From roots coming from religious founders who believed humans are created in the image of God, to law-makers who want corporations to have human rights. How can Americans trust the law and the government to impose good order if the law is no good? It’s no surprise that public trust in government has hit a historic low. In 2019, only 17 percent of Americans said they trust the government in Washington to do what is right, compared to about 75 percent in 1958, according to a 2019 Pew Research Center report. What’s even more worrying is that three quarter of Americans believe that their fellow citizen’s trust in the federal government is going down and 64 percent believe that people’s trust in each other is shrinking as well and that people are becoming less reliable than they used to be. (Rainie and Perrine, 2019) Respondents offered many reasons for their lack of trust in government: government doing too much, too little, the wrong things or nothing at all. Respondents also cited concerns about how corporations are controlling the political process and how money has corrupted it.
Nearly 64 percent of people know that low trust in the government makes it harder to solve the country’s problems which in their opinion range from guns violence issues to health care, to racism, environmental issues, political processes and others.
If people’s trust in the government and in each other cannot be restored, America will lose the good order since most people now think the law is not good. Fortunately, most Americans (84 percent) think the decline in trust in government can be turned around and 86 percent also believe it is possible to improve people’s trust in each other. American citizens offered many solutions to re-establish trust in the government. Some suggested that money has to be taken out of politics, and that appointed people should not come from industries they oversee. Others said that corporations should not run the government and that election spending, corporate lobbying and campaign spending should be kept under control. (Rainie, Keeter and Perrin, 2009)
Discontent and distrust in the government is clear among Americans. Citizens are unhappy with how things are run in Washington and they feel that are not represented. Some laws make no sense, people oppose them and yet, somehow, they pass the US Supreme Court. US citizens are well aware of the anomalies in their government and the distrust goes well beyond certain races or classes; it has reached skilled-workers, white-collar workers, professionals, lower and middle classes. Distrusted citizens react in different ways. Some, who have dual citizenships, will try to renounce their US citizenship and cut ties with the US, feeling that tax rules are too strict. Others choose rebellions. History has seen black people tired of Supreme Court and the government, rebelling. Women ignored and mistreated, rebelling. Young people, working people, retirees and veterans, thought to be soothed by reforms and regulated by law went on strikes. Streets turn to chaos and order is lost. History repeats itself, and if enough citizens decide they want change but know the government will not listen, they will strike, rebel, and order will be lost. To re-establish order, the government must re-establish trust, and to gain people’s trust again, the government must listen to people’s concerns, address them and establish good laws.