Who Do Americans Trust the Most?

By Vincent Gorre

George_Washington Who Do Americans Trust the Most?While on a trip recently, I was reading an online magazine during my flight and came across a news article about a Reader’s Digest poll of “100 Most Trusted People in America.”1 I was shocked to learn that among the top ten, seven were movie actors and actresses! The article further says that those who made it to the list were chosen for their “integrity, character, exceptional talent, drive to personal excellence, internal moral compass, message, honesty and leadership.”


RTO-mini2 Who Do Americans Trust the Most?Free Book: Return to Order: From a Frenzied Economy to an Organic Christian Society—Where We’ve Been, How We Got Here, and Where We Need to Go


So what is shocking about all this? I immediately pulled out my copy of Return To Order: From a Frenzied Economy to an Organic Christian Society—Where We’ve Been, How We Got There and Where We Need to Go by John Horvat II, because I think I just found one more proof of the validity of one of the author’s assertions. As part of the solution to our impending crisis, Mr. Horvat talks of the need for “representative characters,” in our society “who would take upon themselves the arduous task of seeking the common good.”2 Who are these “representative characters?” In reality, these are the people whom we should trust. Mr. Horvat defines a representative character as “a person who perceives the ideals, principles, and qualities that are desired and admired by a community or nation, and translates them into concrete programs of life and culture.”3


The question is this: Do Americans believe that these movie stars are trustworthy because they embody their ideals and principles and that in reality (i.e., in their real lives, and not the acting roles they play) they live those ideals and principles? Mr. Horvat adds that “modern culture discourages the idea of representative characters and proposes false and unrepresentative characters that correspond to our mass society.”4 I think this is precisely what is happening here. The transformation of American society into masses of people is promoted by the mass media, which explains why a poll of the most trusted people in America would most likely result in movie stars and media celebrities occupying the top 10 in the list.


Who then should we find in a list of America’s most trusted people? In times of crisis, we must trust those natural leaders in all levels of our society who are not only virtuous in their private lives but also willing to sacrifice for the good of all.



1 “Reader’s Digest Trust Poll: Denzel Wahington, Robin Roberts Among America’s ‘Most Trusted Celebs,’” The Huffington Post, May 21, 2013.

2 John Horvat II, Return To Order: From a Frenzied Economy to an Organic Christian Society-Where We’ve Been, How We Got There and Where We Need to Go, York Press, York, Penn., 2013, p. 200.

3 Ibid.

4 Ibid.


  • Alicia Murphy

    Our days are evil and there are very few leaders left to carry on the good fight. Who can we look to in a courrupt society .

    • Carol S.

      The only answer I have to that is GOD! Certainly there are no men left who even know there is a fight much less a good one!

      • Kathy Hibbard

        If it is the American society of today, I would begin by naming Fr. Benedict Groschel, Susan Yoshihara and other members of C-Fam, the members of Susan B. Anthony List, Cardinal Dolan, the members of Catholic Answers – Tim Staples, Trent Horn, Matt Fradd, Patrick Cofin, etc., political leaders like Rick Sanctorum, Paul Ryan, the members of EWTN – Starting with Mother Angelica and all the others, the people announcing the good news over Immaculate Heart radio.

        • jptoo

          agree – Colleen Carroll Campbell, Erica Bachiochi, Helen Alvares, Fr Robert Barron, Peter Kreeft, any of the young seminarians, priests, nuns (in habit) I see every Feb at the ‘March for Life”, any of Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity, Matthew Kelly, – but you will not get them from the media (except our media EWTN, etc) there are many and you see them swimming up stream, against the tide,, which is why the main stream media misses them. God Bless them all

        • Pat Sonti

          I agree with your list, minus Santorum and Ryan. Please add Bishop Robert Barron to your list. Thanks.

    • jea2comments

      God is the only One you can trust these days. IF I had to pick a few others to trust that are in the lime-light I would say: Ted Nugent, Jon Voight, Dr. Charles Dobson, Dr. Ben Carson, Billy Graham and Franklin Graham. As for most everyone else, you have to cut the deck of cards twice!

