Why have Americans Lost Trust in the Government?
- Barack Obama , DACA , Donald Trump , Policy , United States
How it works
Throughout history Americans have viewed the government as the highest department to ever exist. Whenever there was a problem in the country we looked to the government and the officials within the government to solve the issues at hand. As we’ve evolved as a society or even more than that, a country, we’ve began to lose trust and respect for the government. Why might such a high departement lose the trust of their citizens? Looking deeper into the behaviors of political parties, citizen participation, congressional, and the media, one can soon begin to realize the answer to that very question. Being as the current President of the United States is Republican Donald Trump, it could come as a surprise that his own political party felt ashamed with some of the choices he has made. It has been analyzed and proven that Russian President Vladimir Putin and his team, tampered with the United States election system to rig the votes in favor of one President Trump. Instead of reprimanding Mr. Putin, Trump played off his actions as if it was nothing. When reading an article, it was expressed by many Republican officials that they did not approve of the way President Trump sided with Vladimir Putin. Some of the responses to the subject were, from Senator John McCain,who said this was “one of the most disgraceful performances by an American president in memory.’ Another response came from Lindsey Graham, who tweeted that it was a ‘bad day for the US.’
Seeing that the officials from our own president’s party don’t agree with some of the actions he has done, is there any question why citizens may be hesitant on trusting the government? If we as citizens see that government officials don’t trust their very own president then there is no question why we are hesitant to trust them. As it was realized when talking about the republicans, we as americans are becoming very hesitant with how much we are willing to trust the government. Evaluating citizen participation, a study has shown that the turnout of voting for the 2014 midterm election was at its lowest in almost 70 years with just 36.4 percent of eligible voters turning out to the voting polls. At this point in time our President was Democrat Barack Obama and the result of this midterm election was that the Republicans took control of the house. Looking at these statistics one might wonder, how could the Republicans take control of the house with a Democrat in office?
How it works
Looking at the results of this year’s election, which according to an article, set a record as the first midterm election to exceed a voter turnout of 100 million people, that question may be simple to answer. As a result of the 2018 midterm election where 48% of eligible voters went to the polls and exercised their right to vote, the Democrats were able to take control of most of the house and the Republicans gained ground of the Senate. As we know the President at this point in time is Republican Donald Trump. After reviewing the statistics of the 2018 midterm election one can see the similarities it has to the 2014 midterm election. During both these elections, the political party that was opposite of the party that the current President identified with took control of the house in some way. The difference between the 2014 election and the 2018 election is that during the 2014 election the turnout was at its lowest while in 2018 the turnout was only 8% shy of the highest turnout which was in 2016. Does the President in office have any correlation with the statistics at hand? I strongly believe that the reasoning for these statistics has something to do with the person in office at both times. In the 2014 election the eligible voting percentage was 36.9 with only 8 percent of that being the vote of a Hispanic.
During the 2018 election the eligible voting percentage was 48 with 9 percent of the vote being the vote of a Hispanic. Even though, the vote only went up by one percent with the Hispanic demographic, could the increase in votes from this race be because Hispanics are in some ways afraid of President Trump and his views? It has been reported that President Trump has tweeted statements such as, ‘I would build a great wall, and nobody builds walls better than me, believe me, and I’ll build them very inexpensively. I will build a great great wall on our southern border and I’ll have Mexico pay for that wall.’ He has also stated comments such as “When somebody comes in, we must immediately, with no Judges or Court Cases, bring them back from where they came.” Being as Mexico is a hispanic country, hispanics that live here in the United States are scared of his statements of deportation and plans for building a wall. Monica Bauer, director of Hispanic affairs at the Anti-Defamation League has stated that, “It’s so much fear that I think the word doesn’t really convey. It’s almost terrified, like it’s beyond fear. It’s paralyzing fear.” According to an article, when President Obama was in office, Hispanics felt no fear and in some ways felt safer than they ever did before; ‘Under the Obama administration, we were safe.’ After reviewing these statements and statistics, I think it’s safe to say that the reason for the increase in voting was solely because citizens don’t trust who is in office and knew that voting was the only way to take people like Trump and his team out of office. One of the biggest reasons for americans distrust in the government has to do with the congressional differences within the system. Recently, there has been many battles between the Republican Party and the Democratic Party. The feud that is about to be discussed led to the shutdown of the government. The feud between the two parties began because “Led by President Trump, Republicans accused Senate Democrats of holding hostage of the entire government and health insurance from millions of children over their demands for an immigration bill.”
