Previous posts have discussed relatively low levels of confidence in major institutions. At The Washington Post, Chris Cillizza writes:
What’s the upshot for politics of this faltering confidence in these sorts of “pillar” institutions on which American society was built?
The simplest answer is that there are no more trusted referees. Everyone of them is viewed suspiciously and their motives for acting tend to be regarded through a cynical lens.
What that suspicion and cynicism produce is a huddling effect among partisans. Convinced that the honest brokers simply don’t exist, they tend to seek political sustenance from those who affirm their points of view. They watch the same TV shows, listen to the same radio stations, shop at the same places and live in the same neighborhoods as people who believe like they do. Interactions with people with which they disagree and entities like Congress or the news media dwindle.
Among people loosely or not-at-all aligned with a major political party, the erosion of confidence in institutions leads to a sort of throwing up of the hands and a disinterest, broadly, in what government and politics can (or will do) in their lives. Why care about Congress if you don’t trust in their motives? Same goes for the news industry.