  • Carol S.

    I’m not surprized. Look who they elected president and twice at that. I remember in highschool being asked the same question, only it was “Who do you look to as a role model?” I remember that I couldn’t think of anyone and was shocked to see that the answer was supposed to be our parents. That never occured to me. I’m now 47 and I’ve never been able to find anyone that I would ever look to to emulate, not to mention trust. My biggest lament is that I have never had any role models or examples to follow in any endeavor I’ve undertaken; from my carreer, to my marriage, to raising my kids. I’ve always been in the dark and struggling to find out what the standards are. Much less find anyone who can measure up to them.

    • MAL

      How about the saints, there are many modern day saints that can teach us how to live.

      • OldArkie

        We do not care for the saints who do not blow their own trumpet. We are in love with the celebrates & we want to be around them hoping it will rub off on us & we can become like them. That is we are in love with the world & all it offers & many try’s their best to straddle the fence hoping to get both the best the world offers right now & the best God has to offer after this life. Its sad that they fail to understand they’re at enmity with the one true God.

        • Augustine Hourigan

          In my opinion St. Joseph is for me an excellent role model

          • Anne

            Do not forget Holy Water and St. Michael the Archangel

    • OMG

      Hi Carol, I understand about the lack of role models. I believed for many many years that my mother was my A+ brand, but she became so uncharitable in her later years, particularly against me, that I found it difficult to believe she had ever really loved me. I understand how alone you might feel.

      I’m wondering if you like to read. If so, I wonder if, in addition to Scripture and daily attendance at Mass with reception of Communion, you might try a Catholic life-time reading plan which will introduce you to many saints and practices and ways of thinking and acting which will give YOU the basis from which you will grow to become a saintly hero for others. God bless.

  • Sam

    There are some good people in this country but not easy to find as they do not “toot their horns” as the expression goes. As far as celebrities go, there were a few good ones such as Bob Hope, Jimmy Stewart and a few ladies I cannot remember (I’m 70 now). There were some good and honest presidents, too. Unfortunately, they were overwhelmed by the counter-culture. We have a lot of great saints but I have to say that some of them seemed rather bizarre with self-flagellation, hair-shirts, walking barefoot for miles and disregarding their health, etc. How can you help people when you are sick yourself? I think they might have done better by helping others instead of beating themselves to an early grave..

  • Jacqueleen

    With American History a thing of the past, young people are ignorant of the real heroes in this nation. Then, with the overwhelming media in the hands of the young, of course they would pick actors and actresses for the simple reason that actors are in the forefront of their minds…not Ronald Reagan or Dr. Martin Luther King or what they stand for. Then, the basis for good character, such as, manners, respect for all people and reverence for the truth is nowhere to be found in the young or their environment. Sadly, this generation on the rise will be vulnerable to atheism, relativism, humanism, secularism, socialism, communism and any other “ism” our there.

  • daniel

    I think we need to look for guidance from religious leaders, like the Pope, Heads on other denominations and such…But I do not trust people in government because I have been lied to and deceived by the system. And I think these people are only looking out for themselves and their families. not that they are bad people but I do no trust them to have my best interest at heart. So I choose to build treasures in heaven instead of playing the game of more , bigger, better. I find peace in being content with the blessings that God has afforded me and using the gifts he has given me to help other get to heaven.

  • jaScott

    I stopped reading Reader’s Digest when it started getting ‘gay friendly’. Before that, I thought it presented the America I knew. So sad.

  • Tim

    You have to blame TV for making people dumb.

  • Who do I trust? Any man that is willing to lay down his life for his principles and standards.Integrity is proven only in love and that love MUST BE SELFLESS TO BE REAL AND TRUE. Judges I would also include but only specific ones. Same goes for law enforcement, some but only specific ones. Trust must be backed up by actions deeds or values otherwise its not the real thing.Look at my photo somebody invented glass that stopped a bullet and that glass did its job so we can TRUST in its quality.

  • 143jeanne

    Well after Harvey and Matt and….People are a little sick of “celebs”. Justice hopefully being served.