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Poll: Only 1 Group of People Americans Trust Less Than Politicians, Highlights Glaring Issue in Politics

Americans have lost trust in their elected representatives. Members of Congress came in as the second least trusted profession in a Gallup poll released this week. The one profession that Americans hold in lower regard than members of Congress? Telemarketers. The poll, conducted from November to December with a +/- 4 percent margin of error, asked 1,020 Americans to assess the ethics and honesty of members of 18 professions. Members of Congress came in 17th place, with 9 percent of Americans vouching for their “high” or “very high” ethical standards. Telemarketers received 6 percent. This problem isn’t new. Historical polling shows that the congressional approval rating began to decline steadily after 9/11 and has never come close to recovering, even with brief upswings following the inauguration of new presidents. There’s no quick solution, especially in the Information Age. Congress and the federal government are obligated to secure the liberties of the people and promote their general welfare, and there’s a strong argument to be made that Americans have seen their liberties erode and their quality of life decline since the new millennia. Life expectancy declined for the second straight year in 2021. Wages are stagnant relative to inflation and productivity. Homeownership rates have declined this century. Maybe members of Congress should be more concerned about the problems facing their middle-class constituents than they are about social media, fundraising and partisan grifting. One possible way to restore the credibility of Congress would be to introduce more stringent ethical standards involving campaign finance and political action committee funding. Both Republican and Democratic members of Congress have eschewed PAC funding. The Founding Fathers didn’t have legions of lobbyists chasing them through the halls of Congress threatening to fund their campaign opponent if they didn’t support their preferred policy. The United States is one of the most polarized nations in the developed world. President George Washington cautioned Americans against political partisanship in his famous Farewell Address, warning that it could bring about the downfall of the republic. Members of Congress might want to start looking outside the box for answers. This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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