Jobs, equality trump ideology in voters’ values: Report

The 2011 American Values Survey, released today, throws some new percentage point tinder on the public opinion bonfires.Demand for more jobs is “job one” with 80% of voters, while 66% also say protecting social security is a critical issue and 59% put deficit reduction on high on their priority list. Reducing the gap between the rich and poor, however, is down at 40%.
Americans’ views are mixed on President Obama, reflecting surveys that have come before. While 53% have a favorable view of his personal qualities, those who disapprove of him hit him for leadership (41%) and handling of economic issues (37%).

Many say Obama, rather than Republican leaders, “has a better idea about how to create jobs (44% to 35%). The sad number is that 13% say neither the president nor Congress has a clue. Obama’s jobs record looks similar to that of GOP saint Ronald Reagan.
The research was conducted before the sexual harassment claims against Herman Cain hit the headlines so the findings that Cain, popular with white evangelical Protestants, may no longer be relevant.Or they may. When the research was done, Cain was the only GOP primary campaigner who, these voters said, holds both political and religious views that align with their own, says Robert Jones, director of PPRI.

Last year’s PPRI survey came out in the heyday of Christine-I-am-not-a-Witch O’Donnell’s campaign and the rise of the Tea Party. At that time, 11% said they identified with that movement’s values — primarily Christian, non-Hispanic whites Republicans who don’t like big government and do like Sarah Palin and Fox News. In November 2010, the hot topics were health reform, immigration and gay marriage.

The survey finds most people (53%, overwhelmingly Democrats) believe “one of the biggest problems in the country is that everyone does not have an equal chance in life” while 40% (chiefly Republicans and Tea Party members) say it’s no big deal “if some people have more of a chance than others.”The division is two to one: Democrats are twice as likely a Republican on this ideological divide. The PPRI report also notes,

The number of Americans who agree that the lack of equal opportunity is a major problem in the country decreases as the total annual household income rises.”If you’re focused on states such as Ohio where Catholic voters can swing the election, take note that 54% of Catholics say unequal opportunity is one of the nation’s biggest problems. Likewise, in states such as South Carolina where black voters can tilt the results, note that 82% of Black Protestants think the playing field isn’t level, says Jones.

Obama told a G-20 press conference on Friday he said he’ll push on with his economic policies, “regardless of what the politics are.”Occupy wall Street more be amorphous but the ideas OWS behind it hold up strongly with Americans. Equality is the major refrain in this survey. There’s big agreement among all religious groups for leveling the economic playing field and for taxing millionaires.

Most Americans (60%, including most Democrats and Independents) say the USA would be better off “if the distribution of wealth were more equal.” But 39% (chiefly Republicans and Tea Party people) say no.

By those same inclinations, even more Americans , (70%) say taxes should be raised on people who earn more than $1 million a year while 27% oppose this.
Whether you are pessimistic or optimistic about the economy depends largely on where you get your news.While 78% of Fox News viewers are say the economy has gotten worse in the last two years compared to 46% of broadcast news viewers, 45% CNN viewers, 43% of those who get their current affairs coverage from public television and 41% of MSNBC viewers.
67% say they want their president to have strong religious beliefs but they are less particular about what those beliefs need to be. Mormonism may not matter: Only 42% can correctly identify Romney as Mormon and Huntsman is still bottoming out on most awareness polls.
Most voters (53%) are very or somewhat comfortable with a Mormon as president in an election where two Mormons, Mitt Romney and Jon Huntsman, are on the campaign trail. But 42% lean toward being uncomfortable with voting for a Mormon.
Half of registered voters say Mormons are, indeed, Christians. However, 36% agree with Houston pastor Robert Jeffress who insists Mormons are not Christian. Note, however, Jeffress also says it’s more important to choose a competent president, Christian or not.

