May 27, 2003

A “STRIKING DEGREE OF CONFIDENCE” IN THE MILITARY is revealed in this interesting story from The New York Times:

In fact, researchers and polling experts say, the class reflects a long-building trend that has intensified with the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, and the successful military actions in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Americans’ trust and confidence in the military has soared, even as it has declined in other institutions like corporations, churches and Congress.

From 1975 to 2002, the percentage of Americans who expressed a “great deal” or “quite a lot” of confidence in the people who ran organized religion fell, to 45 percent from 68. Those expressing a great deal or a lot of confidence in Congress declined, to 29 percent from 40, according to a Gallup Poll. But also in 2002, Americans who expressed a great deal or a lot of confidence in the military rose, to 79 percent from 58 in 1975.

The positive image is particularly striking among the children and grandchildren of baby boomers, said David C. King, an associate professor of public policy at Harvard and co-author of the new book “The Generation of Trust: How the U.S. Military Has Regained the Public’s Confidence Since Vietnam” (American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research).

Perhaps the Times could learn from this example.