The student news site of Adlai E. Stevenson High School


The student news site of Adlai E. Stevenson High School


The student news site of Adlai E. Stevenson High School


A Precarious Public

Restoring public trust in government after House speakership conflict


Mike Johnson, the new speaker of the house, speaks at the Republican Jewish Coalition’s 2023 Annual Leadership Summit in Las Vegas. His newfound position has resulted in greater political power across the US. (Gage_Skidmore)

After 4 weeks of dissension, the House of Representatives has determined a new speaker. Representative Mike Johnson (LA-4), a far-right conservative, was able to garner the 217 votes needed to become the Speaker of the House, due to the GOP’s willingness to compromise on a candidate after many failed attempts at establishing a speaker. 

However, while the House attempts to get everything back in order over the next few weeks, one aspect that has not been looked at is public trust. Mario Sukovic, the Committee Chairman of the Vernon Township Republicans, believes voters are finding it hard to trust the government to make decisions that actively support their own opinions. 

“I think most people are pretty skeptical about the federal government,” Sukovic said. “I would say there is nothing new about that.”

According to Pew Research Center, public trust in government was 16% in 2023, a 75-year low. In order to fix that, Sukuovic believes that both lawmakers and citizens have a responsibility to uphold effective governance. 

“People in politics who are in elected office can do a much better job of being transparent,” Sukovic said. “On the other hand, I think we need more civic participation.”

Similarly, Representative Nabella Syed (IL – 51), state representative from Illinois, agrees that there is currently low public trust in the federal government. However, she believes that the solution to increasing public trust rests in state and local governments, where lawmakers can reach out to more of their respective populations, allowing more voices to be heard. 

“That is where local politics and state politics are so powerful,”Syed said. “We have the ability to have smaller constituencies. We can literally knock on [the] doors of our residents to engage them in the political process.”

Syed also recommends that voters should talk openly about issues in local communities so Congress can more accurately represent the public. This can also create a greater sense of community, thereby reducing stereotypes that further disconnect the lawmaker and their citizens.

“We are supposed to listen to the people we serve, take into account their inputs, and make decisions based on that,” Syed said.


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