Although a transatlantic cultural gap still exists on certain issues, many Americans have started to think more similarly to Europeans since the beginning of President Obama’s first term.
Polls consistently find a transatlantic divide when it comes to fundamental beliefs on a variety of political and cultural “values,” and Pew Research Center studies show that Americans’ views on individualism, military force and religion continue to separate them from Europeans regardless of who is in The White House.
However, some formerly distinctive American values have started to look more European in recent years.
Americans are not as convinced as they used to be about their own cultural superiority – in 2002, six-in-ten agreed with the statement “our people are not perfect, but our culture is superior.” By 2011, just 49 percent held this view, much closer to the levels typically registered in Europe.
Young people are also much more likely than older Americans to believe the government should make sure no one is in need.