Comments about ‘Poll: Americans have little faith in government’

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Published: Thursday, Jan. 2 2014 6:27 a.m. MST

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Thid Barker
Victor, ID

What have conservatives been trying to tell us since 1776? Government is our SERVANT not our masters! Liberals get that reversed. Conservatives believe that free people tell the government what it can and cannot do. Liberals believe the government should tell the people what they can and cannot do. They tell us we must keep our religion out of their government, but they have no problem forcing their government into our religion. They tell us, "you didn't build that" government did it for you". They tell us we must allow them to run our healthcare, our lives, our jobs, how much money we deserve and define our marriages and how we can protect ourselves! Time for another American revolution! Hopefully Americans are waking up before we become like liberal's beloved N. Korea or Cuba.

Baron Scarpia
Logan, UT

It's unfortunate that Americans have such a low opinion of their government, but government's track record this century -- from 9/11 to going to war in Iraq over WMD to government shutdowns to NSA to botched healthcare Web sites -- makes it difficult to trust government.

I keep thinking back to Reagan's ongoing "joke" about government's incompetence in the 1980s -- "Government is the problem, not the solution." It was meant to inspire "fixing" government to be more effective, but it increasingly became "justification" to just "hate" government and expect things to get better with either a tax cut or de-regulation (less government). Sadly, we saw what can happen with these two simple-minded policy measures during the Bush Administration -- the Great Recession, deficits, and government bailouts.

Less government doesn't equate to effective government.

History shows that our government has done so many great things -- from freeing Europe from Hilter's terror to the building of railroads and highways to landing on the moon to establishing civil rights to all. Perhaps today's ObamaCare and gay marriage are examples of government-driven progress, but public opinion won't recognize it till decades later.

Thid Barker
Victor, ID

@ Baron Scarpia. It wasn't the "government" that stopped Hitler and other dictators like Saddam and bin Laden it was brave men and women in uniform fighting corrupt GOVERNMENTS that foolish Germans, Iraqis and Japanese allowed to get out of control. Its thinking like yours that puts dictators and tyrants in power!

Open Minded Mormon
Everett, 00

Thid Barker
Victor, ID

========

Let's make sure you get put on GW Bush's NSA "Government Haters" watch list...

Mark B
Eureka, CA

I can think of three non-generic reasons why faith in government is low.

1 Freedom of speech allows a screaming, ranting part of the broadcast industry to dedicate itself to being watched and listen to by government haters who confuse wisdom and cynicism every day.

2 Congress has sunk to an all-time low of actual productive output, with one side completely devoted to supporting its financial base at the cost of the poor and unemployed.

3 These same members of Congress now actually counsel us that the US can stiff our creditors without risk, and float through life without health insurance.

If TB is trying to say that World War II was won without the input of large, powerful AND competent government (and not just that of the US) then he could not be more wrong. Liberals have never put a dictator in power, although governments of both parties have kept some heavy-handed rulers in place in the name of "anti-communism".

Unreconstructed Reb
Chantilly, VA

"It wasn't the "government" that stopped Hitler and other dictators like Saddam and bin Laden it was brave men and women in uniform fighting corrupt GOVERNMENTS that foolish Germans, Iraqis and Japanese allowed to get out of control.

Maybe my history is a little iffy, but I seem to recall those brave men and women in *uniform* -- specifically, the *uniform* of the governments that called them to service, paid them, fed them, clothed them, and armed them in the fight against tyranny and fascism.

Both sides of the war had governments. Just because the governments on one side (and at least one major power on the winning side) had a severe deficit of democracy says nothing about the value of governments generally. The lesson is that governments must be minded by the people to prevent tyrannical abuse.

"Its thinking like yours that puts dictators and tyrants in power!"

It's preposterous to argue that pointing out some of the benefits government can bring leads down the road to tyranny. But if you want to refight WWII to give your modern anti-government views some sort of righteous anger as a banner to rally around, knock yourself out.

Christopher B
Ogden, UT

Well, when barack tells us he'd only be a one term president if he didn't cut the deficit in half and then he increased it, not much to be hopeful about.

Thid Barker
Victor, ID

@ Mark B.& U. Reb: The government isn't the military, its the IRS, the NSA, the EPA, Kathleen Sibelius' Obamacare health department and every other overpaid, unaccountable bureaucracy in Washington DC. Don't believe it, just don't OBEY them and see what happens to you are yours!

Unreconstructed Reb
Chantilly, VA

Thid Barker, if the military isn't part of the aame government in the same way as the IRS, the NSA, the EPA, HHS, and "every other overpaid, unaccountable bureaucracy" then we have a serious, serious command and control problem going on in that five-sided building across the Potomac from DC. Your argument trying to separate the two is absurd.

Thid Barker
Victor, ID

We have an all VOLUNTEER military these days! It easy to separate the brave men and women in the military from that five-sided building full of career bureaucrats that get us into wars! If you can't see the difference, you must have never served in the military.

