Trust is an interesting thing. Our society, by the way we have designed it, places a lot of trust in people doing their jobs or doing the right thing. For instance, have you thought about how many people you are trusting when you buy your coffee in the morning? The grower, all of the people involved in the transport, the people at the processing plant, more transportation, the workers at the distribution centre, more transportation people and all of the employees at the coffee shop. Hundreds, if not thousands of people had the opportunity to taint your coffee, to add something to it or do something wrong so that it wouldn’t be the coffee you expected.
But none of them did it. You implicitly trusted them.
But what happens when that trust breaks? For Enron it meant the end of the company. For Bill O’Reilly it meant the end of a job. Sometimes we forgive them for breaking our trust, but if the trust has been broken repeatedly, at some point you just have to say “no”. An accountant who has repeatedly been caught laundering the books is not going to get a job with an accounting firm, no matter how much he says he is sorry. Someone who has sold state secrets is never going to get a security clearance again. For the type of work, the type of trust that was abused, there is a different threshold at which the trust can never be extended again.
Sometimes, however, revoking that trust is difficult to do, if not impossible. If the government has lost your trust you vote another one in … unless they lost your trust because they established a dictatorship and there is no more elected government. But what if it’s not the entire government, but a part of it. What if just a single section has lost your trust? What if a single group has tried, again and again, to gain your trust but has fallen down repeatedly? At what point do you say “no”? At what point do you say “this has gone on long enough”?
Sometimes you have to break things apart in order to rebuild them properly.