Fiduciary: (fuh-doo-she-air-e) adj. of, relating to, or involving a confidence or trust, held or founded in confidence or trust, holding in trust…
My own phonetic representation of this important word is a bit off the standard phonetic structure, but I hope you get the point. It is important to revisit the definition of this word (here and here) as it affects the very future of the republic.
You see, this word should describe everyone in a leadership role given the responsibilities of a city, county, state, or federal office. Anyone who has accepted this responsibility has agreed to handle the assets of the entity with care, without interest in personal gain, and with an expectation of being held accountable for their efforts.
For example, persons appointed to handle the finances of a church are granted a trust to care for the monetary assets of a congregation without regard to their own personal gain. Individuals asked to serve on the Board of a non-profit organization are granted the use and care of all its assets, including its people in order to produce the greatest benefit from the labor of employees and volunteers, its property and its contributions without regard to personal gain. Anyone accepting the job of sitting on a corporate board accepts the responsibility of managing its assets through executives, but remains accountable for the actions of others and responsible to shareholders.
In the political arena, fiduciary trust has become little more than a joke. Voters have become accustomed to leaders using political office for personal gain. The stories of legislators entering Congress as middle class people and retiring in twenty years as multi-millionaires are legendary (this is a great example). In the process, the assets of Americans are abused, debt is run up into the trillions, and futures are placed in jeopardy. Unfortunately, citizens are getting the government they chose. They vote for it every two years.
Citizens have a responsibility as well. Citizens function as the Board of Directors of America. It is our responsibility to electing people into these offices who understand the meaning of the word fiduciary. This week we have seen the voters of Utah and West Virginia create an earthquake of accountability by tossing out long-term incumbents, both Republican and Democrat. The tidal wave to follow will stun the entrenched Congress and allow a new group of Senators and Representatives to put the word fiduciary into practice. And if they fail to be accountable, there is another election in 2012.