VOA, Washington, D.C.,
After 25 years of surveying American public opinion, pollster John Zogby, of Zogby International, has analyzed all his data to prepare a report on the transformation of the American dream, and he says America's future looks bright.Zogby drew on thousands of in-depth interviews to analyze American consumer behavior and demographic changes that may alter American life and politics. The future society he describes in The Way We'll Be is shaped by an adult population with no memory of World War II, the Cold War, or increasingly, the turbulence of the 1960s.
|In his new book The Way We'll Be, Zogby predicts a fundamental shift in the American political and cultural climate|
Zogby says today's 18- to 29-year-old Americans are the backbone of a rising wave of tolerance, global conscientiousness and environmental friendliness.
"I call them America's first global citizens. Fifty-six percent of our young people have passports and have traveled abroad and have a much more planetary view of the world," he says. "I may also add that young people are the most likely to favor balance in terms of American foreign policy in the Middle East and the least likely to want to get to war against Iran and more likely to embrace the cultures of other people."
Zogby argues that such a generation will contribute greatly to improving America's image around the world and changing the course of unilateralism in U.S. foreign policy.
Political, cultural divisiveness waning
Across the board, Zogby found, adults younger than 40 years old are consistently on the more progressive side of controversial issues. They're more likely to be tolerant of stem cell research, more in favor of net neutrality, more concerned with carbon emissions, and more open to multinational negotiations in the Middle East.
Global citizenship valued
The pollster also sees a fundamental reorientation of the
American character away from materialistic consumption and toward a new sense of
global citizenship. Americans of the near future will be deeply concerned about
places like Darfur, he says - even if they cannot find it on a map. And he adds
that new communication technologies will help turn Americans into better
"Individuals are relying more on not only the Internet, but also new technologies that will deliver news to them and allow them to pick and choose their news and information as well as their capacities to communicate with each other."
Americans confident they can overcome hard times
The bad news in the numbers behind The Way We'll Be is that Americans appear to have lost faith in institutions they once trusted, like the government. But Zogby sees good news, too, in the resilience of the American people, who can adjust when bad times strike. So, he concludes, the future looks bright for America.
"What I saw, essentially, was a pretty upbeat, optimistic view of Americans saying, 'Look, we have to survive even if we are stuck in a worse job than we had before. We still have to make good with what we have.' And so I saw that they'd changed their priorities and changed their definition of the 'dream' and changed how they spend their money."
Zogby says that, as a pollster, he has been looking forward to the opportunity to draw a comprehensive picture of what America would look like, based on a quarter-century of data analysis. That is what prompted him to write The Way We'll Be. He says he hopes to reassure American readers that in spite of being caught up in a serious recession, the national resilience will overcome the bad times and take America and the world into a better future.
... Payvand News - 04/16/09 ... --