There is no doubt that American civility in politics is all but civil these days and many Americans among various demographic groups are unified in one thing: America is too politically correct.
According to a report completed by More in Common, an international research initiative, said 80 percent of Americans polled say “political correctness is a problem in our country.” The study is called Hidden Tribes: A Study of America’s Polarized Landscape where groups that were surveyed were divided based on political leanings.
The researchers of the report polled 8,000 respondents and asked many questions related to race, sexism, immigration, free speech, and other polarizing issues of the day. The responses were separated out into six different focus groups, or Tribes: progressive activists, traditional liberals, passive liberals, the apathetic, moderates, traditional conservatives, and devoted conservatives. The two conservative categories constituted 25 percent of the total; the progressives, just 8 percent, and liberals made up 25 percent.
Key takeaways –
- The poll finds that many of Americans, of all ages and ethnic backgrounds, oppose political correctness. Objections to political correctness are stronger among minorities and those who have never attended college.
- 82 percent polled among all of the categories, or Tribes, believe “hate speech” is a problem.
- Only 30 Percent of Progressive Activists surveyed consider political correctness as a problem.
- High-income earners and college graduates think political correctness is not a problem.
- Among Traditional Liberals, 61 percent see political correctness as a problem, while almost a third (30 percent) of self-proclaimed Progressive Activist see it as a problem.
- Objections to political correctness were higher among Asians (82 percent), Hispanics (87 percent), American Indians (88 percent), and whites (79 percent)
- Majority of Americans want to compromise.
- Social media is heightening conflict in public debate and bringing extreme narratives into the mainstream.
The Exhausted Majority – (Traditional liberals, Passive liberals, Politically disengaged, and Moderates)
The study identifies a group called the Exhausted Majority, which makes up members who do not conform to a partisan ideology. This group “shares a sense of fatigue with the polarized national conversation, a willingness to be flexible in their political viewpoints, and a lack of voice in the national conversation.”
This group, 80 percent, says political correctness is a problem in America and young people (ages 24 to 29), 79 percent, are also uncomfortable with the culture of political correctness.
Descriptive comments in the survey –
Respondents surveyed about the political polarization of the country gave descriptive comments about political correctness in America. The study further indicated that people do not separate themselves or divide themselves based on racial, income level, or class lines but rather by political leanings rather than any demographic group.
- A 28-year old woman who was labeled a Passive Liberal in the study said “I have liberal views but I think political correctness has gone too far, absolutely. We have gotten to a point where everybody is offended by the smallest thing.”
- A 29-year old man, who describes himself as a moderate, stated that Americans are “tearing ourselves apart out of self-interest” and “I am a person, who happens to live in the United States of America…. If you push me I would define myself as an American, who happens to be of African-American descent, even if that might be a misnomer as I have never been to Africa.”
- A 59-year old woman, considered Politically Disengaged and distrusts politics, believes America has become more disorganized “it’s just too free and open now… people are more selfish, immoral.” To fix America’s problems, “we need people to try and work together, understand each other and get along,” but she thinks this will never happen.
- A 54-year old woman, considered Moderate, states that “The entitlement, everybody feeling it’s their way or no way. I know people say they are protesting to bring people together, but I believe that a lot of people are just selfish and are worrying about themselves. I just worry about society. I don’t know what it’s going to take to bring things back.”
- A 43-year old male, considered Traditional Conservative, believes that anyone can succeed if they have the will, although he does recognize that “some people have a tougher slog than others.” He thinks success is less about the racial or class background and more about the people with whom you surround yourself.
The report shows that many Americans are ready for compromise and ready to discuss the issues with clarity. A Harvard University professor wrote a critique of the study and said the findings show the mood of America is misunderstood.
The entire report can be viewed here.