Except for the military and science, confidence in most American political and non-political institutions has fallen precipitously over the past fifty years. Declines in trust are partly the result of dissatisfaction with governmental and institutional accountability and concomitant skepticism about the competency and responsiveness of institutions. Declines are also the result of a polarization in trust in institutions, as Republicans trust business, the police, religion, and the military much more than Democrats, whose confidence in these institutions, except the military, has fallen. In turn, Democrats trust labor, the press, science, higher education, and public schools much more than Republicans, whose confidence in these institutions has fallen. Declines and polarization in confidence may be traceable to political polarization stemming from increasing income inequality and segregation in America. With polarization and decreasing trust in institutions, it becomes more difficult to fight epidemics, maintain faith in policing, and deal with problems such as climate change.