This article is part of a series on the May 2014 Allstate/National Journal Heartland Monitor Poll.
Forty-one percent of Americans do not participate very often in any of 10 bedrock activities of American civic and political life, according to the latest Allstate/National Journal Heartland Monitor survey.
At the other end of the spectrum, just 1 percent of Americans engage very often in eight or more of the activities—from attending town hall meetings to volunteering in the community to giving money to a cause or political candidate. Those Americans with higher incomes or with college degrees are much more likely than those with low incomes or without college degrees to report engagement in at least one of the civic activities.Individually, many of these 10 activities are popular. For example, 65 percent of Americans say that they volunteer in their community very often or somewhat often. But in combination, such activities are uncommon. Just 12 percent of Americans engaged in more than three activities “very often,” an indication that for most Americans, civic and political engagement, other than voting in elections, is occasional and narrow in scope. These findings add texture to one of the survey’s clearest findings, which is that 72 percent of Americans say that the major social changes in this country have come from average Americans pushing government to change, rather than government taking the lead. The catch is that even moderately engaged Americans are not average. At the moment, at least, they are rare.
Individually, many of these 10 means of engagement are popular. For example, 65 percent of Americans say that they volunteer in their community very often or somewhat often. But very few seem to have the time or inclination for broad civic participation. Just 12 percent of Americans engaged in more than three activities “very often,” an indication that for most Americans, civic and political engagement—other than voting in elections—is occasional and narrow in scope.
That finding offers texture to two of the survey’s clearest results. First, a full 70 percent of Americans believe that the country needs “major changes.” Second, three-quarters say that the major social changes in this country have come from average Americans pushing government, rather than government taking the lead.
But there’s a catch: The average American is not very engaged in the usual ways activism is measured. Even those who are moderately engaged are—at least for the moment—rare.
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"North Korea said on Friday it might test a hydrogen bomb over the Pacific Ocean after President Donald Trump vowed to destroy the reclusive country, with leader Kim Jong Un promising to make Trump pay dearly for his threats. Kim did not specify what action he would take against the United States or Trump, whom he called a 'mentally deranged U.S. dotard' in the latest bout of insults the two leaders have traded in recent weeks."
President Trump this afternoon announced another round of sanctions on North Korea, calling the regime "a continuing threat." The executive order, which Trump relayed to Congress, bans any ship or plane that has visited North Korea from visiting the United States within 180 days. The order also authorizes sanctions on any financial institution doing business with North Korea, and permits the secretaries of State and the Treasury to sanction any person involved in trading with North Korea, operating a port there, or involved in a variety of industries there.
In response to a reporter's question, President Trump said "he’ll be looking to impose further financial penalties on North Korea over its nuclear and ballistic tests. ... The U.N. has passed two resolutions recently aimed at squeezing the North Korean economy by cutting off oil, labor and exports to the nation." Meanwhile, the Guardian reports that South Korea's unification ministry is sending an $8m aid package aimed at infants and pregnant women in North Korea. The "humanitarian gesture [is] at odds with calls by Japan and the US for unwavering economic and diplomatic pressure on Pyongyang."
President Trump on Tuesday night met with UN Secretary Guterres and President of the General Assembly Miroslav Lajcak. In both cases, as per releases from the White House, Trump pressed them on the need to reform the UN bureaucracy.