What is your outlook?
Andrew Kohut is the president of the Pew Research Center. He also acts as director of the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press (formerly the Times Mirror Center for the People & the Press) and the Pew Global Attitudes Project. He was President of The Gallup Organization from 1979 to 1989. In 1989, he founded Princeton Survey Research Associates, an attitude and opinion research firm specializing in media, politics, and public policy studies. He served as founding director of surveys for the Times Mirror Center 1990-1992, and was named its Director in 1993. He is a past president of American Association of Public Opinion Research and the National Council on Public Polls. In 2005, he received the American Association of Public Opinion Research's highest honor, the Award for Exceptionally Distinguished Achievement. He is a frequent press commentator on the meaning and interpretation of opinion poll results and the co-author of four books, including, mostly recently, America Against the World (Times Books). He received an A.B. degree from Seton Hall University in 1964 and studied graduate sociology at Rutgers, the State University, from 1964 to 1966.
Question: Are you generally optimistic or pessimistic about the way the world is headed?
Andrew Kohut: Oh I don’t know. I can’t answer a question like that. You know you can say you’re optimistic and . . . You know the world is full of surprises, Lord knows. In 2001 we thought, you know, we had no enemies. The world . . . We were on a course. . . The only problem seemed to be that the stock market boom seemed to be a little bit over, and look what happened. History . . . The course of history . . . The course of the . . . The course of the world and the course of this country has at least changed, which affects the course of the world. And I don’t think you can be too sanguine about what the future holds.
Question: How will this age be remembered?
Andrew Kohut: Well I think this age will be remembered as a time in which America really struggled with is world leadership. The United States went into a new phase of . . . of . . . of . . . of economic development when it . . . as its . . . as its . . . as its technologies became more dominant, its populations changed from . . . became an older population and began to become an increasingly Latino population. I don’t have a quick adjective – the age of whatever – but I think those are the dominant themes.
Recorded on: 9/14/07
Kohut says it's hard to be sanguine in light of the way things are going.
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