Gaps in the Quality of Government?

Excerpt #30 from Political Trust & Distrust. One paragraph per day.

Survey data suggest that many Americans see large gaps between the way things should be and how they are.  According to data from the Pew Research Center, there were two high-points:

  • Americans expected the military to remain politically neutral, and they believed it had;
  • people expected to be able to protest peacefully, and most they believed they could in 2018. By 2020, fewer people thought so.

There were also some serious gaps:

  • Free and fair political competition was in doubt, particularly as regards the impact of big money.
  • Accountability was in doubt, with large gaps shown for government transparency and the likelihood that official misconduct would be punished. 

The traffic light is flashing yellow for all of the other indicators.  Particular attention should be paid to rights and freedoms – the share of people who think their rights and freedoms are in good shape fell markedly between 2018 and 2020.

Image: Pew Research Center and

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