The more that comes out, the less the American people trust the government, polls show
Yet another ‘Breaking News!’ alert sounded on one of the several networks that resorts to them too frequently, and this time the breaking news was that ‘the public is losing trust in the Obama administration.’ Really? Really?
That could raise the debatable point about how much currency the administration still held in the public trust at any point you want to name post-election when apparently enough citizens trusted this president with the country to give his administration control of it for another four years. But that’s another discussion and one seriously outdated at the moment. We’ve moved into new territory in recent months, unchartered since the Revolution, as Senator Rand Paul frequently reminds reporters when he recalls that ‘soldiers went house to house for search and seizure’ but this government is scooping up private information about citizens’ lives without their awareness and therefore without their consent.
So about that ‘public trust’ business that broke into the news cycle, different news outlets and polling companies are continually taking the pulse of the public on everything that happens in American public life, and the results seemed to have reached a tipping point.
‘Most Americans disapprove of NSA phone-record collecting‘ reflected this set of polls. Here’s the CBS one:
Majorities of Republicans and independents oppose the government collecting phone records of ordinary Americans; Democrats are divided.
A day later, polls changed again. If you’re wonkish, read the whole thing. It’s interesting to see how different polls ask questions.
Get that? The entire population. And Obama first told Americans not to worry, it’s foreigners the program is after.
I got all exercised over the government trying to control and regulate property rights on the internet through SOPA and PIPA. How silly, given the government’s control over that as a minimum.
Sufficiently confused? Yes. This doesn’t follow any lines, any prototype, people aren’t yet sure. But they – we – are certainly uneasy. We haven’t had a healthy trust of government for a long time. Less so now.
Of course. Now he’s the government and controls most of it.
It’s not a virus. It’s a healthy immune system.
Trust in government, historically, ebbs and flows, and currently, because of the Internal Revenue Service, the Justice Department, Benghazi, etc.—and the growing evidence the executive agencies have been reduced to mere political tools—is at an ebb that may not be fully reversible anytime soon. It is a great irony, and history will marvel at it, that the president most committed to expanding the centrality, power, prerogatives and controls of the federal government is also the president who, through lack of care, arrogance, and an absence of any sense of prudential political boundaries, has done the most in our time to damage trust in government.
And don’t forget his promise of the most transparent government Americans have known, which Americans eagerly sought. We’re getting it now. Through serial leaks.