Pew Study Deserves Grain of Salt

04Apr07

Take care when reading the Pew Research Center’s recently released high-profile study examining 10-year trends in political values and attitudes. In a 112-page press release, the study touts itself as documenting landmark changes in American culture, such as a political landscape that favors Democrats. Yet sandwiched between the attitudinal shifts are a number of stunning incongruities. Consider the following excerpt from Section 2: Success, Poverty and Government Responsibility:

“Notably, a solid majority of those who say the poor are too dependent (63%) believe the government has a responsibility to take care of people who cannot take care of themselves. And nearly half of those who say the poor have become too dependent on the government (48%) also agree with the statement “The government should help more needy people even if it means going deeper in debt.”

Something’s just not quite right here. Despite the provocative and seemingly well-documented nature of the study, the passage above suggests that age-old human factors such as capriciousness and emotions are at play. Not an unlikely prospect given the media feeding frenzy on the war in Iraq, all things President Bush, and just about anything status quo. The study’s worth a read, but don’t forget your filter.

As for John McCain….the longtime lawmaker’s outlook on the nation reflects a steady commitment to fundamental American values as well as a recognition of a maturing culture. Click here to read how John McCain stands on the issues.

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