As the American public grows increasingly distrustful of Donald Trump and the Republican Party, their legislative agenda and electoral prospects suffer.

I don’t trust Donald Trump, or the Republican Party, and I’m not alone.

It’s not just that I’m a proud Democrat who’s never voted for or subscribed to their preferred ideology, or because I’m still smarting from the travesty of the 2016 election, but because every day since Trump’s inauguration has been mired in egregious incompetence and shameless scandal that aren’t worthy of anything but resounding disapproval.

Long gone are the days when our elected officials engendered bipartisan trust, confidence, and respect. We now find ourselves in a political climate where the people chosen to lead us are more apt to embarrass and abuse us than make us feel proud or safe.

Beyond the typical partisan policy disagreements, Americans are currently in the midst of a growing crisis of confidence — not only in the Republican leadership, but in the very institutions tasked with upholding our democratic values.

We’ve moved forward from the November election with a persistent and gnawing awareness that Russian interference likely skewed the results, while the current White House occupant and his party appear totally unmotivated to do anything meaningful to address it.

To the contrary, Trump and the Republican establishment have further exacerbated public distrust by blaming their legislative stagnation and malfeasance on their detractors, rather than the scandalous and incompetent behavior running rampant in their ranks.

The ongoing Russia investigation stands as an immovable impediment to their increasingly unpopular agenda, and their attempts to proceed with “business as usual” in the face of the firestorm only serve to erode what very little trust the American people had in them at the start of this legislative term.

By a wide majority, Americans have increasingly come to possess little to no trust in anything Donald Trump says about Russia, and now believe an independent investigation free of Republican establishment intrusion is the only way to discover the truth and seek justice going forward.

In only four months, we’ve sadly grown so accustomed to the sea of “alternative facts” flowing from both the Oval Office and Republican Congress that we need a second opinion before we’ll even consider taking anything they say at face value.

In the Trump era, newsrooms grapple with how best to characterize lies and liars without ironically offending people who once so fervently extolled the virtues of political incorrectness.

The trickle-down distrust has become so endemic that congressional hearings once known for their prohibition of name-calling have now sensationally provided former FBI Director James Comey the microphone and platform to publicly call Trump a liar five times.

The tenor of our discourse now reflects the temerity and toxicity of the chief executive in ways that further sully the Republican brand precisely because it aids and abets his ever more abhorrent behavior. They are creating a crisis of confidence in their own governance that will most assuredly be used against them next election, but too blindly trustful of their embattled president and draconian agenda to change course.

Ultimately, the American people can’t trust what can’t be respected, believed, or verified. With their continued assault on reason and our democracy, Donald Trump and his Republican enablers stand poised to lose not only our trust, confidence, and respect, but their jobs too.