The coin of the realm

The truth of the following statement is thrown into sharp relief by the photograph below. The statement was made by David Gergen – White House Advisor to the Nixon, Ford, Reagan and Clinton US Administrations. It’s a quote from a programme of administration veterans talking about the hit political drama tv series, The West Wing (which I’m currently enjoying):

Many people no longer believe this but trust remains the coin of the realm in politics. A president who is trusted – by the people, by the Congress, by the press, by foreign countries – is a president who can get a lot of good things done. You break that trust, you violate that trust, everything else tumbles around you. […] There are no silver linings out of September 11th, but one of the hopes one draws after the September 11th is that it did bring us together as a people and we began to appreciate again how important public leadership is – whether it be firemen or policemen or the teachers who rescued kids from around the World Trade Centre or whether it’s the president of the United States.

The photographer, attending a November 2005 protest to the Iraq war in Seattle, wrote of the picture:

This girl got a lot of attention for this one. The sign reads:
What I learned from BUSH
1. Lying is O.K.
2. Cheating is O.K.
3. Torture is O.K.
4. Taking people’s rights is O.K.
5. Neglecting the poor is O.K.
6. Being a religious hypocrite is O.K.
7. Killing is O.K.
8. Incompetence is O.K.
9. Cronyism is O.K.

Sad.

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