This article written by Carl Smith is published by Governing. Here is an excerpt:
Public trust in government has declined dramatically since the 1960s. That’s also the time that civics courses began to disappear from school curricula. Today about one in four Americans trust the federal government to do the right thing all or most of the time. (Paradoxically, almost one in three say they are “basically content” with it.)
Whether ballot counting, law enforcement, public health mandates or election “reform,” government has done something to exasperate Americans on every part of the political spectrum in the past year. The most dramatic manifestation of this frustration, the Jan. 6 invasion of the Capitol to prevent Congress from certifying the results of the presidential election, was also a profound demonstration of civic illiteracy.
With record high turnout, the outcome of the 2020 election was determined through transparent democratic processes and procedures refined over centuries. Yet general understanding of the details and rigor of election administration was weak enough that unsupported accusations of fraud, amplified by social media, were enough to shake the confidence of millions of citizens.
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