For the past several decades, and especially since the Six-Day War in 1967, the centrepiece of US Middle Eastern policy has been its relationship with Israel. The combination of unwavering support for Israel and the related effort to spread ‘democracy’ throughout the region has inflamed Arab and Islamic opinion and jeopardised not only US security but that of much of the rest of the world. The thrust of US policy in the region derives almost entirely from domestic politics, and especially the activities of the ‘Israel Lobby’.
For four decades, a gut-level ingredient of democracy — trust in the other fellow — has been quietly draining away. These days, only one-third of Americans say most people can be trusted. Half felt that way in 1972, when the General Social Survey first asked the question.
An almost unfathomable gap divides public attitudes on basic issues involving gender, race, religion and politics in America, fueled by dramatic ideological and partisan divisions that offer the prospect of more of the bitter political battles that recently played out in Washington.
The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that just 25% of Likely U.S. Voters think it is even somewhat likely that the federal government will actually secure the border and prevent illegal immigration if that’s part of new immigration legislation. Sixty-five percent (65%) consider it unlikely. This includes only five percent (5%) who say the government is Very Likely to secure the border if it’s part of legislation that would give legal status to those already here illegally and 24% who feel it’s Not At All Likely.
The public sees clear winners and losers as a result of the government’s economic policies following the recession that began in 2008. In the public’s view, the beneficiaries of these policies are large banks and financial institutions, large corporations and wealthy people.
Americans' trust and confidence in the federal government's ability to handle international problems has reached an all-time low, with 49% saying they have a great deal or a fair amount of confidence, two percentage points below the previous low of 51% recorded in 2007.
The September 2013 issue of AEI’s Political Report examines public views of the financial crisis on the fifth anniversary of the fall of Lehman Brothers. This issue also looks into the growing feelings of economic anxiety following the crash.
Gallup asked respondents in two June telephone surveys of first, 1,529 adults and then, of 2,048 adults: “Overall, do you think the signers of the Declaration of Independence would be pleased or disappointed by the way the United States has turned out?”
Americans' distrust in the media hit a new high this year, with 60% saying they have little or no trust in the mass media to report the news fully, accurately, and fairly. Distrust is up from the past few years, when Americans were already more negative about the media than they had been in years prior to 2004.
Americans' confidence in Congress is not only at its lowest point on record, but also is the worst Gallup has ever found for any institution it has measured since 1973. This low level of confidence is in line with Americans' low job approval of Congress, which has also been stuck below 30% for years.
For the past seven years, a period covering the final two years of the Bush administration and President Obama’s first term, no more than about three-in-ten Americans have said they trust the federal government to do the right thing always or most of the time.