After the Republicans accused the Democrats of such actions, the Democrats came back and expressed that they, “blamed Republicans and Trump for a basic failure to govern. This shutdown is the first in history to occur when a single party controls both chambers of Congress and the White House. They blamed Trump for repeatedly backing out of agreements that would have resolved the dispute.” The main reasons for this never ending feud are because of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals(DACA), a long term budget deal, defense spending, and the Children’s Health Insurance Program. Firstly, they were having feuds over DACA because according to an article, “Ever since Trump announced in September that he would end the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program on March 5th unless Congress acted to extend it, Democrats in the House and Senate have been clamoring for a permanent legislative fix to protect the young immigrants known as Dreamers.” Next, they were having feuds about a long term deal budget because according to an article, “ a fight over whether a significant increase in defense spending demanded by the Trump administration must be matched by an equal boost in domestic spending, which Democrats want. Officials in both parties have said in recent days that the two sides are actually close to a budget deal, but that Democratic leaders won’t give it their blessing until an immigration agreement is also reached.” Then, there has been a feud about defense spending because according to an article, “Republican defense hawks in the House and Senate have revolted over the lack of a full-year spending bill for the Pentagon, which is particularly hamstrung by continuing resolutions that restrict the Defense Department’s ability to plan ahead.”
Lastly, there has been feuds about the Children’s Health Insurance Program because according to an article, “Congress allowed the program to lapse in the fall before lawmakers agreed to a six-month extension in December. To entice Democrats to vote for a stopgap spending bill without an immigration deal—and to attack them if they didn’t—GOP leaders attached a six-year CHIP reauthorization. Most Democrats didn’t take the bait. They assailed Republicans as cynically trying to use CHIP as a political wedge after insisting for months on spending cuts Democrats opposed.” All these little disputes led to the shutdown of the government and left many people without work. How would that make the average government employee feel? Knowing that the reasoning for the shutdown was over a few disagreements between two opposing parties,makes the government look like a group of kids fighting on the playground. That doesn’t show that the government should be trusted with anything, since they can’t even be trusted to solve arguments like civilized adults. If every time an argument is had you chose to shutdown the government, then maybe we need to rethink how decisions should be made within the government. Throughout the whole essay it was mentioned how certain people and groups have led to the distrust in the government, but how are all of these hesitations being justified?
The way that we are all able to see what’s happening with the government is through the media. The media is what headlines all of the stories that become so prominent in our lives. One of the key pieces of media that has led to americans disconnect with the government is the one and only Twitter. Our current president loves to use twitter to express his thoughts and feelings on the certain issues at hand, but are his tweets making citizens question how much we should really trust him? With him tweeting things such as , ‘How can a dummy dope like Harry Hurt, who wrote a failed book about me but doesn’t know me or anything about me, be on TV discussing Trump?’ As well as, ‘Truly weird Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky reminds me of a spoiled brat without a properly functioning brain. He was terrible at DEBATE!’, there is no question why people may not want to trust the government as much as they did in the past. If we are constantly publizing a leader who lashes back in such a disrespectful way, it becomes hard to trust him or the government as a whole.
All and all, the government has many issues that need to be fixed before any citizen will begin to trust it again. Until we reconsider the people that are in office and learn how to co-exist as opposing parties America will never want to trust the government again. These changes within the government need to happen fast before our country begins to become completely disconnected and we crash and burn as a society.