A mere 26 percent of Americans 'trust' the federal government

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Some Americans feel like they live in a police state, others are discouraged by a sense of waning opportunity or flagging optimism. Do we have national malaise?

Yes. It’s called “federal government,” suggests some new research.

“Overall, 53 percent of Americans think that the federal government threatens their own rights and freedoms, says a survey conducted by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press, which also reveals that 70 percent of Republicans feel this threat, as do 76 percent of conservative Republicans. In contrast, 38 percent of Democrats agree, as do 34 percent among liberal Democrats.

Then there is the matter of trust. Or distrust.

“For the past seven years, a period covering the final two years of the Bush administration and Obama’s entire presidency, no more than about three-in-10 Americans have said that they trust the government in Washington to do the right thing always or most of the time,” Pew says.

“The current survey finds only about quarter (26 percent) saying they can trust the government always or most of the time, while nearly three-quarters (73 percent) say that they can trust government only some of the time, or volunteer that they can never trust the government.”

Notes a querulous Republican source, “I don’t need poll numbers to tell me all this.”

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