record in congress has proven him to be ineffective and he has earned a reputation for being difficult to work with. His temperament in debates is often frazzled, unprofessional, and extremely unbecoming of the person I want representing our country on the world stage. And the fact that he continues to personally attack President Obama and Hillary Clinton all while refusing to disavow the attacks by Karl Rove's Super PAC against his opponent is downright embarrassing to the political party he feels entitled to have joined.
Unlike the legion of Bernie supporters, I have vetted their candidate and what I've found has given me grave reservations about his background, his character, his motivations, and his ability to do the job as president of the United States. I have also vetted Hillary Clinton and I have seen through all the lies and misinformation that have given her the false reputation for being untrustworthy. I have looked at her background, her character, her motivations, and her ability to do the job as president of the United States and have found her to be the much more trustworthy candidate of the two. Because unlike supporters of Bernie Sanders, I have relied on facts to reach my conclusion and currently there is no better source of facts available than the website politifact.com. I believe that yes, politicians do lie, but those politicians that are deemed trustworthy are the ones who are most honest with the American public. Both Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton have a public record of telling the truth but of the two, there is one who is more consistent in doing so. All opinions of the candidates aside, it is actually Hillary Clinton who has been consistently more truthful than Bernie Sanders over the course of their public careers.
Because facts, unlike public opinion, always tell the truth.
Do you trust me?