Branching Out

Since 2014, what has happened to Americans’ trust and confidence in the legislative branch?

  1. How accurate was your prediction?

  2. Why do you think confidence in the Congress has risen in the past 4 years.

  3. What is one consequence of this rising trust in Congress?

  4. How much do you think this trend will impact the 2018 midterm elections?

  5. Although in recent years confidence in the legislative branch has risen, overall, how would you describe Americans’ confidence in the legislative branch?

  6. How do you think party affiliation and impacts trust in the government?

  7. Knowing that over half of Americans had a negative feeling about Congress, what prediction would you make about incumbent reelection rates in the midterm elections?

  8. How does trust in Congress compare to trust in the other two branches?

  9. Why do you think that is?

  10. What has happened to confidence in the executive branch since Trump’s election?

  11. Since 1973, what is the overall trend in confidence in the federal government?

  12. Is this good news?

  13. The branch (judiciary) that is the least democratic (un-elected) is the most popular. The branch (legislative) that is the most democratic (most often elected) is the least popular. Explain that one!

  14. Madison wrote in Federalist 51, “ambition must be made to counteract ambition.” What do you think that quote means?

  15. How does Madison’s quote connect to the data in the chart?

Visual Extension

Learning Extension

Read the Gallup report on American attitudes toward government.

Action Extension

Article V of the U.S. Constitution provides two methods of adopting amendments. First, Congress may, by a two-thirds majority in both houses, propose amendments to the states. Second, if two-thirds of the states ask Congress to call a constitutional convention, Congress must do so. Every amendment to date has been proposed and ratified through the first method. These groups are seeking to persuade state legislatures to take the country into the uncharted territory of an Article V convention. Think about a way you would like the U.S. Constitution to change-repeal the 22nd Amendment, legalize drones in high school classrooms, allow for elections for the federal judiciary, etc. Contact your U.S. Representative and ask them to adopt your amendment.

Dogs on Bikes Extension