About 1 in 4 of those surveyed say the office of the president has the best chance of fostering healthy public conversations (23%), while about 1 in 10 say pastors of local churches (11%) or university professors (10%). Members of the media (8%) faired slightly better than business leaders (7%) or members of Congress (6%). Few Americans look to professional athletes (1%) or musicians (less than 1%) to lead healthy conversations about the nation’s challenges.
The most common response: “None of these” (33%).
Among other findings:
Southerners are more likely to look to the president (25%) than those in the Midwest (18%).
Those in the Northeast choose the media (11%) more than those in the South (5%).
Younger Americans—those 18 to 34—look to the media (12%) more than those 65 and older (3%).
African-Americans are the most likely ethnic group to choose local pastors (21%) and the president (37%).
Hispanic Americans are the least likely ethnic group to choose the media (3%).
Christians are more likely to look to pastors (16%) than those from other faiths (1%) or those with no religious preference (2%).
Christians (7%) are less likely to look to professors than those from other faiths (18%) or those with no religious preference (15%).
Americans with evangelical beliefs have faith in pastors (36%) but little faith in the media (3%) or professors (3%) to guide such conversations.
A couple observations.
Notice bond between Southerners and African-Americans (are they they same?) — they trust the president more than other groups. Makes sense for blacks but what the heck did white southerners not learn from that excitement back in the 1860s?
Notice also Christians’ regard for professors. Maybe this explains the lack of Christian intellectuals. The more intellectual, the less trustworthy among the faithful.