Facts are stubborn things. And so is our American resolve.
The good folks at Gallup recently published a blog, surrounding the perception of freedom that Americans feel. Currently, only 75% of Americans are satisfied with the freedom to choose what to do with his/her life, which, disappointingly, is a decrease from 91% in 2006.
The blog goes into greater detail about how this decline compares to other countries and how it is partially a reflection of our economic status. Here at Civic Nebraska, we feel a big lesson is how the feeling of freedom relates to the confidence in institutions. This is one of the four key indicators in our Civic Health Index, which examines how civically healthy a community is.
According to the 2015 Nebraska Civic Health Index, Nebraskans rank highly in terms of confidence in their schools, media, and corporate institutions– especially when it comes to schools.
Although the state data is encouraging, it’s important to keep pushing for a deeper understanding of and connection to the institutions that underly our civic society. Confidence in institutions goes beyond an individual candidate or elected leader. It goes beyond a specific policy, current hot button issue, or legislative outcome. Instead, confidence in institutions aims to measure how well we feel a whole system is working for the betterment of the people, and it starts by knowing about and getting involved with such institutions. When citizens are confident that their school systems, public safety systems, business community, and journalism entities are generally trying to do what is right, communities thrive.