Letter to the editor: Whom do we trust?

To the editor:

The gulf between rich and poor, Democrat and Republican, and in some ways even between genders has not been wider — and more confusing — in my lifetime.

We desperately need a way to narrow these divisions. The outlook is not promising.

In my youth, the Vietnam War divided the country. I remember standing at the free-throw line as a player in a high school basketball game when the announcement was made that the war would end. With it, thankfully, ended the chance I would need to carry an M-16 through a rice paddy halfway around the world.

Walter Cronkite played a major role in changing the opinions of many Americans.

We trusted Walter. Some might debate whether his change of heart on Vietnam was correct or deserved. I am thankful that so many trusted his reporting and editorials.

He was “the most trusted man in America.”

So whom do we trust now? Whom do we respect? Who tells us the truth, even the truths we’d rather not hear?

If not journalists, then who? They may not always be right. They might be more biased than in days past. They might even generate as much news as they report, but there are none who are more likely to tell us the truth.

It is for us to determine who we should believe, just like we did in 1968. Those who turn out to be truthful and unbiased should be rewarded with our trust and respect.

That trust and respect is, after all, a most valuable commodity that we have hoarded for far too long.