That’s where the trust and skepticism begins to invade one’s thinking. Can we believe anything, regardless of the source, when political strategy and the high office are at the root of the subject? Politicians will tell us until they are blue in the face that it’s our best interest they have at heart, but time and time again we learn the opposite is true.
Consider a smaller news story overshadowed last week when Bridgegate hit the scene. The Center for Responsive Politics released their report on the personal financial disclosure information released on members of Congress and found over half of them had an average net worth of at least $1 million. The figures were split evenly between Democrats and Republicans. On the Senate side, the average networth of a senator was $2.7 million with the Republicans gaining a distinct advantage worth $2.9 million on average while Democratic Senators were a paltry $1.7 million. All the while looking out for our best interest our elected representatives seem to find time to pocket a little for themselves, leaving us to question their motives when a scandal hits the wire.
Speaking of other simmering scandals, the recently released memoir by former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates provides a one-sided look into the Obama Administration. Once highly praised by the President and awarded the Medal of Freedom, Gates claims the President put his own political fortunes ahead of the lives of the men and women serving in our military. Gates used the book to provide his inside perspective of the Obama Administration’s inner workings. Both sides will spin the book and its conclusions everyway imaginable, but in the end, we have to ask ourselves who and what can we trust? One would assume Gates has little to gain at this point in his life. When the first news stories of the book began to leak out, my initial thought was why now and this seems inappropriate. But after listening to his interview this week on CBS, the timing now seems appropriate based on his reasoning.
Dan Alexander is associate publisher of New Market Press and publisher and CEO of Denton Publications. He may be reached at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.