Every so often over the last 35 years Pew Research has produced what they call their “political typology” for the United States. Their most recent analysis was published about a month ago and I encourage you to read it. Here’s the opening section:
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.
Yet the gulf that separates Republicans and Democrats sometimes obscures the divisions and diversity of views that exist within both partisan coalitions – and the fact that many Americans do not fit easily into either one.
As the graphic above, sampled from the post, illustrates, they divide the U. S. political taxonomy into nine groups:
- Faith and Flag Conservatives
- Committed Conservatives
- Populist Right
- Ambivalent Right
- Stressed Sideliners
- Outsider Left
- Democratic Mainstays
- Establishment Liberals
- Progressive Left
After reading their descriptions I don’t feel that I fit comfortably into any of those groups. My political views have been aptly characterized as “eclectic”. I don’t fit the profile of “Stressed Sideliners” although I have much in common with them and I have some basic disagreements with with “Democratic Mainstays” although I have much in common with them as well. My views are even more different form the other groups.
I do wonder if the members of the Progressive Left who certainly seem to have the whip hand in crafting federal Democratic policy these days recognize what a small proportion of the American people they comprise? I suspect that either they don’t care or believe against all evidence that there are many, many more members of of their group out there than actually exist.
I attribute my views to having seen too much of the inner workings of large corporations and federal, state, and local government in all its branches not to view them cynically.
At any rate if you read the linked article you may see yourself. Or, like me, not.