A recent survey of America's institutions is very bad news for Congress and very good news for the military.
Only 8% of those polled trust Congress. Fifty-four percent trust the military. At first I thought that this was an excellent result. Congress doesn't really deserve our trust and the military does.
However, a second and third thought gave me pause. Is this healthy? I mean, is it healthy for a nation's citizens to trust its military more than its democratically elected representatives?
Don't get me wrong here: I agree with these results! America's military is a top-notch, professional organization stocked with well-trained, dedicated men and women who risk their lives daily for the maintenance of our nation's security. Can we say the same for Congress? Hardly.
So, what's the problem? The military is not (and should not be) a democratic institution. What does it say about the nation's direction that we trust an authoritarian organization more than a democratic one?
For a minute or two there I had visions of Americans welcoming military rule. Is such a thing possible? Of course it is. Probable? No. But the level of anger and frustration with Congress, the President, and the Courts increases the chances of seeing some sort of authoritarian rule in the future.
Natural disasters, economic collapse, terrorism, etc. push us toward longing for the kinds of decisive, non-political solutions to our nearly overwhelming problems that the military could provide. I am confident that our military men and women would resist taking on the power and responsibilities that martial law would require. . .
Sadly, religious institutions rank slightly below our public schools as trustworthy. Frankly, this is the spot we deserve.
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