Good for Us? Younger Voters Lose Trust in Institutions

Good for Us? Younger Voters Lose Trust in Institutions

The very basis of Second Amendment activism is a jaundiced eye toward state power. Our core belief is that the right to keep and bear arms is the one that protects all the other items in the Bill of Rights from the forces of tyranny who seem never to disappear from human history.

Our opponents like to sneer that we're just a bunch of angry old heterosexual white guys who fear that a robust government will chip away at our unearned privileges for the benefit of various more deserving ethnic, sexual and economic groups. They like to comfort themselves with the notion we are going the way of the wooly mammoth and that activist government will soon be leading younger, better people to the sunny uplands of human happiness. Young people, they think, aren't burdened by our mania for individual rights, and will count on a beneficent state to deliver a secure and joyful existence.

Not so fast, parlor Bolshies. A recent survey by the Harvard Institute of Politics showed that younger people between 18 and 29 have rapidly lost faith in government.

"Compared to one year ago, the level of trust that young Americans between 18- and 29-years-old have in most American institutions tested in our survey has dissipated compared even to last year's historically low numbers. For example, in the last 12 months, trust in the President has decreased from 39 percent to 32 percent, the U.S. military has decreased from 54 percent to 47 percent (the first time below a majority) and the Supreme Court from 40 to 36 percent."


Since the youth vote was one of the keys to both the 2008 and 2012 elections, that news has to chill any advocate of big government. I would suspect few SGN readers will be shocked to hear the news about the President's trust ratings:


"The growing lack of trust in the President comes from Democrats (64% trusted the President to do the right thing all or most of the time in 2013, today the number is 53%) and Independents (31% in 2013, 23% today) — and not from Republicans whose opinion has not changed in the last year. Thirteen percent (13%) of Republicans trust the President to do the right thing all or most of the time."

That 13 percent of Republicans trust the President indicates that 13 percent didn't understand the question.

Not trusting the government is a healthy attitude and should better incline these future voters toward the right to bear arms. What is more disturbing is their increasing alienation toward politics in general:

Do you agree or disagree with each statement?


( % who agree strongly or somewhat )

Elected officials seem to be motivated by selfish reasons

54% - Feb. 2010


55% - Feb. 2011

59% - Mar. 2012

59% - Apr. 2013

62% - Apr. 2014

Elected officials don't seem to have the same priorities I have

51% - Feb. 2010

-       - Feb. 2011

55% - Mar. 2012

56% - Apr. 2013

58% - Apr. 2014

Politics has become too partisan

46% - Feb. 2010

44% - Feb. 2011

49% - Mar. 2012

48% - Apr. 2013

49% - Apr. 2014

People like me do not have any say about what the government does

36% - Feb. 2010

35% - Feb. 2011

37% - Mar. 2012

37% - Apr. 2013

41% - Apr. 2014

Running for office is an honorable thing to do

35% - Feb. 2010

36% - Feb. 2011

35% - Mar. 2012

35% - Apr. 2013

32% - Apr. 2014

Political involvement rarely has any tangible results

23% - Feb. 2010

24% - Feb. 2011

29% - Mar. 2012

28% - Apr. 2013

29% - Apr. 2014

The idea of working in some form of public service is appealing to me

33% - Feb. 2010

33% - Feb. 2011

31% - Mar. 2012

31% - Apr. 2013

29% - Apr. 2014

Now, given gerrymandering and other vote manipulation by polls, the infusion of cash from meddling billionaires like Michael Bloomberg, the cheerleading by the mainstream media for the increasingly unpopular current occupant of the White House and mudslinging campaign tactics that now extend right down to your local dogcatcher race, it's hard to fault the youngsters for cynicism.

But staying engaged with politics is how we hang onto, and preferably expand, our rights. We didn't get right-to-carry laws throughout the country by muttering into our beer. They were earned by continuous, painstaking effort over more than 20 years. Let's hope the young people on our side are the ones who haven't given up on the political process.

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

M134 Mini-Gun

M134 Mini-Gun

While filming the 2018 season of Guns&AmmoTV we had the unique opportunity to fire the M134 Minigun.

Shooting the 20mm Lahti

Shooting the 20mm Lahti

David Fortier had the chance to fire the Lahti L-39 while filming the 2018 season of Guns&AmmoTV while on location at DriveTanks.com.

New Bushnell Prime 1700 and Nitro 1800 Rangefinders

New Bushnell Prime 1700 and Nitro 1800 Rangefinders

Jake Edson of Bushnell Optics tells OSG's Lynn Burkhead about the brand new Prime 1700 and Nitro 1800 rangefinders.

Kyle Lamb and Eric Poole talk SIG pistols

Kyle Lamb and Eric Poole talk SIG pistols

G&A Editor Eric Poole and Viking Tacticals's Kyle Lamb talks about 2 new pistols from SIG Sauer and a Lipsey's Special of the P365.

See More Popular Videos

Trending Articles

The last of Germany's infamous Elefant tank destroyers. Historical

World War II German Elefant Tank Destroyers

Neal S Shera - July 12, 2019

The last of Germany's infamous Elefant tank destroyers.

CRKT makes 17 different knife models exclusively for Ruger, from fixed hunting knives to tactical folders, and many of their models are offered in several different styles. Accessories

Ruger CRKT Knives Review

James Tarr - July 08, 2019

CRKT makes 17 different knife models exclusively for Ruger, from fixed hunting knives to...

No one can restore receptivity to another Trump term with these disaffected gun owners but the president himself. 2nd Amendment

2020 is Trump's to Blow with Gun Owners

David Codrea - July 09, 2019

No one can restore receptivity to another Trump term with these disaffected gun owners but the...

This will be the first of many investigative reports about the NRA by Firearms News. 2nd Amendment

Firearms News Investigates the NRA: Part 1

Nedd Scott - July 18, 2019

This will be the first of many investigative reports about the NRA by Firearms News.

See More Trending Articles

More 2nd Amendment

Virginia turning blue does not bode well for supporters of the Second Amendment or Republicans in general - but hopefully it will serve as a wakeup call to complacent voters. 2nd Amendment

Bloomberg Spends $2.5 Million With Anti-Gun Group Turning Virginia Blue In NRA's Backyard – Where Were They?

Jim Grant - November 07, 2019

Virginia turning blue does not bode well for supporters of the Second Amendment or Republicans...

California District Court Judge James V. Selena recently questioned the validity of the ATF's classification of AR15 lowers as firearms during a recent criminal case. 2nd Amendment

California Judge Questions AR-15 Lower ATF Classification

Jim Grant - October 23, 2019

California District Court Judge James V. Selena recently questioned the validity of the ATF's...

VCDL will be holding the most important Lobby Day Rally that we have ever had on Monday January 20th, 2020! 2nd Amendment

The Most Important Gun Rights Battle of 2020

Virginia Citizens Defense League - January 17, 2020

VCDL will be holding the most important Lobby Day Rally that we have ever had on Monday...

This is the third installment in a series of investigative reports about the NRA by Firearms News. 2nd Amendment

Firearms News Investigates the NRA: Part 3

Nedd Scott - December 09, 2019

This is the third installment in a series of investigative reports about the NRA by Firearms...

See More 2nd Amendment

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Temporary Price Reduction.

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW OUR CURRENT ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.