Friday, August 21, 2009

"trust in government" a "crap issue".

Scott Stigler is substituting for Jim Villanucci this week.

His guest yesterday was
Gwyneth Doland
representing the
New Mexico Independent, link,
one of KKOB's competitor news outlets.

In response to a question from Stigler about the issue of trust
in government, Doland allowed that the issue is a "crap" issue.

Since it is my main issue, I cannot let the remark go unnoticed.

All of the power and resources that the people turn over to government are protected by one or both of two mechanisms; either there are standards and accountability adequate to protect the public interests, or, we can trust the government to protect them.

In the abject absence of adequate standards and accountability,
there is only trust; hardly a "crap" issue.

As proof of their trustworthiness, I insist that public servants
promise to tell the truth about the public interests and about
their public service; complete transparency.

Without adequate standards and accountability, and without
public servants who will promise to tell us the truth,
our power and resources are completely unprotected.

Trustworthiness is a "crap" issue only in the presence of
truth telling, standards, and honest accountability.

In the absence of any one of those, trust is all we have.

photo Mark Bralley


Unknown said...

Now, Ched. I clarified yesterday that trust is a VERY IMPORTANT issue and that our role as journalists is to HOLD TRUTH TO POWER. What I was trying to say is that people who refuse to believe that government can work well, or that politicians do sometimes tell the truth, are full of crap. It's just not reasonable to say that all politicians are liars and that you can't ever trust government to do anything right. We trust government to build our roads and deliver water to our taps----and we follow up on how much money they're spending and how much time they're taking to do it. And if they mess up, we must move swiftly and forcefully to get rid of them and fix the problem.

But to completely lack trust I think can be pathological. People who refuse to believe that Obama was born in the U.S. Refuse to believe that he is not a muslim? That's crap.

ched macquigg said...

I don't know anyone who actually believes that all politicians are liars, or that politicians do sometimes tell the truth.

When some says they don't trust the government, it only means that they don't trust the government; there are no individual implications.

And most people I think, believe that if people "trust" the government to build our roads, the NMDOT will build a highway interchange next to land owned by the speaker of the house.

Despite the swift and the forceful, as far as I know that particular deal is still in place.

How can you trust a person who will not promise to tell you the truth?

Why do public servants not have to promise to tell us the truth about what they are doing with our power and our resources, and how they are doing it?

How can you trust someone who is not already webcasting everything they possibly can?

Are you really satisfied with a single google earth camera in a far corner of a legislative chamber?

Dinah said...

Funny, here I am visiting New Mexico and I knew that the friend I am in town to see was attending Martin Heinrich's town hall so when I got into ABQ at around 3 pm and saw that it was being liveblogged, I joined right in.

It wasn't a very satisfying experience.

My comments were suppressed 80% of the time and Ms. Gwyneth was doing the suppressing in what can only be described as some kind of weird truth to power trip.

In my view, the comments were factual, respectful and in some instances downright funny - and would have definitely improved the echo chamber quality of the liveblogging.

But that's just me.

I do appreciate the fact that Ms. Gwyneth did address my objection to the use of the vulgar 'teabagger' epithet to refer to the anti Obamacare participants. Thank you Ms. Gwyneth for that.

The best part was when the libs in attendance started lamenting that the "teabaggers" seemed to ask more questions than the prObamacarers and postulate that the fix was in. That was pretty darn funny given the 'transparency' and totally random nature of the question selection process.

It's just wild that I would happen to stumble onto your blog over at FR, Diogenes'six and find Ms Gwyneth here as well.

Keep up the good work.

Cheers - Dinah