By Senator Tommy Tuberville
For more than 50 years the Gallup poll has asked people about their views of our nation’s institutions.
This past week, Gallup released this year’s results, and they are deeply disturbing.
Just one in four Americans has confidence in the presidency or the Supreme Court. Trust in Congress – where I work – is less than half of that.
But it’s not just government that has lost the trust of the American people.
According to Gallup, the share of Americans with “a great deal” or “quite a lot” of trust in churches, the health care system, the Supreme Court, the public schools, newspapers, television news, banks, and the presidency have each been cut in half since the survey began 50 years ago.
But again, Congress is the least trusted of all, falling from 42% trust to just 7%.
This comes just a few days after another poll showed another steep drop in patriotism, a massive increase in the number of people who think our nation’s morals are “poor,” and a steep decline in marriage.
These numbers should set off alarm bells for anyone who cares about this country.
I believe they are also a scathing indictment of the strong leftward lurch in this country over the last 50 years.
According to Gallup, the only institutions widely respected both before and after the last 50 years are small businesses and the military.
What do these two institutions have in common? They have remained redoubts of resistance to the American Left.
Small businesses have stood up to demands for higher taxes and regulation, and the military has stayed out of politics altogether.
It’s no wonder Democrats in Washington are working so hard to capture them, too.
Under President Donald Trump’s tireless efforts, we saw confidence in our institutions begin to edge up again.
But over the last two years the Left has been relentless in turning the military from the world’s greatest killing machine to just another outfit for liberal social engineering.
It’s no surprise confidence in our military has already dropped by double-digits since Joe Biden took office.
Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin’s first act in office was to mandate so-called anti-extremism training on our entire military, costing us at least 2 million man hours.
A few months later there was Biden’s political pullout from Afghanistan, which led to the deadliest day for our military in a decade, the worst humiliation for our military since Vietnam, and a Taliban flag flying over Afghanistan on the 20th anniversary of 9/11.
Just days later, Joe Biden issued his vaccine mandate, which led to the discharge of more than 8,000 patriots from our armed services.
A year after that we had the worst shortfall in recruiting in the history of the all-volunteer military.
This year’s recruiting numbers will be even worse.
The most political Pentagon in our history is also the least successful in our history. That is not a coincidence.
The hits keep coming. Since March the Pentagon has been spending our tax dollars for travel and extra paid time off for service members and their kids to get abortions – something Congress neither authorized nor appropriated.
We now have nonbinary recruiting ambassadors and drag queen performances on Navy ships.
This is not the military that my father patriotically served.
Politicizing the military would be a tragedy in any country.
But it is especially tragic because the American military is the last nonpolitical institution in our public life, the most effective military ever known, and the one force above all that has deterred large-scale war since 1945.
As William F. Buckley famously put it, the Nobel Peace Prize should go to the U.S. military every year. With the war in Ukraine, we already see failures of deterrence, with tragic results.
If the Left completes its long march through our institutions and succeeds in taking over our military, then we stand to lose not only our security, but also the rules-based global order along with it.
Without a strong American military, America will be in danger and the world will return to the norm of history, which is violence and the rule of the strong over the weak.
With so much at stake, and with so much ground already lost, conservatives in Congress have no choice but to stand and fight against a politicized Pentagon before we look back with nostalgia on the days when the American people trusted its military.