Executive orders can be costly in terms of public approval. There is evidence that presidential approval ratings are negatively affected when presidents use executive orders too often. Many Americans, it seems, become nervous when presidents act unilaterally. This evidence may help explain part of the observed drop in trust for the presidency. The increased use of executive orders to bypass a divided Congress will only make the trend worse.
Excerpted from Trust and the Presidency, Part 5 of 7.
Image: Franklin Roosevelt was deeply unpopular with some Americans in 1935 due, in part, to his prolific use of executive orders. Artist illegible.