A discussion board contributor said, “I wish we could do an experiment and send all leftists to an island and then compare the mainland US to it in 100 years.”
I thought about asking him who exactly he had it in mind to send into exile, but I am sure he would have just named one or two of the usual suspects because there is no such thing as The Left, nor is there any entity called The Right. Those are figments of our over-active imaginations.
The PEW Research Center has identified nine different political types here in America, four varieties of Democrat or Democrat leaning voters, four of Republican or Republican leaning voters, and a ninth group of largely apolitical, confused, and disaffected who often don’t vote.
PEW RESEARCH CENTERNOVEMBER 9, 2021
The PEW Research Center report begins “Partisan polarization remains the dominant, seemingly unalterable condition of American politics. Republicans and Democrats agree on very little – and when they do, it often is in the shared belief that they have little in common.”
Furthermore, the big two of political coalitions are not unified as most bloviators, itching to exacerbate a conflict, would have us believe.
Which of the following eight categories best describes you?
Faith and Flag Conservatives 23% of Republicans or Republican leaning voters
Committed Conservatives 15%
Populist Right 23%
Ambivalent Right 18%
(15% of Stressed Sideliners economically liberal and social conservative who sometimes vote one way and sometimes the other. 6% more of voters with generally Republican values belong to groups that preclude them from voting that way, Pro-gay or anti-gun voters for instance.)
Faith and Flag Conservatives (are intensely conservative in all realms; they are far more likely than all other typology groups to say government policies should support religious values and that compromise in politics is just “selling out on what you believe in.”
Committed Conservatives also express conservative views across the board, but with a somewhat softer edge, particularly on issues of immigration and America’s place in the world.
Populist Right, who have less formal education than most other typology groups and are among the most likely to live in rural areas, are highly critical of both immigrants and major U.S. corporations.
Ambivalent Right, the youngest and least conservative GOP-aligned group, hold conservative views about the size of government, the economic system and issues of race and gender. But they are the only group on the political right in which majorities favor legal abortion and say marijuana should be legal for recreational and medical use. They are also distinct in their views about Donald Trump – while a majority voted for him in 2020, most say they would prefer he not continue to be a major political figure.
Progressive Left, 12% of Democrats or Democrat leaning voters
Establishment Liberals 23%
Democratic Mainstays 28%
Outsider Left 16%
(13% of Stressed Sideliners economically liberal and social conservative who sometimes vote one way and sometimes the other and similar to Republican Stressed Sideliners. 8% more of voters with generally Democrat values who belong to groups that preclude them from voting that way, such as anti-gay or pro-gun.)
Progressive Left are liberal across the board, politically active, and support Democratic Socialists like Bernie Sanders and Elisabeth Warren in the primaries, young and well educated.
Establishment Liberals are moderates who support social change but open to compromise and working within the existing system, not in favor of radical measures.
Democratic Mainstays are moderates on legal (not illegal) immigration, support military spending, pro law enforcement and anti-crime crime.
Outside Left are young and liberal on climate change issues and race, but skeptical in general about the both parties. They tend to think other countries are better than our own.
It puts things in the proper perspective. No matter how you identify, you and your group represent, at most, one eighth of the American populace. No group is anywhere near a majority.
Proposed: Let’s stop pretending it’s Us Versus Them.