Kindness and unity may not be popular among modern-day politicians, but they are virtues that three-quarters of Americans want to see modeled by their leaders, according to a new survey.
The poll by the Cultural Research Center at Arizona Christian University for the organization AmericasOne asked U.S. adults to describe the qualities they want in their desired political leaders.
Just over three-quarters of Americans (76 percent) agreed with a statement saying they want leaders who are “honest, courageous, and hard-working” and who “are in politics to serve the people, not for personal gain.”
“The only candidates worthy of your support are those who believe success is acting in the best interests of the nation,” said the statement, which garnered the most support.
Finishing a close second with 75 percent of support was a statement that said in order to “restore peace and unity, we need leaders to model kindness and understanding, even with people they strongly disagree with.”
Meanwhile, 71 percent of Americans believe the political system “is not broken” but “is being abused by people who are in politics for their own benefit or personal interests.” That statement also said, “The system still works, but it requires officials who will protect our freedoms by applying Constitutional principles rather than changing the system to satisfy personal preferences or ideological ideals.”
The poll, released Tuesday, was based on two interviews this summer with a total of 3,775 adults. A news release said the survey shows that Americans are “tired of the nastiness and fighting.”
“The results will certainly be relevant through the 2024 election, and can serve as a benchmark for measuring how well we are identifying leaders who really understand the heart of the people,” said AmericasOne founder Marc Nuttal. “Regardless of who wins the midterms, many of the issues on Americans’ minds today will be the same issues that must be addressed in the next presidential cycle. And these research findings provide a pathway forward. Citizens must now, more than ever, stand up to protect the values in which they believe if they want America to lead the world. The authority to lead their own families as they see fit is at stake.”
George Barna, who directed the research for the Cultural Research Center at Arizona Christian University, said the two major political parties are not modeling the behavior and actions most Americans want.
“Presently, millions of Americans assume they cannot change the momentum of the political parties and leaders who are poorly representing the hopes and dreams of the public,” Barna said. “To restore the heart of the nation according to the values of the people will take a willingness to get more deeply involved and to reject the unpalatable vision that the major parties and most powerful political leaders are foisting upon the people.”
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Microgen
Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.