From the perspective of philosophy and political science it is often pointed out that trust is of central value for democracy. The paper critically examines this claim and argues that we should not overestimate the role of trust in democracy. In order to do that, I argue for a specific understanding of the notion of trust that appropriately accounts for the distinction between trust and mere reliance. In a second step, I argue that we have no reason to put this kind of trust in our elected officials and representatives, but should instead focus on legislative and institutional ways to make sure that they are reliable in particular respects. After contrasting my suggestion with the position of Hardin, I point to two advantages of my account: (1) The avoidance of political analysis through the lens of trust allows us to react more flexibly to unforeseen circumstances and resist populist attempts to emotionalize public debates; (2) at the same time, diffusing the tension between trust and civic vigilance solves a systematic problem in political philosophy. In a concluding section, I briefly discuss the question whether there is an alternative role for trust to play in the field of politics.