Progressive activists often seem unaware of how far some of their core assumptions and inclinations are from average Americans, including among disadvantaged groups like blacks and Hispanics in whose name they often presume to speak. This can be seen in the new release from the More in Common group, who term their new series their American Fabric series, following on from their Hidden Tribes series.
The new study, as their did previous ones, divides the American population into groups using on an underlying factor analysis of core beliefs. One of their groups–literally termed “progressive activists”–is 8 percent of the population and is described as: “deeply concerned with issues concerning equity, fairness, and America’s direction today. They tend to be more secular, cosmopolitan, and highly engaged with social media.”
They don’t provide a detailed demographic breakdown of this or other groups (which is a mistake in my opinion) but a previous study provided more detail on the progressive activist group as they compare to overall averages.
–More than twice as likely to list politics as a hobby – 73% V. 35%
– Three times more likely to say that people’s outcomes are the result of “luck and circumstance” – 75% V. 25%
– Less likely to believe the world is becoming a “more and more dangerous place” – 19% V. 38%
– More than twice as likely to say that they never pray – 50% V. 19%
– Almost three times more likely to be “ashamed to be an American” – 69% V. 24%
– More likely to say they are proud of their political ideology – 63% V. 46%
– Eleven percent more likely to be white – 80% V. 69%
– Seven percent more likely to be between ages 18 and 29 – 28% V. 21%
– Twice as likely to have completed college – 59% V. 29%
Hmm. Sounds like a pretty familiar type right? The new report shows, among other things, how far progressive activists’ attitude toward their own country departs from not just from that of average Americans but from average black and Hispanic Americans as well. Black and Hispanic Americans are highly likely to be proud to be Americans and highly likely to say they would still choose to live in America if they could choose to live anywhere in the world. On both questions, progressive activists are far, far less likely to express these sentiments (see charts below).
I think these differences are not just large but significant. They underscore the extent to which cosmopolitan, highly educated, overwhelmingly white progressives have detached themselves from the rest of the country. No wonder the average voter doesn’t want to hang around with them.