For conservatives, dismay over America’s present and despair about its future can become a default setting.
From “microaggressions” and “safe spaces” on college campuses to presidential assassination fantasies from entertainers to ambushes of Congressional leaders on baseball fields, it often seems that we’re disintegrating as a society.
Often, however, quantifiable reality beyond the subjective media cacophony actually offer reason for optimism. This week, we received just such an offering from Gallup.
Each year since 1993, Gallup has surveyed the American public on its level of confidence in the leading U.S. institutions “that affect their daily lives.” This year, the sixteen institutions surveyed were: (1) banks; (2) big business; (3) churches and organized religion; (4) Congress; (5) the criminal justice system; (6) internet news; (7) the medical system; (8) the military; (9) newspapers; (10) organized labor; (11) police; (12) the presidency; (13) public schools; (14) small businesses; (15) television news; and (16) the U.S. Supreme Court.
The bad news is that Americans continue to express generally low confidence in most American institutions:
Americans are still skeptical of most of the major institutions that make up U.S. society. Major institutions have an average of 35% “great deal/quite a lot” confidence rating overall. Only three institutions garner a confidence rating above 50%.
But that last reference brings us to the encouraging news, at least from a conservative perspective.
Namely, three institutions that conservatives most value lead all others by a significant margin:
Overall, U.S. adults say they have the most confidence in the military, as has typically been the case since the mid-1980s. Americans have almost as much confidence in small business as they do in the military. Confidence levels drop off substantially after these two, with only one other institution – the police – getting a combined ‘great deal’ or ‘quite a lot’ of confidence rating over 50%.
Digging a bit deeper into the numbers, an impressive 72% of Americans express a “great deal” or “quite a lot” of confidence in the military. A similarly high 70% express that confidence in small business, and 57% maintain the same confidence in our nation’s police.
In contrast, Americans express extremely low levels of esteem toward institutions with which conservatives remain mutually antagonistic.
Only 24% of respondents express confidence toward television news organizations, 27% toward newspapers, 28% toward organized labor and just 16% toward internet news organizations. Accordingly, while so many in the mainstream media continue their drumbeat of negativism toward President Trump, it might serve them well to ruminate over how Americans view them even more negatively than the President.
With regard to police, Gallup’s results are confirmed by other survey organizations, including Rasmussen Reports just last month:
It’s been a rough few years to be a police officer, with high-profile police shootings and riots dominating the news. But despite the negative press, Americans still value the police. A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey finds that most American adults (70%) rate the performance of the police in the area where they live as good or excellent. That’s virtually unchanged from 2016, but up from 67% in late 2014.
Apparently, the fraudulent “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot” campaign across so many American cities beginning in 2014 only increased the public’s level of support for police.
Speaking of President Trump, it will come as unwelcome news to liberals that even Newsweek recently acknowledged that he maintains a higher approval level than Bill Clinton did at the same point in his presidency:
His approval rating is, at least for the moment, a hair better than where President Bill Clinton stood at the same point in his first term. Different polling outfits put Trump at varying levels of approval, but the RealClearPolitics average had him at 39.8 percent Tuesday, while the weighted average from FiveThirtyEight had him at exactly 39 percent. Not great numbers, but still better than Clinton. On day 138 of his presidency, just 37.8 percent of Americans approved of the job he was doing, according to FiveThirtyEight.
Finally, it’s notable that although only 21% in Gallup’s survey expressed confidence in big business, 70% trust and respect small business. That suggests that in this era of crony capitalism and ever-increasing micromanagement of our lives by government at the federal, state and local levels, Americans can distinguish between those more likely to engage in regulatory capture versus smaller businesses more commonly victimized by it.
Accordingly, although reasons for pessimism in contemporary culture abound, we must also recognize that in so many ways we continue to weather the storm.
From - CFIF.org - by Timothy H. Lee