The report was drawn from tow surveys. nike dunk The American Values Survey of 1,505 adults, funded by the Ford Foundation and the Nathan Cummings Foundation, was conducted in English and Spanish between September 22 and October 2. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.5 percentage points. The Religion & Politics Tracking Survey of 1,019 adults was conducted in English and Spanish between Oct. 19 and 23. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points. Despite sharp criticism from the United States, the U.N. and election monitors, opposition leader Winston Tubman kept urging supporters to boycott Tuesday’s runoff.
Demonstrators clashed with police in one rally backing the boycott, leaving one young man dead inside the headquarters of the opposition Congress for Democratic Change, or CDC, party. Nearby, four others were screaming in pain from what appeared to be bullet wounds in their legs.
Walking between the wounded, Tubman and running mate George Weah said the violence was further proof the runoff should not go ahead. ,buy dunk high,dunk highs ,nike dunks ,nike dunk highs ,nike dunk highTubman is trailing in the polls by a more than 10-point margin and the boycott is seen by many as an effort to tarnish Tuesday’s election in the face of his likely defeat. The move will not stop incumbent Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, this year’s Nobel Peace Prize laureate, from winning, but it could undercut her victory.
Worse, it would also cast doubt on an election that was supposed to solidify the nation’s peace, just eight years after Liberia emerged from a horrific 14-year civil war that left its rolling hills and towering forests dotted with mass graves.
“This decision is unfortunate for the electoral process in Liberia, and for Liberia’s young democracy,” said Gilles Yabi, the director of the International Crisis Group West Africa. “It’s motivated by the fact that they (Tubman’s party) think they don’t have a chance. It’s a way to stain the election, to create a problem of credibility for the president.”
The 73-year-old Sirleaf made history in 2005 when she became Africa’s first elected female president and again last month when she won the Nobel Peace Prize for her role in stabilizing the country after a 2003 ceasefire.
The Harvard-trained economist is credited with luring hundreds of millions of donor dollars to her destroyed nation and getting $5 billion of its external debt wiped clean. Her critics, however, note that two out of every three Liberians still live in dire poverty and the country remains one of the least developed on the planet, according to World Bank and U.N. statistics.
Corruption and cronyism continue to erode institutions, and Tubman and Weah have complained that the country’s electoral process was stacked in Sirleaf’s favor.
The opposition party began threatening a boycott after the first round of voting on Oct. 11 showed that Sirleaf led with around 40 percent to the CDC’s roughly 30 percent. When the third-place finisher announced he was endorsing Sirleaf, her victory seemed assured.
To participate in the Nov. 8 runoff, the CDC’s demanded that the head of the election commission be replaced — and he was.
Then last week, Tubman said the changes did not go far enough and called for the election to be postponed. Then on Friday he called for a boycott when the government refused further concessions.
“Liberia has taken important steps to consolidate its democracy since the end of its civil war. Those gains must not be setback by individuals who seek to disrupt the political process,” U.S. President Barack Obama said in a statement. “The international community will hold accountable those who choose to obstruct the democratic process. We encourage all security forces in Liberia to exercise maximum restraint and to allow peaceful protest.”
The head of the Carter Center’s observation mission in Liberia, Alexander Bick, said his staff had traveled to all 15 counties in the Tennessee-sized nation and while small irregularities were noted, there was no evidence of systematic fraud.
Electoral law allows candidates to pull out before the start of the election, but once the election is already in progress, ballots cannot be altered, he said. So both Tubman and Sirleaf will appear on Tuesday’s ballot. The boycott will not result in the vote being canceled.
“He is serious about wanting to boycott the election … (but) it does not nullify the election,” Bick said. “The key issue is that voters should make their choice. Some may participate. Some may not. But it should be left to the Liberian people, not to the politicians.” It’s kind of like Tiger Woods. He was this, if not terribly personable, this Mr. Nice Guy. And when that story broke, it was the dissonance between the image of him and what those stories were saying that made them more extraordinary. This story comes out of a program that seemed the epitome of squeaky-clean, and that’s what raises its voltage.”
Penn State athletics director Tim Curley and senior vice president Gary Schultz are accused of failing to report the alleged abuse to police and perjuring themselves before a grand jury. They appeared in court in Harrisburg on Monday, one day after Schultz stepped down from his post and Curley was placed on administrative leave at his request. They were not required to set pleas, but a judge set bail at $75,000 and ordered that they surrender their passports.
State Attorney General Linda Kelly said Paterno was “not regarded as a target at this point. We believe that under the statute, he had an obligation to report it to the school administrators, and he did that.”
“Those of us who have been in the law for a while know that there is a difference between moral and legal guilt,” she said. “Right now, those of us up here are concerned about legal guilt. I’m not going to comment on morality.”
State police commissioner Frank Noonan did just that, however. “Somebody has to question about what I would consider the moral requirements for a human being that knows of sexual things that are taking place with a child,” Noonan said. He added that means anyone: “Whether you’re a football coach or a university president or the guy sweeping the building. I think you have a moral responsibility to call us.”
