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Donald Trump, Lying, and Eroding Social Trust

The following excerpt is from an article that originally appeared on Hit and Run Reason

Cpenler/DreamstimeAmericans’ trust in their national government hovers around historic lows according to a Pew Research Center poll this month. The poll reports that “only 18 percent of Americans today say they can trust the government in Washington to do what is right ‘just about always’ (3 percent) or ‘most of the time’ (15 percent).” This is down from a post–September 11 high of 60 percent in 2001. In modern polling, public trust in the federal government was at its zenith at 77 percent, in 1964.

Americans are not just more skeptical of their government; their trust in their fellow citizens has also been declining. Since 1972, the General Social Survey has been asking Americans if “most people could be trusted.” In 1984, 47 percent answered yes. In 2014, the last year for which data is available, interpersonal trust had fallen to 31 percent—the lowest level so far.

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