October 12, 2018

I'm hearing about the "exhausted majority." Is that something different from the old "silent majority"?

A lot of people — including me, here, yesterday — are linking to the Atlantic article, "Americans Strongly Dislike PC Culture" by Yascha Mounk.

I usually give the subtitle along with the title, but this article has a distractingly incomprehensible subtitle: "Youth isn’t a good proxy for support of political correctness, and race isn’t either." I mean, I can comprehend it now that I've read the article, but unlike most subtitles, it doesn't help you see what you're going to get by reading it. The use of the word "proxy" is, if not entirely wrong, entirely confusing. The idea is supposed to be that you're wrong if you assume that the older and whiter a person is there more likely they are to think "political correctness" is a problem. It turns out that all groups — except "progressive activists" — say they think "political correctness" is a problem. And the majorities are overwhelming.

The article draws from a new report, "Hidden Tribes: A Study of America’s Polarized Landscape,” which sorts Americans into various political "tribes." This depiction is a good quick summary:



Look at how many people are collected under the label "exhausted"! Obviously, we're a huge majority, and it's nice to see all the detail within the majority, but why are we all labeled "exhausted"? And why are "traditional liberals" said to be exhausted when "traditional conservatives" are not? The Atlantic article says that the views of the "traditional" and the "devoted" conservatives "are far outside the American mainstream." I guess the "traditional liberals," unlike the "traditional conservatives," don't belong in the "wings," and therefore get grouped with the "majority." But why is that entire diverse group, the majority, deemed "exhausted"?

To go to the underlying report:
In talking to everyday Americans, we have found a large segment of the population whose voices are rarely heard above the shouts of the partisan tribes. These are people who believe that Americans have more in common than that which divides them. While they differ on important issues, they feel exhausted by the division in the United States. They believe that compromise is necessary in politics, as in other parts of life, and want to see the country come together and solve its problems.
Is this group really tired or just hard to hear "above the shouts of the partisan tribes"? I suspect that the authors are using the term "exhausted majority" because they don't want to say "silent majority."

Here's the Wikipedia article for "Silent Majority":

The silent majority is an unspecified large group of people in a country or group who do not express their opinions publicly. The term was popularized by U.S. President Richard Nixon in a November 3, 1969, speech in which he said, "And so tonight—to you, the great silent majority of my fellow Americans—I ask for your support." .... Nixon along with many others saw this group of Middle Americans as being overshadowed in the media by the more vocal minority....

In the months leading up to Nixon's 1969 speech, his vice-president Spiro T. Agnew said on May 9, "It is time for America's silent majority to stand up for its rights, and let us remember the American majority includes every minority. America's silent majority is bewildered by irrational protest..." Soon thereafter, journalist Theodore H. White analyzed the previous year's elections, writing "Never have America's leading cultural media, its university thinkers, its influence makers been more intrigued by experiment and change; but in no election have the mute masses more completely separated themselves from such leadership and thinking. Mr. Nixon's problem is to interpret what the silent people think, and govern the country against the grain of what its more important thinkers think."...

Nixon's silent majority referred mainly to the older generation (those World War II veterans in all parts of the U.S.) but it also described many young people in the Midwest, West and in the South, many of whom eventually served in Vietnam. The Silent Majority was mostly populated by blue collar white people who did not take an active part in politics; suburban, exurban and rural middle class voters. They did, in some cases, support the conservative policies of many politicians. Others were not particularly conservative politically, but resented what they saw as disrespect for American institutions....

The silent majority theme has been a contentious issue amongst journalists since Nixon used the phrase. Some thought Nixon used it as part of the Southern strategy; others claim it was Nixon's way of dismissing the obvious protests going on around the country, and Nixon's attempt to get other Americans not to listen to the protests. Whatever the rationale, Nixon won a landslide victory in 1972, taking 49 of 50 states, vindicating his "silent majority"....
Of course, that sounds like Trump, and, indeed, Trump used the term during his presidential campaign: "The silent majority is back, and we’re going to take our country back."

