Gallup: Confidence in Congress at All-Time Low

By | June 20, 2014

[June 20, 2014] Public confidence in the U.S. Congress is at an all-time low, according to a survey released yesterday by Gallup. Only seven percent of U.S. citizens said they have either a “great deal” (4%) or “quite a lot” (3%) of confidence in Congress. Of 17 institutions, Congress comes out last. In contrast, the U.S. military leads with 74 percent confidence1. Many people believe this is due to a complete lack of leadership in our senior political leaders.  Fortunately, there are leadership lessons that can be learned from this.

Congress-450What makes this loss in confidence worse is the continued decline in public perceptions of the Congress. The problem occurs, of course, when people lose both confidence and respect for an institution they depend upon. What the survey does not do is break down the reasons for the loss in confidence. In addition, what are the lessons for leaders that can be found?

It should be noted that “confidence” in any institution is influenced by history and culture. For example, the American political system was not designed to be an efficient operation. Consequently, it has never enjoyed a high level of confidence from the public. For today however, here are just a few of the reasons (perceptions) for low confidence in the U.S. Congress:

  1. Self-interested and care little about the people they represent
  2. Do not tell the truth and hide information from the public
  3. Isolated in Washington DC from real problems
  4. Exempt themselves from laws made for everyone else
  5. Extremely partisan and unwilling to compromise
  6. Hyperbole, name calling, “over-the-top” rhetoric

One-on-one contrast to the characteristic of a leader:

  1. Selfless service
  2. Truth, honor, integrity
  3. Understanding of the issues and problems of people
  4. Do not have others do, what they themselves would not do
  5. Cooperation and compromise is standard procedure
  6. Respect for others

This should not be surprising. What is of great interest and for another blog posting, is how the U.S. Congress interacts with the U.S. military.

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[1] Gallup News Service, June Survey. To download the 3-page report, click here.

Author: Douglas R. Satterfield

Hello. I provide one article every day. My writings are influenced by great thinkers such as Friedrich Nietzsche, Karl Jung, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, Jean Piaget, Erich Neumann, and Jordan Peterson, whose insight and brilliance have gotten millions worldwide to think about improving ourselves. Thank you for reading my blog.

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