Open Minded Mormon
Everett, 00

Thid Barker
Victor, ID
@ Mark B.& U. Reb: The government isn't the military,

10:17 a.m. Jan. 2, 2014

=========

What the?...
As a Veteran, I've never been so insulted in all my life!

Obviously, someone who has NEVER served his Country, in the Military, in the GOVERNMENT.

Unreconstructed Reb
Chantilly, VA

Thid Barker, you cannot attack government on the grounds that you don't like the government agencies you list, then somehow separate those agencies from the armed services. They are all arms of the government. You cannot condemn all government as tyranny and in the same breath laud the military. There is no exemption from government when it comes to the military, and your insistence on a difference is, frankly, bizarre. If anything, the military has the potential to be government's greatest threat to democracy, which is why many founders wanted to ban a standing peacetime army.

The military is part of the government. As you point out, its employees voluntarily joined it. NSA, IRS, HHS are also all part of the government. Their employees also voluntarily joined their respective agencies, so I have no idea what your point about the all-volunteer military is if it's to somehow demonstrate a difference. They *all* draw paychecks from the US treasury.

And I served 13 months as an infantry officer in Iraq. You're welcome, and don't presume to lecture me on government, civic duty, and what I don't seem to understand.

Commodore
West Jordan, UT

There is good reason to have little faith in government. Our government has allowed large corporations and individuals to amass so much power and influence that Chomsky indicates we are no longer functioning as a democracy, but as a plutocracy. A casual inspection of historical events will show this is the case.

VST
Bountiful, UT

Two examples of how the Federal Government is supposed to function:

Per the Constitution, it is the duty of the Federal Government to fund, train, equip, and send to war a standing military.

Per this same Constitution, there is no enumerated Constitutional right to provide healthcare by virtue of the fact that the Constitution says nothing about healthcare. Therefore, per this same Constitution, the power to regulate healthcare is left to the States.

But this current Administration and many members of the Legislature, thinks otherwise. Therein lays the problem of why the Federal Government has poor poll numbers.

ute alumni
SLC, UT

As long as we have the likes of barry, nancy, harry and the other liberals that look at government as the solution, it will be impossible for americans trust anything they say. These three are the faces of hypocrisy and deceit. Hopefully more makers than takers will show up next year to get real conservatives in the congress and get rid of the likes of the above, and some repubs too. Unforetunately, we are stuck with barry for three more LONG years.

SCfan
clearfield, UT

Mark B

You make some good points about Congress, but you seem to forget that Obama, as President these last 5 years is also to blame. This article would be great fodder for those of us who want to blame Democrats, because they have had the most political power these last 7 years. However, I do think the real problem lies simply in the fact that our Federal government is so huge that it cannot be controlled. Even if a President and Congress wanted to control it. It has become a leviathian. Maybe there is something to be said for the Parlimentary system like used in England and other places. If things are going wrong, the people can vote out the party who holds all the power. In our system, it is both parties who are responsible and therefore, the electorate feel there is no where to go for a fix to the mess. And then again, some would argue that the system of checks and balances is working exactly as envisioned. If the country if divided about 50/50 we get a lot of stalemate government. And right now I'd say we are pretty evenly divided on major issues.

worf
Mcallen, TX

What difference does this make if we can't get these people out of office?

Are the people of our United States, really in charge?

Mark B
Eureka, CA

VST: While defending the country is on of the government's prime responsibilities, there's no mention of a "standing army" in the Constitution itself. The way to handle the matter was left to succeeding generations.

The same can be said of healthcare. In fact, SCOTUS has already ruled on the constitutionality of Obamacare. As you know, it was approved. So the old "If it isn't in the Constitution, then it's not legal" argument again doesn't hold water, except perhaps to Justice Thomas.

SCfan
clearfield, UT

Mark B

your "living breathing" interpretation of the Constitution, which is what most liberals believe, is a dangerous power because it opens up the Constitution to be all that anyone wants it to be, or not to be. In my opinion, judges should never have been given power to "interpret" the constitution. That is like interpreting the Bible. Or an actor interpreting a role, like Hamlet. You are free to do whatever you want with it. If judges can do the same with the Constitution of the U.S. then we might as well just throw out the whole thing and declare that judges in America will now make law from the bench with their own opinion as they see it. The Constitution should be a guideline that judges use to "APPLY" the law, not interpret/make it from the bench. If something is missing, get it added, but don't make it up as you go along. That is why Justice Thomas and others are considered strict constructionists, wanting to keep the origional intent as our countries baseline of lawmaking.

george of the jungle
goshen, UT

I learned recently that America is only 5% of the worlds population and takes 80% of the prescription drugs 50% of the the other drugs. Were incapacitated, too compliant, not the revolutionary people of 1776.

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