Let’s try and deserve people’s trust rather than forfeit it.
Complete Works volume I, page 114 (in French)
Letter dated October 2nd, 1845
Frédéric Bastiat is rejoicing about the success met by Cobden and the League or the English Unrest for Free-trade (French version) and discusses the strategy to be conducted in France.
He notes that there is no advocate of free-trade at the French national assembly and considers running for a seat in order to push his ideas. Yet, he bemoans the fact that it is necessary to campaign for it and introduce oneself to the electorate rather than being called in order to represent them. Politics have evolved so much that nobody would think there is any other way to be elected nowadays.
What is deplorable is that those among elected officials who would adopt (without hypocrisy) today’s quote will be very difficult to find. Lies and treason are much more effective means to get elected than gaining the trust of the electorate by telling them the truth about what one thinks and the action one will undertake.