Trust in Government: The Season of Discontent Skepticism of government is as old as the republic. It's part of Americans' cultural identity, and over the years, a healthy dollop of distrust has served as a check on government excesses. Today, however, distrust of government and elected officials appears more like a rigid cynicism. NPR News explores the history and biology of distrust, its underpinnings and its impact on policy, politics and governance.
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Trust in Government: The Season of Discontent

Russia has a history of acceptance when it comes to its leaders, a legacy of the Soviet and czarist eras. In this photo from December 2007, members of a pro-Kremlin youth group hold a rally near Red Square in central Moscow to celebrate the victory by President Vladimir Putin's United Russia party in parliamentary elections. Maxim Marmur/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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In Russia, Trust In Government A Scarce Commodity

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Seniors Trust Social Security But Not Government

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Bricia Lopez, 25, teamed with her younger brother Fernando, 22, to open the Oaxacan fast-food restaurant Cemitas y Clayudas Pal Cabron in Huntington Park, Calif. She says she believes in the U.S. government and has seen her — and her parents' — American dreams come true. Mandalit del Barco/NPR hide caption

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Americans Distrust Congress? That's No Surprise

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President Obama, pictured last week at a signing ceremony at the Department of Interior, said in his January State of the Union address that the government "faces a deficit of trust" that has been growing for years. A new Pew poll supports his contention. Shawn Thew-Pool/Getty Images hide caption

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George Washington leads his troops across the Delaware River in 1776 during the Revolutionary War in this painting by Emanuel Leutze. AP hide caption

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Distrusting Government: As American As Apple Pie

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Ballot Initiatives, Recalls: Tools For Irate Calif. Voters

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