Too often, Yale University is featured at College Insurrection for its sexual scholarship.

However, John Aroutiounian shows the level of astute analysis that its students can achieve.   Aroutiounian. a sophomore in Jonathan Edwards College, offers this op-ed discussing what can be done about the “trust gap” in government in the Yale Daily News.

Over the last 40 years, this same kind of a shift happened with gun politics. The popular notion that the National Rifle Association was once a gun control-loving fraternal organization is not exactly true. In fact, the NRA began vocally opposing various federal measures in the early ’70s, after originally having supported certain elements of the Gun Control Act of 1968.

But the narrative that the American voting public was in favor of stricter gun control in the past certainly is correct. Indeed, in the late ’60s, public support for tightening gun laws hovered between 60 and 70 percent.

As gun control measures were passed, and new ones were increasingly being suggested, mobilization against them grew more sophisticated. But even in 1994, 61 senators and 235 representatives (including 46 Republicans) passed a 10-year ban on specific assault weapons. But in 2004, things changed. Despite continuing violence, the political wind behind gun control was gone, revoked by the people.

Is it because ignorance in America grew? Did the people in what coastal cosmopolitans consider “flyover country” become more reactionary? A disturbing number of people I talk to at Yale think so. Certainly, opposition to gun restrictions became better organized — but, nationwide, citizens’ trust in their government also declined rapidly.

The bottom has fallen out of trust in national government. Congress’s approval rating hovers in the single digits, and a litany of surveys also find that people want private organizations and state governments to replace the federal government in a wide swath of executive functions.

This narrative of alienation has been getting louder since the Kennedy assassination and the Vietnam War (before then, Americans liked their government a whole lot more). ..

PayPal founder Peter Thiel has often observed that New Deal-style engineering simply cannot be envisioned today. To wit, a very postmodern skepticism has set in about the limits of government.

The answer to this trust gap is more normativity, not less. We need more “values” rhetoric that asserts American exceptionalism and capability, and more politicians who, instead of shying away from proposing Fourteen Points or manifestos for fear of being lampooned, sketch out a vision for a new American century.