The Washington Times Weekly - - Politics -

“Amer­i­cans have given the mil­i­tary the high­est con­fi­dence rat­ing of any in­sti­tu­tion in Amer­i­can so­ci­ety for nearly two decades,” writes Frank New­port, di­rec­tor of the Gallup poll, which finds that the pub­lic con­tin­ues to re­vere the tra­di­tional, old-school val­ues of our fight­ing forces.

Num­bers-wise, 93 per­cent call the mil­i­tary “per­son­ally coura­geous,” 91 per­cent say our troops are pro­fes­sional, 82 per­cent call them hon­est and eth­i­cal, 80 per­cent say they are in­no­va­tive. Another 78 per­cent have “a great deal or quite a bit” of con­fi­dence in the mil­i­tary.

Law­mak­ers can learn a thing or two from those in uni­form.

“What could mem­bers of Congress who are wor­ried about their low stand­ing in the pub­lic’s eye learn from the mil­i­tary? One in­sight sim­ply comes down to com­pe­tence — that is get­ting the job done well — ob­vi­ously a trait many Amer­i­cans as­cribe to the mil­i­tary, but few to Congress, with the lat­ter’s cur­rent 20 per­cent job ap­proval rat­ing,” writes Mr. New­port.

“Another in­sight comes from the pub­lic’s view of mem­bers of the mil­i­tary as be­ing coura­geous, self­less and be­ing will­ing to sac­ri­fice them­selves for the greater good. Pre­vi­ous re­search shows that Amer­i­cans, in con­trast, view mem­bers of Congress as be­ing re­spon­sive not to the col­lec­tive will of the peo­ple, but to spe­cial in­ter­ests, lob­by­ists and par­ti­san lead­ers. There are other lessons to be learned, but the bot­tom line is the real value of per­ceived com­pe­tency and pro­fes­sion­al­ism for any in­sti­tu­tion that seeks to es­tab­lish le­git­i­macy and to bet­ter its stand­ing in the eyes of the peo­ple it serves,” Mr. New­port ad­vises.

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