I’m guessing this expression came from the days of steam engines, when excessive boiler pressure was relieved by a safety valve.
Trust is in short supply. It’s a valuable thing. A combination of honesty and dependability, it is hard to attain and easy to lose. Saint Paul said “And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” I don’t like to argue with a saint, and while I note that faith and trust are virtually the same, in my dealings with people I think trust is primal. The greatest compliment I can give or receive is “I trust you.”
President Reagan’s famous phrase “trust but verify” concerned the nuclear arms race with the Soviet Union. The idea is to give the other side the benefit of doubt at the beginning of a relationship, but it’s prudent to check and see if they are truly upholding their end of the bargain. This is not a bad approach, I think, in personal relationships.
But how about the US Government? When you think of trustworthiness, it’s not the first organization that comes to mind – usually the other way around. Is this a good thing? The US Government is composed of many people, and like any group, there are (mostly) good people and a few who are not so good. Should we condemn the entire bunch for the corruptions of the few? Should we castigate all law enforcement officers because of a few bad apples? I don’t think so. I don’t believe unbridled cynicism is productive, or warranted. It’s a disservice to the competent who are trying to do the right thing.
Our last President, in four painfully-long years, did more to instill distrust in the U.S. Government than any I have seen. Seventeen US intelligence agencies concluded that Russia meddled in the 2016 election to help him win, but he declared they were all wrong. “Trust me, not them,” said he. Really? He said climate change was a Chinese hoax, that Covid-19 would be gone by Easter of 2020, and the 2020 election was fraudulently stolen from him. Is it too much to ask for the tiniest modicum of evidence? He said he always hired the best people, but if that were true, why did he wind up firing more than forty (so many I lost track)?
Now to you who refuse to be vaccinated. Unless you have consulted with your doctor and have a good medical reason why you should not be vaccinated, you are being irresponsibly dangerous and selfish. You are a threat to your family, friends, neighbors, and people of the world. You are helping the virus survive and mutate to ever-more-deadly forms. If you don’t trust the government, why don’t you research the science behind the vaccines? Don’t listen to the idiots on Fox News, Governor DeSantis, or Senator Paul. Mask-wearing and vaccinations are not matters of personal liberty if they affect others. You may think you have the right to risk your own health, but not if my grandchildren die as a result.
Now to deniers of human-caused global warming. You are not helping your grandchildren or mine to a good life in the coming years. Research the science. Yes, there are a few in the denier camp, but they are akin to those who worked for tobacco companies. They have special interests, namely their own, not yours. The real scientists are worried. You should be too.
Bob Moores retired from Black & Decker/DeWalt in 1999 after 36 years. He was the Director of Cordless Product Development at the time. He holds a mechanical engineering degree from Johns Hopkins University
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