Trust in government has become a fairly significant issue over the past 40-50 years. Prior to the Vietnam War, people generally had trust in the government. They believed the government was working on their behalf. They also believed the government was telling them the truth, or at least as much as the government could share, about events that were occurring. This trust took a major hit in the 1960s.
In the 1960s, a credibility gap developed that still exists today. The government was sharing information about the Vietnam War that didn’t match with the news reports and the television images of what was going on in the war. People were convinced the government wasn’t being honest with them. This feeling was somewhat proven by the Pentagon Papers. The expansion of the war into Cambodia also didn’t help with this perception.
In the 1970s, trust took another big hit. President Nixon insisted he had nothing to do with the Watergate Scandal. However, as more information became available, it became clear President Nixon had some role in the cover-up of the scandal. He had to resign his office becoming the only President to do so.
Today, many people believe special interests and people with lots of money run and influence the government. It seems the political parties can’t or won’t agree on anything. It appears little is getting done by the gridlock that seems to exist on the national level.
While there are people who continue to trust our government and who believe that our government works for them and has their best interests at heart, more and more people are voicing their dissatisfaction with the government according to national polls. This dissatisfaction and lack of trust seem to be growing each and every day.