Although Americans’ confidence in most major U.S. institutions remains below historical levels for most institutions, two institutions are notable for rating higher than their historical levels, the military at 72% and small business at 67% (as measured by the sum of respondents who said “a great deal” or “quite a lot” of confidence), according to the June 2-7 Gallup Poll. The news today is full of reports about battles and wars in many parts of the world, and Americas troops are participating in many of them. The confidence levels presumably reflect Americans’ views of their soldiers, sailors, and flyers are they go off to do battle. However, Gallup is silent as to whether these levels would be high and rising regarding the quality of care we take of our wounded (both physically and mentally), but given the well-publicized snafu’s of the VA hospital network, we suspect that the ratings would be low (though perhaps better this year than the recent past).
As can be seen on the Gallup website, many other institutions’ confidence levels have slipped, some of them seriously. Government as a whole has taken a big hit, with each of the presidency, Supreme Court, and Congress off from their historical averages by huge (double-digit) percentages. Organized religion is also in bad shape. Also, the media, both newspapers and television, have slipped seriously. Curiously, Internet news (which one year ago was marginally better than television news) was not included in the ratings this year. Hmmm.