Look at the chart to the right. Notice the very steep slide that began in 1965 for the Silents and 1970 for the Baby Boomers. What is relevant is not how a very old Silent or an old Boomer’s opinion compares to a young Millennial’s trust in government, but rather how those opinions compare at similar ages.
The Silents’ trust in government peaked at 82 percent, the Boomers’ at 73 percent. The famously cynical GenXers trust peaked at 58 percent, and the supposedly naive Millennials peaked at 62 percent right in the patriotic aftermath of 9/11. The oldest Baby Boomers were 48 years old before they reached the level of cynicism about government that the Millennials have already reached.
That’s likely because by then, they actually had some bitter experience dealing with it as a reference point on which to base an informed opinion, rather than just relying on what their college professors repeatedly told them. And the decline in trust among The Yout’ coincides with the most comprehensive metastisization of government power in our history, which I’m sure is just a coincidence, or perhaps “bad luck.” The steep slide Vox mentions also dovetails nicely with the sharp Left turn the nation took as the Great Society “fundamental transformation” got cranking. Funny, that. But not in a ha-ha kind of way.