Zogby: Young people want gridlock to end

The younger generation wants to break through gridlock ingovernment and the workplace, but the baby boomers must give them the power to do it, a nationally known pollster said Wednesday at an event at Wilmington University’s New Castle campus.

John Zogby argued that many institutions – education, religion, the workplace and politics – should harness the millennial generation’s ability to solve problems. The gridlock in Washington D.C. that partially shut down the federal government is the most recent sign that the old way of doing things no longer works, he said.

“We are watching familiar organizations crumble right before our eyes,” he said.

Zogby, the founder of the Zogby Poll, is a political analyst and commentator. His company, Zogby Analytics, uses polling data tohelp businesses, nonprofits and other organizations make decisions.

He said his polling shows millennials, the generation aged 19 to 34, are more globally minded and unattached to a top-down decision-making process than the Americans who came before them. They are passionate about public service, he said, and they are pragmatic and concentric.

Zogby argued against the popular narrative that the younger generation is apathetic and narcissistic in his latest book “The First Globals: Understanding, Managing and Unleashing Our Millennial Generation.”

The younger generation does not subscribe to ideology that has driven much of the political conversation within the Republican and Democratic parties, Zogby said.

The boomers need to give them space to help solve the problems that face the nation. They need to be given the flexibility and power to do it, and the boomers have to give it to them, he said.

“They need us, but I really think we need them a lot more,” Zogby said.

Taking questions from the audience during his lunchtime speech, Zogby offered his opinion on the local political scene.

Zogby said he believes Vice President Joe Biden is a viable contender for presidency, and that New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, a University of Delaware alum, has an effective governance model, but lacks broad support in the Republican Party.

“His problem is the party is in such disarray,” Zogby said.

Delaware tea party favorite Christine O’Donnell, who ran for U.S. Senate in 2010, is symbolic of deep divisions within the Republican Party, Zogby said. She beat moderate Republican Mike Castle in the primary, but she lost the general election against DemocratChris Coons.

“Then you have the tea party, which is into witchcraft,” Zogby said, drawing chuckles from the audience with a joke about O’Donnell.