September 13, 2021

According to Gallup’s annual survey that ranks confidence in some of our most important institutions – including police, churches, labor unions, public schools, television stations, newspapers, and even Congress – Americans are less trustworthy. That may not be surprising. But the fact that it’s now a downward, multiyear trend is to me.

Also, the political party whose president is in the White House tends to be more confident about things than the party out of power. Even who you trust comes down to your politics:

  • More than four times as many Democrats as Republicans trust the presidency
  • More than twice as many Republicans trust the police as Democrats
  • More than twice as many Democrats trust the public schools
  • More than twice as many Republicans trust organized religion
  • More than twice as many Democrats as Republicans trust organized labor
  • Republicans do not trust newspapers
  • More than twice as many Democrats as Republicans trust Congress

But fear not, there is common ground!

Trust in the U.S. military is relatively high in both parties. Additionally, trust in small business is high across the board, while big business trustworthiness is low. And when it comes to the U.S. Supreme Court, neither party has much confidence.

So, what does this tell us?

Well, America is fractured in many regards, but also united in some ways (we all seem to like the military and small business). And the pandemic increased trust in some institutions, like public health systems. That said, the fact that we’re all highly unconfident in Congress doesn’t seem to be a good thing, does it?

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