The process has helped to make Zogby one of the most accurate polling agencies in the world. It has also provided John Zogby with insight and a true a sense of the terrain he deals with.
In the wake of the 2008 elections, the data and a keen sense of that data has led John Zogby to a few conclusions.
The first of which gives birth to a new term describing a new generation of voters. These are voters between the age of 18 and 29 and John Zogby calls them “First Global Citizens”.
These people are so named because according to Zogby, the new crop of 18 to 29 year olds are a post racial bunch who maintain far less racial and ethnic biases than generations before them. They also see more of the world as their playground. Those in this age bracket see their spending time in foreign lands as very likely and very natural. Unlike previous generations which viewed such thoughts as rare occassions or once in a lifetime experiences, First Global Citizens see time out of country as a regular occurrence. Further evidence of this wave is the fact that after the election, polling of those in the 18 to 29 age group showed that more than 61 percent of them own passports. This number far exceeds other groups, including those 65 and older who are retired and at a point in life where they have the time travel.
These characteristics are probably the natural results of a world where technological advances have expanded the reach of global inhabitants. Far off lands are common place on our computers, the convenience of travel is ever increasing, a global economy is linking corporate and industrial interests closer and closer together and employment opportunities are bursting across borders as foreign economies increase in growth, power and influence.
And while all this is happening, new generations which have been raised by predecessors who fought off more and more racial injustices with the passing of each generation before them. These new First Global Citizens were raised by more people who instilled in them the concept of seeing people for their inner selves rather than their outer shells.
So it is natural to assume that perhaps we are witnessing one of the first generational groups to come of age in America that is comprised primarily of an attitude that sees past colors and labels. That is nothing but good and it all helped to elect America’s first African-American President.
This inaugural generation of American Global Citizens related to Barack Obama.
Along with being technically in tune with the generation due to a tech savvy campaign organization, Obama also maintained a “global” aura. With roots in Kenya and the American heartland, living and learning in Indonesia and being raised in the poly-ethnic surroundings of Hawaii his unique history provided a perfect narrative for a new generation of global minded young adults.
I have expanded on Zogby’s description of those in his newly penned demographic group but it need not any confirmation from me. It is quite a logical and rational hypothesis. It is one that he has convinced me of.
But it is one that also sends chills down my spine.
It makes me question our future with a great deal of consternation.
I do not for a moment question the good judgment finally achieved by First Global Citizens when it comes to their apparent ability to break through racial and ethnic barriers. That kind of harmony helps to strengthen us. What I do however question is the extent to which the mentality of globalization or being a “global citizen” is taken.
As First Global Citizens give way to second and third American generation global citizens what attitudes will they be passing on to successive generations?
Will the growing attitude of globalization so dilute our sovereignty and concern for our sovereignty that America is reduced to a way of life that is influenced by the rest of the world more than it influences the rest of the world?
Will the following generations of American Global Citizens feel little need to preserve some of that which made us distinctly American? Things like our constitution and the concept of freedom?
America has been struggling to live up to its early and original direction long before the influence of the First Global Citizens. The Constitution and the Bill of Rights are constantly under assault. From judges who try to legislate from the bench to full scale invasions by tens of thousands and millions who sneak into our nation each year, many of our basic values are threatened. Complacency often allows the chips to fall where they may and the issues to be put aside for another day.
In the mean time we build a government that continuously increases in size, constantly increases its regulation of our lives, and seemingly becomes less and less responsive to our desires.
We went adrift long before America’s First Global Citizens came of age with more of a sense for global citizenship than American citizenship. Now that they have come of age what is to become of us? Will we continue to care less about our distinctly American way of life? Will we take things like NAFTA and expand them even further? Perhaps, as some sectors have already proposed, we will do away with the dollar for our 50 states and adopt the Amero for the Americas…North, South and Central.
