It’s All ABout Trust

Trump has been painted into a corner with the government shutdown, because Democrats and Independents don’t trust him.

And that is not only because he’s been caught in nearly 7000 lies since he took office. It’s also because almost every time he agrees to something he later changes the terms. So those are lies, too.

We’re talking about a whole lot of lying.

Whenever someone like Trump says, “Believe me”, it’s probably a good time to check your wallet.

I know a lot about lying. I was once professional liar. I got paid to lie on national TV. On “To Tell The Truth” I pretended to be an Olympic speed walker. There was one other liar and the real guy. He had to tell the truth. The panel had to guess which of us was real. Because lying was relatively new to me (I mean this wasn’t about the dog eating my homework), I was really nervous. I lied as well as I could, but only one person voted for me, Betty White. I think she did it out of sympathy. 

I’ve been a Betty White fan ever since. 

My kids are all pretty trusting, which can be a problem in today’s world. When my son graduated from art school and was struggling to find work, a family friend hired him to build a website. Ben gave him a small down payment and, over ten months, my son built a very complex site, including some original animation. At first Ben raved about the work. Then he moved to another state. When it came time to pay my son, Ben pulled a Trump, figuring no recent art student would file a civil suit in Alabama.

Unfortunately for Ben the art school had taught my son some copyright law so he filed a suit, not in Alabama, but in Federal Court. Including legal fees, Ben ended up paying almost 7 times what he owed. My son still trusts most people, but he follows Reagan’s advice now and verifies too.

Once broken, trust is very hard to rebuild. Car dealers know that; the whole industry is distrusted now. So does Wells Fargo, most of Wall Street, Comcast, health insurers, advertisers, almost all politicians…  

Breaking trust is tough on all relationships. That’s why Trump and Pelosi are at such a stalemate over the “Wall”.  It’s really a case of “who do you trust…less?”

Sometime marriage counselors can help in rebuilding trust in a relationship. In fact, I heard Pelosi and Trump tried that recently.

Marriage Counsel: “So, what seems to be the problem?”

Pelosi: “He wants to build a concrete wall” —

Trump: —“Excuse me! Excuse me! “

Pelosi:  “- across our southern border—“

Trump: “-Excuse me!  Excuse me! It’s a steel wall!”

Pelosi: “Steel, schlemiel! It’s a wall. And you’re not getting it.  And you’re a schlemiel! ”.

Pelosi (whispering to the marriage counselor while looking directly at Trump): “schmeil means ‘dolt’”.

Marriage Counselor: “Now, now. Let’s try to keep this constructive, shall we?”

Trump: “I was in construction. I know a lot about constructive.”.

Pelosi: “I’ll tell you what he’s constructed – a wall of lies to the American people.”

Trump: “Fake news!  Fake news!”

Marriage Counselor: “Now. Ms. Pelosi, Mr. Trump, I think I sense some deep distrust here.”

Pelosi: “Well aren’t you Doctor Insight!”

Marriage Counselor: “Is there some middle ground, some compromise we could agree on?”

Trump: “I already changed from cement to steel. That’s ‘UGE! And she hasn’t compromised on anything.”

Pelosi: “Well, has that changed the cost? No! Has it helped those people fleeing murder and poverty! No. Has it helped me become Speaker… OK. I’ll give you that.”

Marriage counselor: “Now, lets just take some long, deep breaths and see if we could find something to agree on.”

Trump: “Oh! How about this? I’ll call it a barrier. I compromised on cement and now I’ll compromise on calling it a wall – two BIG concessions! That’s a great deal. Believe me.”

Pelosi: “We’re not going to give you money for a wall, fence, barrier –whatever you choose to call it!”

Trump, (folding arms and looking away from both of them): “No wall, no government.”

Marriage Counselor: “Well, how about that, Ms. Pelosi?

Pelosi shrugs: “It’s a manhood thing.” (She leaves the room).

Trump (yelling after her): “Fake news! Fake News!” 

I’ve heard Mark Burnett is thinking of starring them in a new reality TV show: “Who Do You Distrust”.  

Share this column: