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So you think you can trust the government

Most people don’t trust other people.

If people were inherently good, the world would look much different than it does today. Nevertheless, people aren’t naturally good, so they don’t trust other people.

Therefore, we must devise a way to live securely and comfortably in a society full of those we can’t trust. So we created government. Bureaucracy. Rules. Regulations. We put people we think we can trust in charge of maintaining social order.

We — a group of people who don’t trust each other — elect a person — someone we all supposedly trust — to ensure that we can all just get along.

At some point in the history of this process, a group of people who trusted each other decided that this trustworthy government of ours should have all of the guns.

Governments are compromised of the same untrustworthy people that make up our society, but we put them on a pedestal of trust and see them as our heroes.

Governments have a long history of murder, corruption and theft. Governments have a monopoly on violence. Governments get away with things ordinary citizens would never be allowed to do.

All people who put their trust in the government end up dead. As economist John Maynard Keynes said, “In the long run, we are all dead.”

The average police response time here in Fort Myers is about 5 minutes, according to an NBC-2 interview. Nationwide, it will take about 11 minutes for police to respond to an emergency call. The police also have no legal responsibility to do their jobs; they are only held accountable to their own bureaucracy (police department, city hall, mayor, etc.).

In a life or death situation, the average American would have to wait 11 minutes for the police to maybe show up and protect them. We see time and time again why the police, even when they arrive, can’t be counted on to protect us.

We see time and time again why the government can’t be counted on to do the right thing. How many times must we watch the government fail before we realize the solution is not to try putting different untrustworthy people in charge of the government?

The government is full of untrustworthy individuals. We trust the ones that align with our own beliefs, and we distrust anyone who dares disagree. Those we distrust are invalidated in our own minds. Even when we agree on what deems someone trustworthy, history has shown that trust is either broken or misplaced.

Julius Caesar was brutally stabbed to death by some of his most trusted friends. Jesus was betrayed by a trusted disciple. Benedict Arnold was once Washington’s most trusted general. Adolf Hitler gained the trust of an entire country on his rise to power.

Many people trusted Trump to fix the economy because he was a businessman, not a politician. The trust was broken the minute he was sworn into office; he became a politician.

Most people don’t trust other people. Some people don’t even trust themselves. A core line in every spy movie ever created is something to the tune of “trust no one”.

Despite all of this, we are expected to trust the government. Trust it to protect us. Trust it to provide for us. Trust it to be perfect.

We’ve made great strides in questioning the government, but it’s time we stop pretending to trust it.

About The Author

Sam Palmisano

Sam Palmisano is a freshman dual-majoring in economics and marketing. Sam loves kayaking and ping pong. Outside of Eagle News, Sam is a member of the Honors program and Student Conduct Committee, and serves as President of the Palmetto Hall Area Council. His goals are to be a political economist and to one day run for Congress. You can find Sam getting into arguments on social media or playing frisbee on the library lawn.

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