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Charlie Sykes: Sykes Writes

Why We Don't Trust The Government

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My column, posted at RightWisconsin

A new Gallup poll finds that fewer Americans than ever trust their government to handle problems. – either foreign or domestic.

Coming just a few months after President Obama famously urged the country to ignore the voices telling them to distrust tyrannical government, the numbers mark a stunning fall from grace for the president’s government-is-your-friend-and-should-run-your-life narrative. 

Back in May, Obama warned graduates at Ohio State:

"You'll hear voices that incessantly warn of government as nothing more than some separate, sinister entity that's the root of all our problems, even as they do their best to gum up the works; or that tyranny always lurks just around the corner. You should reject these voices. Because what they suggest is that our brave, creative, unique experiment in self-rule is just a sham with which we can't be trusted."

That narrative was, of course, central to the progressive project of growing the welfare and regulatory state and seemed to be in the ascendancy after the 2012 election.

So what went wrong? What accounts for the growing public distrust of the"brave, creative, unique" powers of government?


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