By Jon Keller

BOSTON (CBS) – Sometimes poll results can strike you as transient, just a public opinion blip on the radar, soon to be reversed. But not the new AP poll measuring trust, who we trust and who we don’t.

It’s not surprising the pollsters found 81-percent of us trust our government to do the right thing only some of the time. The two percent who said they always trust government must be either a statistical anomaly, or the political press secretaries of America.

Listen to Jon’s commentary:

But other findings of this poll were telling.

The pollsters cited common situations in life where you have to trust others, and found that a majority of us trust people who have access to our medical records to handle them properly. Given the privacy laws and malpractice premiums, they have plenty of incentive to do so.

People who work in your home or prepare your food also fared reasonably well, but a solid majority of us do not trust people we meet while traveling or, get this, other drivers.

For a Bostonian, that last result is reassuring. Good to know we aren’t the only ones living in perpetual fear of careless nuts on the road.

But in general, this poll finds that everyday trust of others is declining, and links it with the increasing disconnectedness with others that all our fancy new technology has bestowed upon us.

That makes sense.

You have to know someone to really trust them. If you rely on popular culture or the internet for your relationships, you will never develop trust, due to the wretched behavior they usually showcase.

That’s out there in the real world too. But the only way to find trustworthy people – and learn how to spot them – is to put down the tablet and engage with them.

And realize that there’s hope, because they, too, have drivers licenses.

You can listen to Keller At Large on WBZ News Radio every weekday at 7:55 a.m. You can also watch Jon on WBZ-TV News.



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