Americans faith in the three branches of government is nearing all-time lows, according to a recent survey via Gallup.
In 2009, President Barack Obama entered office at a time when confidence in the office of the presidency had reached historic low level, bottoming out in 2007 at 25 percent. Obama’s election amid a wave of “hope” resulted in a rebound in Americans’ faith in the presidency. Six years later, however, that rating has again collapsed.
In 2009, 51 percent said they had confidence in the Oval Office. Today, only 29 percent say the same.
The executive branch is in good company. In 1991, 48 percent expressed confidence in the judicial branch. Only 30 percent say the same today. Whereas 30 percent said that they had faith in Congress in 1991, only 7 percent say the same today.
The June 5 – 8 poll showed that confidence in government has ebbed dramatically in just the last two years. Since 2012, confidence in the Supreme Court, the presidency, and the Congress has plummeted by 7 points, 8 points, and six points respectively.
Gallup’s conclusions are among the most disturbing for those who support America’s tradition of representative governance:
While Americans clearly have the lowest amount of confidence in the legislative branch, ratings for all three are down and are at or near their lowest points to date. At this point, Americans place much greater faith in the military and the police than in any of the three branches of government.
The only institutions which maintain the public’s support are those with a monopoly on the legitimate use of violence. While a Seven Days in May scenario remains an unthinkable one, one wonders if the public would be particularly disturbed if one did arise.