What do Iran, Obama and the government have in common? A lack of trust

One issue every American constantly juggles is trust — both in the political and personal sense.

Videos by Rare

Without trust, nearly any interaction would be meaningless. If you cannot trust a boss, co-worker, spouse or friend, everything they say or do mired in skepticism.

Our government system also relies on trust. Without belief in the integrity of our institutions, equal application of the law, and equal protection of rights, the country could slowly slide towards anarchy.

Trust is about power. Trusting people or institutions acknowledges that they have the power to do things — good or bad — that will impact you.


Let’s take the current scenario playing out in Iran. The nitty-gritty details of uranium enrichment, inspections and sanctions are pointless unless you have a fundamental basis of trust. If we cannot trust what the Iranians are promising is based in honesty and truthfulness, then what’s the point of this dog-and-pony show?

People say that trust is earned. My question is this: has Iran demonstrated that they can be trusted?

In the words department, Iran isn’t looking so good. After all the Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei called Israel the “rabid dogs” of the region just last week.  Not to mention former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s warm-and-fuzzy desire to wipe Israel off the map.

How about their actions? Developing secret underground nuclear facilities doesn’t bode well for Iran, even if they’ve “come clean” on certain facilities. Why should we to believe there aren’t more? To steal a phrase from Great Britain’s Gordon Brown, Iran is known for its “serial deception.” They’ve provided no reason for Americans to believe that’s changed.

If we can’t go by their words or actions, perhaps we can look to similar instances throughout history to get an idea of how this could play out. North Korea is a good example. In 1994, President Clinton managed to get North Koreans to agree to freeze their nuclear program and submit to monitoring in exchange for easing economic sanctions. Twelve years later, North Korea tested a nuclear weapon.

Negotiating with rogue nations with a history of deception requires an immense amount of trust. Unless there is something this administration isn’t telling us, I’m unclear as to why we can now engage them in rational negotiation without ultimately ending up the fool.


President Obama’s ability to achieve anything boils down to two things: credibility and trust. Unfortunately for him, there is a huge deficit of both. A new CNN/ORC International survey finds that 53 percent of Americans now believe that Obama is not honest and trustworthy.

That’s a problem.

Obama’s words rarely match reality and this has led to a lack of believability. Case-in-point: Obamacare. We were promised many things with Obamacare and the results have been anything but. If he was willing to blatantly lie about his chief legislative achievement, one can only wonder what else he has lied about.

The failure of Obamacare has called into question Obama’s presidency, past, present and future.

When it comes to Iran, suddenly we are forced to trust that the Obama administration knows what’s best in securing this deal.  It’s hard to do that when Obama already lacks the trust of the American people.

It also doesn’t help that there seems to be so many who disagree. When Democratic members of Congress side with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over President Obama, something has to be wrong.

Perhaps we should just trust that Obama’s Nobel Peace Prize will be enough to eradicate Iran’s nuclear program and secure peace throughout the region. I’m not holding my breath.


There is an eroding trust in government taking place throughout the world.  The financial collapse of 2008 definitely played a role, and its effects linger to this day.

The bombshell news of pervasive surveillance within the United States and aboard has also led to heightened mistrust among citizens and countries alike.

An October survey by the Pew Research Center found that just 19 percent of Americans trust the government in Washington to do what is right always or most of the time. Just 3 percent of tea party members trust the federal government. Americans overall believe the federal government to be a threat to their freedoms. The trend is clear: trust in government is eroding, and is nearly non-existent with some conservatives.

A certain level of mistrust in our government is healthy. It forces citizens to check its powers and constantly re-evaluate its role in our lives.  But when we start to believe that our institutions no longer function properly, that is a different issue entirely.

Trust is crucial, yet there is a severe lack of it and I don’t see that getting better.

What do you think?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Ben Swann: Jury nullification is the power of people to judge a law itself

Dear feminists, It is shameful to be a slut