After escalating under President Clinton, the public’s trust in government has been on a sharp decline since 2001. Pew Research shows that the highest recordable trust came in 1964 with President Johnson. The record high 77% has since been long lost in the past.
Today, Pew Research reports that “only 19% of Americans today say they can trust the government in Washington to do what is right ‘just about always’ (3%) or ‘most of the time’ (16%).” The continual decline in trust comes after President G.W Bush’s peak of 54%. Even though the Obama administration, the public’s trust declined, and never got back above 25%.
Over the past decade, organizations such as WikiLeaks have exposed secrets about the US government that have maddened the public. Some of the most shocking were the Iraq war logs, DNC emails, and John Podesta emails. These shaped young American’s to not trust their government as much as their grandparents due to the outright lies.
In addition to WikiLeaks, whistleblowers like Edward Snowden have revealed mass spying programs of the United States government. Without the leaks from Snowden, American’s would still be blind to the mass surveillance of the NSA.
Former CIA Director Michael Hayden told the BBC that the CIA must “recruit from a certain demographic,” however, “this group of millennials and related groups simply have different understandings of the words loyalty, secrecy, and transparency.” Hayden then added that “culturally, they have different instincts than people who made the decision to hire them.”
The cultural differences that Hayden speaks of appears to refer to the lack of trust in the government. Growing up in a world of leakers and whistleblowers, millennials feel the need to inform the people of the lies from the government and their secret programs.