PSA Advisory Board Co-Chair Lee Hamilton discusses why Americans have come to regard Congress so poorly, arguing that this mood is a result of a dysfunctional Washington mired in partisanship, secrecy, and a lack of accountability. This op-ed originally appeared in The Star Press.
The latest New York Times/CBS News poll had bad news for Congress, whose support is down to single digits. But it had even worse news for the Republic. Americans’ distrust of government, the pollsters found, is “at its highest level ever.”
A lot of this ire is focused on Congress, which an overwhelming majority believe is incapable of acting on behalf of the nation as a whole, but it has come to take in all of Washington. The poll’s findings can be summed up in the words of one respondent, a small-businesswoman from Arizona. “Probably the government in Washington could be trusted at one time,” she told the Times, “but now it seems like it’s all a game of who wins rather than what’s best for the people.”