Trust is not something most Americans have in their government these days.
When asked whether they see the government as an advocate or an adversary for them and their families, the response was 42% advocate, 38% adversary.
The survey also revealed that Americans by more than 2-1 say the best way to make positive changes in society is through volunteer organizations and charities, not by being active in government.
Additionally, the poll found that the vast majority of Americans have never seriously considered running for public office. The ones who have, based on those surveyed, amount to 14% of the population, totaling about 40 million people.
Americans under the age of 30 are particularly fed up with politics, and are significantly less likely than their parents to say participating in politics is a worthwhile expenditure of their time.
“These two worlds of civic life and of public life used to be almost the same world, but these worlds have clearly separated,” Paul Light, a professor of public service at New York University, told USA Today.
He added that among the students he teaches, he sees “a general sense that politics is for losers, for ne’er-do-wells, for the corrupt and for the under-motivated and greedy.”