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Gallup: Trust In Institutions Hits A New Low

Gallup: Trust In Institutions Hits A New Low

Back to the problem I posed in 2017: “So I’m thinking through what it will mean to live without institutions.”

The collapse of trust in institutions is fairly obvious by now. We’ve been harping on how institutions have been gutted from the inside out by repressive progressive politics, what now is called wokeness, but the problem pre-dates that now-fashionable term. There is a generational effort to tear the country apart, and so much of it started in education and expanded outward, what I’ve called the “campus to culture” phenomenon.

In 2017 I wrote, Legal Insurrection is 9 years old, and filled with dread:

Imagine living in a repressive country in which the government blocked access to and suppressed internet content. You don’t need to move. It’s coming here but from private industry. This is, in many ways, more dangerous than government suppression of free speech because at least in the U.S. the government is subject to the First Amendment, and can be voted out of office.

I don’t know if there are any uncorrupted institutions left that matter. The education system, from public grade school through public and private higher ed, is gone. The frontal assault on free speech on campuses is the result. If you think this is just a Humanities and Social Sciences problem, stay tuned. In 3-5 years, if we’re still here, we’ll be writing about how the social justice warriors have corrupted the STEM fields. It’s happening now, it’s just not in the headlines yet.

There is a rising tide of absolutism in ideas and enforcement of ideological uniformity that is palpable….Even language as a means of communication is corrupted, with terminology manipulated and coerced to achieve political ends….

So I’m thinking through what it will mean to live without institutions.

Apparently a lot of people have come around to my observation on the collapse of institutions. On July 5, 2022, Gallup released a survey finding Confidence in U.S. Institutions Down; Average at New Low

Gallup summarizes Americans’ overall confidence in institutions by taking an average of the ratings of the 14 institutions it measures consistently each year — all but small business and large technology companies. This year’s 27% average of U.S. adults expressing “a great deal” or “quite a lot” of confidence in those 14 institutions is three points below the prior low from 2014….

Americans’ confidence in institutions has been lacking for most of the past 15 years, but their trust in key institutions has hit a new low this year. Most of the institutions Gallup tracks are at historic lows, and average confidence across all institutions is now four points lower than the prior low.

Notably, confidence in the major institutions of the federal government is at a low point, at a time when the president and Congress are struggling to address high inflation, record gas prices, increased crime and gun violence, continued illegal immigration, and significant foreign policy challenges from Russia and China. Confidence in the Supreme Court had already dropped even before it overturned Roe v. Wade, though that ruling was expected after a draft opinion was leaked in May.

The confidence crisis extends beyond political institutions at a time when a near record-low 13% of Americans are satisfied with the way things are going in the U.S. Confidence in institutions is unlikely to improve until the economy gets better — but it is unclear if confidence will ever get back to the levels Gallup measured in decades past, even with an improved economy.

Some of the specifics are not surprising – the news media is in the toilet.

The drop in just the past year has been precipitous particularly for the Supreme Court — the result of a years-long effort by Democrats to destroy that institution after a conservative majority was achieved. The Congress is at the very bottom, and the presidency had a precipitous drop.

The Gallup historical data demonstrates longer term trends by institutional type. The Military has dropped 10 points since the Trump years:

This is all interesting data, and confirms what we see. Back to the problem I posed in 2017:

So I’m thinking through what it will mean to live without institutions.

It has a real potential to get very ugly.


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Colonel Travis | July 6, 2022 at 9:14 pm

Congress is at the bottom of the faith-in-institutions list, yet the incumbency win rate is 90% or above in just about all states. In NJ in 2020 it was 100%! Such high numbers have been this way ever since I can remember, it must be that people think their own reps are OK but everyone else’s stink.

If we have a government of the people, by the people, for the people, and the people themselves keep sending idiots to DC to flush us down the toilet, I don’t know how we get out of this mess.

    Exactly, I just heard Congress at 7%.. As you pointed out, somehow they keep getting re elected. Instead of blaming the people, maybe it is the election process. Read that as you will.

    Subotai Bahadur in reply to Colonel Travis. | July 7, 2022 at 12:46 am

    Or it means that the integrity of the election process has been gone for farther back than 2020.

