PR pulse: Political leaders fail to deliver civility, authenticity and respect

by | Feb 4, 2019 | Public Relations

American voters believe the country’s political leaders are failing to deliver on the civility, authenticity and respect their constituents expect, and want to work together to find common ground, according to a new national survey from the American Center for Political Leadership (ACPL). According to the org’s study, U.S. Voter Sentiment on Civility in Politics, voters are optimistic that the nation’s colleges and universities can serve as an effective platform to mend the nation’s divides.

By a near 4:1 margin, 79 percent of voters believe political leaders must demonstrate these attributes. Conversely, 21 percent believe political leaders must fight for what is right, even if that means getting aggressive and rude with the opposition.

By nearly identical margins, 78 percent of voters want to see their elected officials work for everyone in the general public, compared to 22 percent reporting that elected officials should solely fight for the policies their supporters believe.

PR pulse: Political leaders fail to deliver civility, authenticity and respect

75 percent of voters want to work together to find common ground over standing up for their point of view

Meanwhile, 69 percent believe America’s colleges and universities should be leading the way through bipartisan research activities, academic programs, courses, and workshops that serve to develop the next generation of political leaders to protect individual freedoms, cultivate civic engagement and advance political civility in the country.

American voters are in near universal agreement that our next generation of political leaders should civilly advocate for and effectively discuss these critical challenges to the nation: economic freedom, or the right of individuals to control their labor and property (96 percent); racial equality (92 percent); religious freedom (92 percent); gender equality (88 percent); and traditional values (87 percent).

PR pulse: Political leaders fail to deliver civility, authenticity and respect

“Americans have made it abundantly clear that they’re tired of the polarization, the fighting among politicians and the dysfunction of government,” said Kent Ingle, president of Southeastern University in Lakeland, Fla., where ACPL is located, and author of Framework Leadership, in a news release. “American voters want servant leaders, those who serve for the interests of all Americans, regardless of political party affiliation.”

The poll comes as the first bipartisan research activity by ACPL, which opened in January

The center also houses academic programs, courses, workshops and resources that prepare the next generation of political leaders and passionate citizens who aim to promote traditional American values and individual freedoms with civility, authenticity, respect and decorum in government and society.

ACPL was formed in response to the toxic political climate, the disconnect that many Americans feel towards the policies and motivations of political leaders, and their lack of understanding of how to get involved in the political process.

PR pulse: Political leaders fail to deliver civility, authenticity and respect

According to the poll, 69 percent of respondents believe colleges and universities can help to bring important solutions to today’s divisive politics through bipartisan activities.

“The American Center for Political Leadership is working to cultivate and engage the next generation of political leaders and active citizens, and to bring servant leadership back to American politics,” said Dennis Ross, ACPL director and former representative of Florida’s 15th congressional district, in the release. Ross also serves as a distinguished professor of political science at Southeastern University.

Read the complete report here.

The study was conducted by Heart + Mind Strategies on the evening of the November 6th 2018 midterm elections. The online survey results reflect the selections of the 1,058 respondents, all chosen from a national sample of midterm voters.

Daily PR Updates

Essential PR industry news, opinion, and analysis delivered to your inbox daily.

Richard Carufel
Richard Carufel is editor of Bulldog Reporter and the Daily ’Dog, one of the web’s leading sources of PR and marketing communications news and opinions. He has been reporting on the PR and communications industry for over 17 years, and has interviewed hundreds of journalists and PR industry leaders. Reach him at richard.carufel@bulldogreporter.com; @BulldogReporter