The American Political Landscape
The 2018 report Hidden Tribes A Study of America’s Polarized Landscape was written by Daniel Yudkin, Stephen Hawkins, Tim Dixon, and Miriam Juan. The report focuses on the polarization that currently exists in American society today including issues that brings us together and drives us apart. Years of knife-edge elections and political polls convince people that the United States is a 50-50 society; one separated into two political umbrellas opposing each other trapped and trapped in a circle of division and conflict. The purpose of this report was to identify if Americans are segregated by the differences in their underlying attitudes and belief. The report unearths a completely different story. It finds that the country is into seven groups defined by their core beliefs rather than class, gender, political opinions, or race. This report finds substantial evidence of growing tribalism and deep polarization. Additionally, the reports demonstrate that the polarization is rooted in something deeper than policy disagreements, and political opinions. Further, it unearths evidence for optimism citing that 77% of Americans believe their differences are not big to the extent of not coming together.
Segments of the American Political Landscape
The hidden tribes of America are seven and they include Progressive activists (8%), traditional liberals (11%), passive liberals (15%), politically disengaged (26%), moderates (15%), traditional conservatives (19%), and the devoted conservatives (6%) with each segment having its own unique set of characteristics (Hawkins, et. al 2018, p 7). Progressive activists include the young population. These individuals are characterized as secular, highly engaged, angry, and cosmopolitan. Traditional liberals are the retired older population. They are rational, open to compromise, and rather cautious. Moderates are the civic-minded, engaged, pessimistic and people. Passive liberals on the other hand are the insecure, unhappy, disillusioned, and distrustful kind of people. Devoted conservatives are the retired, white, patriotic, uncompromising and, highly engaged kinds of people. Traditional conservatives on the other hand are the middle class, religious, and moralistic. Traditional conservatives can also be termed as patriots.
Segments one cannot Identify with
Devoted Conservatives top the list of the groups that most appealing segments. They are counter ideologies held by progressive activists. Devoted conservatives are mainly concerned with matters of economy, immigration, and terrorism. They are among the top groups of people earning the highest incomes. They feel more secure and happier than other Americans. They are mostly involved in political and social issues and they hold matters to do abortion, religious liberty, and terrorism with importance. They mostly value loyalty and patriotism to the American flag. In their viewpoint, traditional values are under attack and Americans are being forced into buying in liberal beliefs in issues including racial inequality, immigration, the role of women, and Islamism. Devoted conservatives maintain that American values are eroding rapidly, and they see it as their duty to defend these values. Moderates too do not also appeal to me because they tend to be uncomfortable with the topic of tribal politics. Moderates dislike activism and although religion takes center stage in their life, they reject intolerance and extremism. The Politically Disengaged ideologies do not resonate with me. They have the least level of education and are less involved in current affairs. Their attitudes are less open to differences and are more anxious about making external threats. They are likely to make statements such as being white is needed to make a person American
Segments One Can Resonate with
The groups that one can identify with include Progressive Activists, Traditional Liberals, Traditional Conservatives, and Passive Liberals. Progressive activists hold strong ideologies and are active in political matters. They have high levels of socioeconomic status and education. Furthermore, it is easy to relate with them as they are highly sensitive to issues of equity and fairness in society particularly as regards gender, race, and other minority groups. Because their focus is on power structures, they tend to be rather pessimistic about issues of fairness in American society. Traditional Liberals also represent my viewpoints. They are also intolerant to conservative ideologies. They handle conflicts by getting to the heart of the bottom. I also like that they have faith in American institutions and they respond best to rational arguments. Although Passive liberals are also very likely to engage in political and social issues, they have liberal opinions about social matters including sexism, immigration, and LGBTI issues. They avoid debates, are uninformed, consume little media, and avoid political debates. Traditional Conservatives best represent my values because they value foundations and patriotism. They feel Christian foundations are under attack from cultures that hold that diversity devalues America’s achievements.
Personal Thoughts on the State of Polarization of the American Political Landscape
I am of the opinion that the polarized State of American Political Landscape is an urgent issue of concern. Further, I hold that the state of polarization is slowly getting worse for various reasons. Issues of racism, poor leadership, matters of economy, division, and immigration are among the biggest concerns for the country. Without a doubt, the country remains divided along racial lines and the healthcare sector is also an issue of concern. People remain divided along racial, class, and economic income lines. Racism has gained a lot of traction over the past few years and despite efforts being, made for the attainment of equality, there is still a long way to go. For instance in matters of gender and sexuality, despite the shift in public onion, 49% of Americans hold that change in attitudes towards sex and marriage is leading the country to lose moral ground. The country’s divisiveness can be curbed only through good leadership that recognizes and encourages equality for all.
How to Heal the Divide of Polarization
What can help America bridge the great divide to allow the country to move forward and work to address societal problems is a change in mindset particularly for the citizens. Current society faces many problems with most directly linking directly and indirectly to matters of development. If we can change our mindset and eliminate some of the notions held by these groups, we can incite behavioral change. For instance, when it comes to the labor market and employment, sexism exits and reflects on the gender pay gap and the lack of female representatives in leadership and managerial positions. This is the case because, through socialization, society taught us that women are incapable of leading and that they do not serve the deserve pay as their men counterparts. Through mindset shift, we can begin to slowly see positive change in society and behavior change. A change in mindset can also help address discrimination making sexual minorities. It is high time people recognized LGBTI rights because they are human rights too.
Hawkins, S., Yudkin, D., Juan-Torres, M., & Dixon, T. (2018). Hidden tribes: A study of America’s polarized landscape. More in Common.