    Subotai Bahadur

      Isolden in reply to Subotai Bahadur. | July 7, 2022 at 8:28 am

      Voter fraud has been institutionalized in Chicago and Milwaukee since at least the JFK era, probably before that.

        henrybowman in reply to Isolden. | July 8, 2022 at 12:42 am

        It was institutionalized in NYC way before that, in the Tweed era.
        I read a local history (can’t find it now) that implicates Doc Holliday in a vote fraud scheme for a sheriff’s race, right here in Arizona.

    Olinser in reply to Colonel Travis. | July 7, 2022 at 2:19 am

    It just means that they’ve spent decades making the districts ‘safe’ and having the GOPe RINO party ruthlessly crush anybody that dares challenge one of their True Conservatives in a primary.

    It works because people have short memories. They don’t remember crap like Bitch McConnell supporting Murkowski’s laughable write-in bullshit after she LOST her primary.

    As George Carlin used to say – it’s a big club, and YOU AIN’T IN IT

    buck61 in reply to Colonel Travis. | July 7, 2022 at 2:14 pm

    a very accurate rant from about 10 days ago
    language alert as a few f bombs do get dropped along the way

    txvet2 in reply to Colonel Travis. | July 7, 2022 at 3:48 pm

    The two biggest reasons are name recognition and financing.

henrybowman | July 6, 2022 at 9:26 pm

I don’t know if it will get ugly. But it certainly will weed out the gene pool.

No trustworthy institutions means a return to caveat emptor capitalism. Don’t trust, verify. Don’t use government as a crutch to protect you from cheaters, because government is one of the cheaters.

“it must be that people think their own reps are OK but everyone else’s stink.”

That’s one theory. My rep is constantly voted the staunchest conservative in congress, so my experience isn’t very helpful.

But my senators suck and have always sucked, no matter where I have ever lived. They play tricks to make sure they always win their primaries. If they are being challenged by a strong conservative, they make sure another strong conservative is in the race to split the vote. They beat the hell out of other candidates’ nomination petitions. They play dirty tricks.

Would people vote for better conservatives if given the option? We’ll never know, because we’ll never be given the option.

Camperfixer | July 6, 2022 at 9:46 pm

Just about every college – save for a few – should reap what they have sown and go out of business. Include the despicable public schools while we’re at it. Brainwashing indoctrination problem solved.

I think this is a much bigger problem than just the US. Chile votes on September 4th on a new “woke” constitution that will dramatically remake the country, disband the senate, gender equity, environmental rights, national health care and free education. Apparently a right to housing just missed the cut.

Many in the US want to change the constitution but luckily our process makes it impossible for a few large woke states to dictate the changes. At least I hope so.

This certainly is Obama’s third term. Remember: Susan Rice and Anita Dunn are in charge.

The complete elimination of the Democrat Party would be a start.

2smartforlibs | July 7, 2022 at 8:36 am

Congress knows to stay in power they have to keep a majority behind them. the best way they found to do that was to create bureaucracies to do the dirty work. Leaving their hands clean thus getting your votes time after time. so it’s not the parasite class at fault here it’s us for supporting them.

It doesn’t matter how you vote in GA. The Dems steal the election. They have the past two elections.

It’s not the institutions for crying out loud. It’s the people running the institutions that is the problem.

This poll is in in some ways bad news.

Why on Earth would you reform something that is perfect?

71% of Republicans like the military as it is. The military is actively pushing leftism in the military which they have politicized but those big giant stars on the uniform apparently daze Republicans too much to care.

That 71% is fortunately down from 81%% but our senate and congressional back bencher is not defying 71% of the Republican party to get desperately needed changes in the military.

The police same thing. So you trust in the capitol police who are fine with beat cops being firebombed and will defend the leftist bomber? You are fine with the FBI? You are fine with cops who are witnessing conservative protestors getting physically assaulted in Texas then will arrest the victims and try to ruin their lives in defense of drag queen sex shows for children?

Seeing 67% of their constituents love that will prevent Republican backbenchers from getting on the case of doing something about it.

Backbenchers by nature are risk averse and nothing is as risky as fighting 67-71% of your constituents. I am preaching to the choir here but next time you see the politicized Biden DOJ acting like the Stasi a good look in the party mirror would be a good idea. Worship cops and your congressman will worship cops to and do nothing about DOJ abuse.