WASHINGTON, September 30 (RIA Novosti) – Americans trust themselves less than at any time since the 1970s to make judgments about political issues facing the country, but still have significantly more confidence in “the American people’s” decision-making than in politicians’ or the federal government’s, a Gallup poll shows.
Sixty-one percent of Americans said they trusted “the American people” to make the right political decision for the country, down 25 points from 1976, when Americans’ trust in their own political decision-making was at an all-time high of 86 percent, according to the poll.
The government fared even worse, with an all-time low of 49 percent of Americans saying they trusted the federal government's ability to handle international problems, the poll found.
The previous low of 51 percent for Americans’ trust in the government’s ability for handling international problems was recorded in 2007, when the United States was still deeply involved in wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The new data were taken from Gallup's annual Governance survey, conducted Sept. 5-8, as Congress debated the use of military force in Syria but prior to Russia's proposal to avert US military action by getting the Syrian regime to surrender its chemical weapons to international monitors.
Americans’ trust in the government to make the right decision on international issues was at its highest – 83 percent – in October 2001, shortly after the attacks of September 11.
Americans also expressed high levels of confidence in the government on international matters in 1972, when Gallup first asked the question, as the Vietnam War was drawing to a close.
In Gallup’s recent poll, politicians and candidates for political office also got failing marks from Americans for their ability to make the right decisions for the United States, with only 46 percent of US adults saying they had confidence in political figures’ decision-making.
The poll questioned 1,510 adults across the United States and was released as the country teetered on the brink of a government shutdown at midnight Tuesday.