That makes the term poison to some people. It may seem better to label 2/3 of Americans as "exhausted" than to give us the dignity and power of "The Silent Majority."

118 comments:

mockturtle said...

'Devoted Conservatives'? LOL!!!

Henry said...

The report assumes that exhaustion is causal as opposed to descriptive.

"Politically disengaged" has always been a big category. For many people, politics is boring.

The "bored majority" doesn't sound so actionable as the "silent" or "exhausted" majority.

madAsHell said...

Graphics with neon pastels, and numbers wins the day!!!

I'm sure the colors were carefully selected, but they pulled the numbers outta their ass.

Henry said...

I admit, as a more-or-less traditional liberal, that the current political divisions have exhausted me. Because they're boring.

Etienne said...

Bottom line: I'm indifferent about the exhausted majority and the ankle biting minority.

John Lynch said...

How are the views of one-quarter of the population not in the mainstream? How can anything defined by the adjective "traditional" be out of the mainstream?

Owen said...

“Exhausted” is spin. Any adjective would be, but this one is egregiously. Who are these writers and “thinkers” to appropriate my emotional state, or rather what they imagine it to be, or rather what they imagine to be the emotional state of some statistical construct whose design by them ordained their conclusion?

Meh.

Unknown said...

"The Atlantic article says that the views of the "traditional" and the "devoted" conservatives "are far outside the American mainstream." "

But they are 25% of the country. That should by definition put them more in the mainstream than liberals who are just 19% according to their own data. It's this type of lazy, unconscious bias that makes these types of articles infuriating to people. Frankly, it's exhausting to read this day in day out without any of these people being aware of what they are doing.

tcrosse said...

The counterpart to 'Devoted Conservatives' should be 'Devout Liberals'.

Bay Area Guy said...

If one is politically exhausted, I would suggest taking a break from the Internet, taking a nice long hike, and then a good rogering of the missus.

That'll recharge the old batteries.

Fernandistein said...

"The report was conducted by More in Common":

Our approach is to:

• Develop and deploy positive narratives that tell a new story of ‘us’, celebrating what we all have in common rather than what divides us

• Connect people on a large scale and across lines of difference, through events and campaigns.


Narratives? We don't need no stinkin' narratives!

IOW:
• Develop and deploy propaganda such as the "report", which will be advertised by leftist media.

Seeing Red said...

They know what they are doing.

But I’m sure they didn’t like this result. Did someone wear a pith helmet on their safari to the interior?

traditionalguy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
traditionalguy said...

Realists only want the truth. No matter how bad it is, it can be dealt with. The exhaustion comes from the storm of disinformation carefully crafted by the CIA 's paid Media . The rubber meets the road on Internet free speech v. Censorship by the Googles of the world.

rcocean said...

The problem with the "Silent Majority" is they have "views" but they don't vote or even pay attention most the time.

They should be relabeled the "irrelevant majority".

Seeing Red said...

“Mainstream” is them and their group.

Amadeus 48 said...

They missed the whole "leave me alone" contingent. "Politically disengaged" doesn't capture it.
And how about the "Rock Candy Mountain" liberals? They're for everything for everyone as long as it doesn't cost them anything. In fact, I'm sorta like that myself.

buwaya said...

Traditional conservatives are tough, seasoned, built for the long haul.
There is no (human) end in sight, its accepted that the world is a vale of tears and always will be, as far as we are concerned. The machines always need maintenance and they can break down at any time, and we are on call 24x7. Thats life.

Hence they can never be exhausted.

rcocean said...

I picked up on the "Traditional Liberals" being part of the majority too.

Obviously, if traditional cons are "Wings" then so are "traditional liberals"

But then the MSM and liberals have been playing that game forever. Reagan was always labeled "right wing" or "ultra-conservative" while Ted Kennedy was just "Good Ol' Ted".

Michael K said...

My daughter, at the U of Arizona in 2008, was taught that "The Silent Majority" consisted of "white people who refused to accept the 1964 Civil Rights Act." That was on her final exam study guide for US History Since 1877.

The Crack Emcee said...

