Trust in the institutions that have been the pillars of U.S. politics and capitalism is crumbling.
That is one finding from the latest NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll, which shows Americans have limited confidence in its public schools, courts, organized labor and banks — and even less confidence in big business, the presidency, the political parties and the media.
The only institution that Americans have overwhelming faith in is the military — 87 percent say they have a great deal or quite a lot of confidence in the military. That is a striking change from the 1970s during and after the Vietnam War.
In 1977, according to Gallup, 57 percent had that same level of confidence in the military, 30 points lower. There have been some big changes in the last 40 years, including the draft being abolished and fewer and fewer Americans knowing someone serving in the military.
The American public has the least confidence in Congress, the body tasked with making laws that can affect every person in the country. Just 8 percent of people have a great deal of confidence in the institution. Almost two-thirds of Republicans even expressed little confidence in Congress — and their party runs it.
Not far behind Congress is the Republican…