I have spent quite some time countering the policies of some which I have called isolationist. I abhor isolationist policies and thinking. I understand, perhaps more than some, that we are intertwined in this world. Our environments, our health, our security and even our economics are all tied together to one degree or another. So do not for a single minute think that I am seeking xenophobic or isolationist policies. But I do not want to walk too far into the opposite extreme either.
I do not want America to lose its promise or purpose. I do not want America to lose sovereignty and sight. I want my nation to always serve as a beacon for the goals we once set out for. A nation where our people are safe, secure, free and unobstructed. I want a nation where we determine our own fates based on those characteristics. I want a nation that, through our example, influences the world for the better rather than one that is influenced by the worst in the world. It is my hope that John Zogby’s First Global Citizens are of the same thought. It is my hope that all worldly Americans understand the importance of our founding principles and seek to have those principles applied by those they chose to lead us.
Zogby claims that the favor which First Globals’s place on President Obama is a bad sign for Republicans. He believes that this prolific demographic has no concern with labels and that references to left or right ideologies means little to them. They are more concerned with results.
Again I will not dispute Mr. Zogby’s evaluation but what I do contest is his assessment that this means trouble for the future of the Republican party.
Zogby feels that the G.O.P. has been shaped by an economic, social and religious orthodoxy that First Global Citizens reject. I believe that although there are participants of traditional values under the umbrella of the G.O.P., there is also an overriding concern among party ideologues to insure that our government maintains a level of governance that does not stymie individuality and individual freedom. It is a level of governance that can appeal to the individuality and independent sensibilities of First Globalists.
It is also my opinion that along with Mr. Zogby’s descriptions of First Global Citizens comes another characteristic that they possess. Along with their dislike for labels, members of this demographic maintain little loyalty to “labels”. That includes political allegiance.
Such a lack of partisan conviction makes First Global Citizens more prone to ticket splitting. They are not a part of the “vote column A, all the way” thinking of other demographics which have often been responsible for making one party win across the board during any particular election cycle.
This means that the mentality of future voters will tend to be far less monolithic in their political preferences.
It also means that keeping a vast majority of First Global Citizens on his side will prove to be a tough job for President Obama. This untraditional demographic does not appreciate blind allegiance to special interest groups. They may not take lightly to the liberal orthodoxy of Democrats which, more often than not, cave into the many special interests that line their pockets. First Global Citizens are not likely to appreciate the liberal tendency for political pandering that creates wedge issues and leads to their catering to one group at the expense of all others.
Zogby’s new found demographic is indeed a reality to deal with it. However putting this demographic in one political column more than the other may just be a bit premature on his part.
Despite the fact that each new generation of Americans brings a new characteristic to the table some things never change. One of those things is the fact that Americans have and always will have “a throw the bums out” mentality. As such, after a few years in power, the powerful often become the “bums” that we want to throw out.
President Obama is no bum. At least not yet. With only months in office, the American drive for renewal and reinvigoration still exists for President Obama. But if he fails to prove himself to be as unconcerned with labels as First Global Citizens are, he, himself will be labeled a bum and Zogby’s First Global Citizens will be the first to throw him out.
I really do love this country, but…
1. Only in America… can a pizza get to your house faster than an ambulance.
2. Only in America… are there handicap parking places in front of a skating rink.
3. Only in America… do drugstores make the sick walk all the way to the back of the store to get their prescriptions while healthy people can buy cigarettes at the front.
4. Only in America… do people order double cheese burgers, large fries, and a diet coke.
5. Only in America… do banks leave both doors open and then chain the pens to the counters.
6. Only in America… do we leave cars worth thousands of dollars in the driveway and put our useless junk in the garage.
7. Only in America… do we use answering machines to screen calls and then have call waiting so we won’t miss a call from someone we didn’t want to talk to in the first place.
8. Only in America… do we buy hot dogs in packages of ten and buns in packages of eight.
9. Only in America… do we use the word ‘politics’ to describe the process so well: ‘Poli’ in Latin meaning ‘many’ and ‘tics’ meaning ‘bloodsucking creatures’.
10. Only in America… do they have drive-up ATM machines with Braille.