Trust, unhappily, is not a part of the American, or global, political way of life. In fact, our present national culture—social,
economic, even artistic, as well as political, is inhospitable to trust.2 The Pew Charitable Trusts, created and funded a National Commission on Civic Renewal in 1996 to obtain an accurate and balanced
portrait of our civic condition and suggest practical steps citizens ... [Show full abstract] can take to improve our civic life. The Commission created
an Index of National Civic Health (INCH) which measures and combines trends over the past twenty five years in five categories:
political participation, political and social trust, associational membership, family integrity and stability, and crime (The
National Commission on Civic Renewal, 1998). The Index as a whole showed the overall civic condition of the U.S. has declined
markedly since 1974. While the newest measurement announced in 1997 showed an upward movement in civic health, there is still
need for significant improvement (
Figure 1.1). Two of the components of INCH, trust in the federal government and trust in others, have showed massive declines since
1960 (Figure 1.2).
Figure 1.1 The Index of National Civic Health.
Figure 1.2 INCH Trust Components.