That view is shared by David Clohessy, director of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests.
“If I see my neighbor’s house being broken into or my neighbor’s wife being beaten up, I may not have a legal duty to report it,” Clohessy said. “When a child is being sexually violated by a powerful, charismatic adult, the moral imperative to call police is dramatically higher and stronger.”
Paul Mones is a sexual abuse attorney and children’s rights advocate in Portland, Ore., who has represented victims of sexual abuse in litigation against youth organizations, religious institutions and schools, including suits against the Boy Scouts of America and the Catholic Church. He declined to comment on the Penn State case directly, but addressed why even a potential witness to child abuse might not step in.
“I don’t think it’s in our cultural DNA to intervene in certain situations. I would also say in my almost 30 years of doing this kind of work, it is extremely unusual for someone to walk in at the time a sexual assault on a child is taking place. And so it’s almost like the person who witnesses it can’t integrate it into their understanding of things as they see the world. …
“But clearly if we are to believe the grand jury report that (the grad assistant) told somebody about it, it is the rare person who will intervene, especially in large institutions. You very rarely find reports of abuse where the person is directly confronted. So, for instance, in the Catholic Church cases, when abuse happens, they don’t confront the priest and tell him to stop. They go to the person’s superior.”
Clohessy draws parallels between Penn State officials and Catholic bishops in the church’s recent abuse scandal.
“First, their refusal to call police, immediately or ever,” he said. “Second, the apparent concern for the reputation of an institution over the safety of kids. And third, the absolute bare minimum of action by smart men who know better.”
“You have to question motive here,” Clohessy said. “Common sense strongly suggests Paterno was protecting himself, his reputation and the reputation of his football program and the university itself, or some combination thereof.”
On Penn State’s campus, colloquially known as Happy Valley, some students spoke supportively of the coach old enough to be their great-grandfather.
“Apparently, he did what he had to do,” said junior John Diamond, 20. “As old as he is, he’s just kind of a public figure for us. Everybody loves him because he’s always been there and been such a great coach all these years. He should stay until he’s ready to leave.”
Junior Stephen Kutys, 21, said students from other schools are mocking Penn State. “They’re giving us all this trash,” he said. “When you heard about things at other schools, like Ohio State, they would say Penn State is the clean school.”
Penn State senior Dan Farbowitz, 24, cheap nike dunk highs on sale held a sign calling on Penn State President Graham Spanier — who raised eyebrows last weekend by putting out a statement expressing his absolute support for Curley and Schultz — to step down.
“It’s fairly clear what went on,” Farbowitz said. “I believe the university leadership needs to be held accountable.” ,buy nike sb dunks ,nike sb dunks,nike dunks sb shoe ,cheap dunk high ,cheap nike dunks ,cheap nike dunk high Other signs critical of Spanier, Curley and Paterno were posted in the HUB-Robeson Center, the common meeting place for students at the heart of campus. Pages of newspapers with Sandusky’s picture littered the floors of campus buses. Students gathered around television and computer screens as news reports came in from the court proceedings in Harrisburg.
“People here are in shock over it,” said R. Scott Kretchmar, a professor of exercise and sports science and editor of the Journal of Intercollegiate Sport. “And people are disappointed.”
A case of crisis management
Penn State’s 12th-ranked Nittany Lions (8-1) host No. 17 Nebraska (7-2) on Saturday. Bobby Bowden, the retired Florida State coach and Paterno’s coaching contemporary, expects Paterno to have his team ready.
“He’s the No. 1 guy in college coaching, and everybody looks up to Joe,” Bowden said. “When something like this occurs to his program, all it just says is, ‘Joe, hey, you’re just like all of us. You have problems like all of us.’ ”
“You just have to face it,” Bowden said. “You have to bite your lip and say, ‘Oh my gosh, this is awful. This will give us a black eye, but we’re going to pick up the pieces and we’re going to do better.’
“And I don’t know anybody who knows how to do that better than Joe.”
David Finkelhor, a professor of sociology at the University of New Hampshire and director of its Crimes against Children Research Center, said it can be difficult to sort out whether somebody such as Paterno had a responsibility to find out what happened after he reported an incident.
“I sure know that if I had made a report about that kind of thing to my superior on the assumption it was going to get acted on,” Finkelhor said, “I would have followed up and said, ‘Well, what happened?’ … This is a busy guy who has an awful lot of responsibilities and other stuff on his mind than this particular issue. So I can be sympathetic with it. …
“It’s very hard for big organizations that are in the spotlight to handle this well. There’s always concern about: ‘How’s this going to look for us? How are we going to deal with the negative publicity?’ There’s always the ability to make the argument that ‘Maybe we can handle it better on our own.’ ”
“When we say ‘Joe Paterno,’ I don’t know if we’re referring to the individual who wakes up every morning and puts on his pants and goes about his business,” Thompson said. “We think of Joe Paterno … as an institution.
“When a story like this breaks, it’s natural to ask, ‘Who was in charge, and how could they not have known? And were they trying to protect the reputation of the institution, the team, themselves and all of the rest of it?’ Reputations are not made in court. Reputations are made in the culture at-large. Who goes to jail is decided in court. The state of one’s legacy is seldom decided there.”

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.