Trust: Do you trust the American people?

This entry is part 1 of 5 in the series Trust
Clicking on this chart takes you to the Gallup website where you can read the entire Gallup report.

Clicking on this chart takes you to the Gallup website where you can read the entire Gallup report. (KEY TO THE CHART: Dark green represents “the American people” while light green is “Politicians.”)

Trust in government is way down, as we all know.  Poll after poll has tracked the lack of confidence we have in our political leaders and institutions.

What about trust in the American people?

Do you trust your fellow Americans to make good judgments about the issues facing our country?

About six of ten (61%) Americans have a great deal or a fair amount of trust in the American people “when it comes to making judgments under our democratic system about the issues facing our country,” according to a new Gallup poll.  About a third (33%) says they don’t have very much trust and confidence in the American people, with 6% saying none at all.

Here’s the kicker: 61% is the lowest level of trust and confidence since Gallup starting asking this question almost 40 years ago.  In 1974, 83% of Americans had a great deal or fair amount of trust and confidence in the American people.  The peak was 1976 at 86%. Since then, the trend has been generally downward, slipping under 70% in 2010 and reaching its all-time low now.

Democrats have more trust and confidence in the American people, compared to Republicans and Independents.  But, as Gallup reports, “all three party groups are less trusting now than in the past.”

Are you surprised to learn that Americans’ trust in the American people has been declining?

What accounts for this downward trend?

Do you trust the American people?

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Comments: (4)
Categories: Critical Patriotism


  1. seasideroses says:

    I am not surprised that our trust in our fellow Americans has waned over the years.
    We observe that people are paying less and less attention to what’s going on in govt, who is running it, and what they’re doing that we should be out in the streets demonstrating over. We see that people have been “dumbed down” and “put to sleep”, and thus are easily duped and led into voting for and accepting people that are gradually heating the water in our pot.
    Whoever has been in control of our social institutions since the 60’s has systematically removed God, rational thinking, good education, and common sense from the curriculum, the public square, the media, etc. , etc, until they have produced mindless sheep that are easily controlled because they don’t know and don’t care that they are being controlled.
    So, I no longer trust the public as a whole, since I experience that the majority are able to by default to force the “still awake and aware” minority to be subjected to the deceit and subterfuge that is going on in all levels of society and institutions in our country as well as in the whole world.

  2. The American people have the privilege of showing their trust in their elected officials and their fellow Americans when they VOTE. Your ballot shows that your candidate will represent you and your values. You trust him to do this if elected. Our problem is the candidates do not do what they say in the campaign. They claim to represent the people of their district but not necessarily yours. This is the conundrum of our system of government. We only can change by trying to change others to our values. The problem as I see it, there is no accountability to the people. We the people have to trust our fellow voter to make a change we support. Trust thus becomes central to the system of government.
    Ramblin Rob

  3. Given the gun violence we tolerant that shocks the rest of the World and the clear inequities of the system which touts Capitalism but then says “Too Big To Fail!” Where Big Money (The Koch bros.) buy the electorate at astonishing rates. No, I have lost a great deal of faith in our american citizens who are easily distracted by media and selfish greed whenever they get a chance. All great civilizations decline and lose power on the world stage. That’s us. A few rail against this but apathy destroys and entropy is the direction. I believe in the vote for now and delight in seeing billionaires lose millions backing losing candidate who are unelectable. Oh well.

  4. Dennis Crouch says:

    The polls are not surprising. However, I would think the rating of “trust in our fellow Americans” represents more the lack of knowledge the average American displays and not necessarily “trust.”

    The complete polarization of the Democratic and Republican party has much to do with the promise that “In 5 days we will have a complete transformation of the United States.” This transformation was not wanted by half of the United States populace and its ideologogy is so different from the history of our country as a Republic and belief in the Free Enterprise system that its caused a complete breakdown in our democratic principles. The current administration and Democrats have championed this “transformation.” The differences are so great that cries of “extremism” ring througout our government. This seeming gridlock in the Executive and Legislative Branches has been responsible for an apparent lack of trust in our government.

    The morality of our country has also been seriously degraded and God has been removed from the Public Square. Every idea is thought to be as good as any other idea. (People are willing to accept anything because, “how can I say my idea is better than anyone elses.”) There are absolutes but our country, a Judeo Christian country, is being belittled and smothered in our country. This view affects the actions of our people and is a significant factor in destroying the trust we have had among our people.

    I for one hope we as a nation can recover. We have been an exceptional nation and what direction we follow in the future will determine the final outcome.