Trust in government?

It’s been said — supposedly by Thomas Jefferson but I find no reference to him — that the best government is the one closest to the people.

That sums up what most North Carolinians think, according to the latest Elon University Poll: 49% of respondents said they trust local government always or most of the time; 26.5% said the same of state government and 14% said that of the federal government.

It shouldn’t come as any surprise to the elected officials, given the approval rating of Congress, the president, the General Assembly and the governor.

Trust traditionally grows from the belief that your elected officials are acting in your interest, doing what they say they’re going to do and being transparent and open in their words and deeds.

Presumably proximity has a great deal to do with the higher trust in local officials. After all, they are more accessible — you can reach them by phone or see them in the grocery store. In addition, the toxicity of the political debate grows in intensity as you go up the rungs of government.

— John Robinson

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