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The young trust the U.N. - more than the U.S.

April 25, 2012
A Harvard poll of young Americans released yesterday found that young people, while more confident in the direction of the country than the general population, also lack trust in most American institutions.  

Perhaps the most interesting tidbit: Young people trust the United Nations more than they trust the United States to solve the world's problems. 

"Our findings have consistently shown by wide margins that 18- to 29- year olds strongly prefer the United Nations and other countries take the lead in solving international crises and conflicts," according to the report from the Harvard Institute of Politics. Not only that, the poll found, but young people support the U.N. regardless of whether they're Republicans or Democrats. 

"76 percent of Democrats, 74 percent of Republicans and 75 percent of Independents agree that United States should let other countries and the United Nations take the lead in solving international crises and conflicts," the poll found. Only one-quarter of young Americans believe that the United States should take the lead.

Young people trust the President more than the U.N., the poll found, and they trust U.S. military more than any other institution, with 55 percent of respondents saying they trust the military to do the right thing most or all of the time. But somehow trust for the commander-in-chief and trust in the military doesn't translate into support for the U.S. taking a global leadership role. 

For the executive summary of the poll, click here.

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