Last time I checked, there were ideologues on the Right, the Left had your fringe characters, and the rest were moderates.

I'm not going to look again.

Nonapod said...

According to the report, 25 percent of Americans are traditional or devoted conservatives, and their views are far outside the American mainstream.

I'm honestly kinda curious what views that "traditional or devoted conservatives" hold that could be categorized as "far outside" the American mainstream.

My initial feeling about this whole report is that it strikes me as some dangerous combination of mind reading, wishcasting, and generally imputating emotional states on massive groups of people under certain highly questionable assumptions.

brylun said...

Perhaps 1972 could be a model for 2020: an incumbent Republican facing a far-left Democrat results in a landslide for Trump in 2020.

rcocean said...

They do it with the SCOTUS.

ACLU Leftist Ginsberg, and the Wise Latina are just plain old justices, while the Republican nominees are all "Hard-right"

chickenlittle said...

Nowadays, the fringe left likes coats made from whole cloth.

buwaya said...

Nonapod,

But thats what everyone does - imputing emotional states on massive groups of people.
Consider Tolstoy.

rcocean said...

In order to make the Leftist group look bigger, the moderate liberals are labeled "passive Liberals" while the moderate conservatives are labeled "Moderates".

LOL

Henry said...

I'm reading the original report. Here's some more characteristics of the categories:

- Progressive Activists: younger, highly engaged, secular, cosmopolitan, angry.
– Traditional Liberals: older, retired, open to compromise, rational, cautious.
– Passive Liberals: unhappy, insecure, distrustful, disillusioned.
– Politically Disengaged: young, low income, distrustful, detached, patriotic, conspiratorial.
– Moderates: engaged, civic-minded, middle-of-the-road, pessimistic, Protestant.
– Traditional Conservatives: religious, middle class, patriotic, moralistic.
– Devoted Conservatives: white, retired, highly engaged, uncompromising, patriotic.

buwaya said...

Napoleon won his battles by accurately estimating emotional states of massive groups of people. When he was on the spot and able to see them in person he was very good at it.

When he couldn't see them he was not so accurate.

Big Mike said...

@Althouse, go buy Kurt Schlichter's Militant Normals and you'll understand a lot better than this article about what's going on. Do as I did and use your Amazon portal.

EDH said...

The silent and disengaged, by definition, didn't exhaust themselves by "over doing it".

In order for the silent and disengaged to become exhausted, it's because some other people are viewed as exhausting.

A more interesting chart would have flipped the labels and asked the exhausted: who exhausted you?

Which helps explain why the article uses the term exhausted to convey a sense of general cacophony where all sides are at fault.

Because if you frame it in terms of political correctness and the new silent majority, it's absolutely clear who is silencing whom.

William said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
wild chicken said...

"white people who refused to accept the 1964 Civil Rights Act."

Weird..esp since at the time it seemed to have more to do with Vietnam war support as opposed to protest.

But then, these vague phrases, who knows what they really mean. Like "WMDs," I thought were like atom bombs or something, when a cannister of mustard gas qualified.

rcocean said...

The left has been lying about Nixon's "Southern Strategy" and the "Silent Majority" forever.

In 1968, Nixon only won 5 southern states, including VA and FLA which even in 1968, weren't very "Southern". Wallace - a democrat - won 5 others, and Humphrey won Texas.
In some of these Wallace won states, Nixon came in 3rd.

In 1976, every Old Confederacy State except VA, went for Jimmy Carter.

The South didn't start voting Republican until Reagan in 1980.

rcocean said...

The other Leftist myth of the 60s.

Nixon's "law and order" was a "code word" for racism.

After all white people only dislike riots, burning cities, out-of-control war protesters and rising violent crime when Black people do it.

Otherwise, they're A-Ok with it.

Ann Althouse said...

- Progressive Activists: younger, highly engaged, secular, cosmopolitan, angry.
– Traditional Liberals: older, retired, open to compromise, rational, cautious.
– Passive Liberals: unhappy, insecure, distrustful, disillusioned.
– Politically Disengaged: young, low income, distrustful, detached, patriotic, conspiratorial.
– Moderates: engaged, civic-minded, middle-of-the-road, pessimistic, Protestant.
– Traditional Conservatives: religious, middle class, patriotic, moralistic.
– Devoted Conservatives: white, retired, highly engaged, uncompromising, patriotic.


