A growing number of Americans say they believe the U.S. Department of Justice is motivated primarily by political interests and not by the pursuit of the truth, according to a survey from Rasmussen Reports.

The poll, which was conducted on Aug. 26-27 and contains a sampling margin of error of plus or minus 2 percentage points, found that only 38 percent of U.S. voters hold a favorable opinion of the department headed by Attorney General Eric Holder, while a much larger 53 percent hold an unfavorable opinion.

Further, of these respondents, only nine percent hold a “very favorable” opinion, while 26 percent hold a “very unfavorable” position.

But this is the really unsettling discovery in the survey: “Just 35% think the Justice Department is more concerned with making sure justice is done when it decides to investigate a local crime independent of local police. But 54% think instead that the Justice Department is more concerned with politics when it makes those decisions.”

The report, which polled some 1,000 U.S. adults aged 18 and older, also found that at least 36 percent have faith in local justice officials. The poll also found that 20 percent trust the state level of justice over all, while only 23 percent of U.S. voters put their faith in the federal level of the criminal justice system.

The survey's findings signal an obviously unhealthy and unsettling development.

As I have mentioned before, there's something very dangerous about a nation losing faith in its governing institutions, holding on instead to faith in its military and police forces.

Recall that roughly 35 percent of survey respondents in a Gallup poll dated June 5-8 said that they have “quite a lot” of confidence in the military, while 28 percent said they had “quite a lot” in the police. Meanwhile, Congress' approval rating has hit rock bottom, according to Gallup, while the Supreme Court's approval rating has slipped into the low 30s.

It's not uncommon for American voters to be skeptical, doubtful, or even cynical about various elected officials. Indeed, it's pretty much a national pastime. But when we get to the point where most Americans think the DOJ is more motivated by vulgar and petty political interest than by justice, when Americans have more faith in the enforcers than the lawmakers, well, that's when we need to back things up for a moment and reexamine where things went wrong.