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Americans have more confidence in the military than Congress: poll

A U.S. Marine Corps EA-6B Prowler. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Michael Battles)
January 23, 2018

Americans continue to have a high level of confidence in the military, especially when compared to other government institutions, according to NPR.

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Their findings have revealed that 87 percent of respondents say that they have “a great deal or quite a lot of confidence in the military.” That level of public support is significantly higher than it was in the 1970s, when the country was fighting in Vietnam. Gallup conducted a similar poll in 1977 and found that support for the military was at 57 percent, which is 30 percent lower.

Over the last couple of decades, major changes have been made throughout all aspects of the military, including the public’s connection with the institution. The military-civilian gap has widened with fewer family connections to the military than ever before, according to the Pew Research Center. The draft has also been abolished since the 1977 poll was taken.

While Americans are highly confident in the military, polls show that they have little confidence in Congress. The poll reveled that just 8 percent of people have confidence in Congress. In addition, two-thirds of Republicans disapprove of Congress, despite their party having majority control of the institution.

Neither of the two major political parties are popular with Americans, with 29 percent of Americans having confidence in the Republican Party, and 36 percent having confidence in the Democratic Party. The media is also somewhat out of favor with citizens, with 68 percent of Americans disapproving of the press.

One of the top national security priorities of American voters during the 2016 election was to defeat ISIS, according to Defense News. Since the election, with President Donald Trump as the Commander-in-Chief of the U.S. Armed Forces, the Islamic State has lost significant control in Iraq and Syria, according to BBC. One of the most recent military wins over ISIS was the victory in Raqqa for the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), which was made possible by a U.S.-led coalition.

“Nearly a third of territory reclaimed from the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria since 2014 has been won in the past six months, due to new policies adopted by the Trump Administration,” The Washington Post reported.

While the military tackles one of the top foreign policy priorities of the American people, which is defeating ISIS, many issues that Americans demand Congress solve remain untouched. Some of the top issues that Americans are waiting on Congress to address include lowering prescription drug prices, reducing federal spending and the budget deficit, and raising the federal minimum wage, according to Politico.