If I had to put myself in one of these groups, based on the description, not the label, it would be Traditional Liberal or Moderate.

Notice how it's all about how you feel (other than the part about age). You could be conservative and "older, retired, open to compromise, rational, cautious." Or moderate. Especially with that "cautious" part.

The description of the "Traditional Liberal" doesn't contain a single element that makes it liberal.

Nonapod said...

But thats what everyone does - imputing emotional states on massive groups of people.

Sure. And I wasn't implying that there's anything wrong with that either. I just question the underlying assumptions in this specific case. Whenever you try to infer the emotional state of a tribe, obviously you have to do your best to remove your own emotions and desires from the analysis. It isn't easy.

William said...

Political correctness is like a bill of attainder. Attitudes towards gender, race, and sexual morality change from generation to generation, and God help you if you don't keep up. Even if you do keep up, they can always get you for your yearbook jokes. Evolving standards, vanishing standards, and double standards. Try dancing the latest steps in that minefield.

Ann Althouse said...

"The problem with the "Silent Majority" is they have "views" but they don't vote or even pay attention most the time."

And that's why Hillary Clinton is President. And Nixon lost.

No, a lot of people who don't speak out about politics go about their business and then, on election day, vote. It's THE most normal thing to do. People devote their energy to their work and their family and friends and trust their elected representatives to do the work of government. But they care about choosing their representatives and get up to speed around election day and do their simple role of voting.

Ken B said...

93% of statistics are made up.

Seriously, where do such numbers come from? And how can *traditional* conservatives be outside the “mainstream”. By definition the traditional is part of the mainstream.

tim in vermont said...

Funny how everybody to the right of Vlad Lenin is right-wing, and nobody to the left of him is "left-wing" even if they wear a Che T Shirt or a Mao hat. To be "left wing" they have to wear both.

It must be exhausting to keep the blinders up all of the time.

tim in vermont said...

– Devoted Conservatives: white, retired, highly engaged, uncompromising, patriotic.

I fully expected the last word to be "unpatriotic."

Jupiter said...

All that's "exhausted" is our patience with these vermin and the lies they tell. The Dark One actually made a very good point the other day;

"you cannot be civil with a political party that wants to destroy what you stand for."

Ken B said...

As Ann notes the group descriptors are not criteria and not related to the label. They are epithets designed to persuade you you belong to their favored groups. There are quizzes on the Internet that pretend to classify what you “really” are politically. One always says you are really Libertarian. It's pitchmanship.

buwaya said...

If Napoleon had Trumps' technology he would have made a remarkable civilian politician.

Hey, there's a novel in that.

Larvell said...

So "traditional conservatives" make up 19% of the population (with 6% to their right) and are "far outside the American mainstream," but "traditional liberals" make up 11% (with 8% tot heir left) and are not? What kind of bell curve are these guys picturing?

Jupiter said...

This is really pretty funny; "While 83 percent of respondents who make less than $50,000 dislike political correctness, just 70 percent of those who make more than $100,000 are skeptical about it."

In short, rich or poor, only just about everybody we asked is sick and tired of the lies me and my worthless, over-educated, underemployed friends are peddling.

Chris N said...

I tend to distrust polls because of questions of sample size, which variables to use, all kinds of bias (self-definition, institutional, language etc.). They’re often better than nothing when done decently well, sometimes quite informative, but they’re often not done decently well and can even make your mind reinforce your own erroneous beliefs or wrong information when done poorly.

Many journalist incentives are similar to those of politicians: Find a truth or cause and speak up for it loudly, gain attention and build a crowd and a name for yourself and stay ahead of the crowd. Few people are decent enough morally to just speak their truth and leave when it’s over and stay honest enough throughout. Flaws and attributes are amplified.

Many processes and players in both fields trade on information and access to power, and are full of stupidity, vanity, naked self interest ignorance and various levels of corruption.

That said it is a necessary evil, so We The People have a lot of work to do,...it’s not too hard to find that one is easily vain and self interested.

Rotten, corrupt, morally empty and a bad master of the passions is another thing, and weve got work to do to keep the worst away from the high chairs

Hagar said...

Napoleon was a remarkable civilian politician.

Amadeus 48 said...

I am retired, optimistic, skeptical, patriotic, balanced between emotional and rational. I am not on that chart. How many are there like me?

Bill Peschel said...

It also helps to hide your definitions. What is liberal today? What is conservative?

It's like with the definition for feminism. For many women, it was about removing government barriers that kept women from entering certain professions, to make decisions about their finances (up until the 1970s, women were not allowed access to credit cards, I believe), to be able to divorce more freely, to be taken seriously by the police when they're abused by their husbands.

But there is also the radical wing that pushed policies that many women considered extreme. And yet, they still call themselves feminist and be appalled if someone assumes they're in favor of radical positions.

So what is liberal today? Open borders? Free access to abortions up to the 9th month? Transferring control to the UN? Severe restrictions on free speech? "Free" health care for all? Spending billions on "climate control"? Help me out here.

Bobber Fleck said...

Political correctness is doubleplusgood.

mockturtle said...

The counterpart to 'Devoted Conservatives' should be 'Devout Liberals'.

Or even more accurately, 'Knee-jerk Liberals'. And 'Hysterical Progressives'.

gg6 said...

Seriously, how many minutes is it actually worth 'analyzing' a political article from Atlantic magazine? The writers themselves are 'exhausted' - it bleeds off the page - they're exhausted by their own anxiety that their 'party' has become confused, fractured, lost, unpleasant and unsympathetic. They're right to be anxious.

Virgil Hilts said...

The author of this piece (which I thought was mostly good) is still clueless when she writes "what the vast majority of Americans seem to see. . is not so much genuine concern for social justice as the preening display of cultural superiority."
No, no, no! We see virtue signalling by smug assholes who in fact lack virtue and are in no way superior. They're assholes. The article then goes out of its way to quote people who feel dissed or inferior, framing the problem as one where the PCers need to stop making the yokels feel so bad about themselves. That analysis of the core of the PC problem is completely wrong IMHO.

tim in vermont said...

So "traditional conservatives" make up 19% of the population (with 6% to their right) and are "far outside the American mainstream," but "traditional liberals" make up 11% (with 8% tot heir left) and are not? What kind of bell curve are these guys picturing?

This is why liberals hate people who understand math and try to rig the education system to produce as few of them as possible. Even mentioning a "bell curve" is racist you know, it's worse than wearing a pith helmet!

Virgil Hilts said...

My second issue with the piece is statement- "obvious that certain elements on the right mock instances in which [PC] goes awry in order to win the license to spew outright racial hatred." No! That is PC nonsense. Sure there are a few crazy people who spout racial hatred, but the idea that there are mainstream elements or large groups on the right that do is absolute BS. Personally, I do not know a single person who believes or spouts racial hatred; if they did I would not talk to that person again. The assumption that there are significant groups on the right who hate other races is pure PC bullshit, and the author buys into it.

mockturtle said...

Virgil Hilts @10:25: Excellent point! At every turn they treat Conservatives in a patronizing fashion, as Obama did with his 'Guns and Bibles' remark. Most Conservatives I know are, in fact, well-educated [and not just credentialed]. Most of them are actual producers of goods or services and are, in fact, the very people who make our economy--and our country--work.

The Crack Emcee said...

None of those designated groups describe me.

daskol said...

Exhausted people can be invigorated. That's their optimism speaking, as activists like those predominant in the media would like an invigorated populace.

daskol said...

Actually, they're enervating people instead of invigorating them. Trump invigorates.

daskol said...

And, of course, amuses.

mockturtle said...

Per Virgil Hilts: I do not know a single person who believes or spouts racial hatred; if they did I would not talk to that person again. The assumption that there are significant groups on the right who hate other races is pure PC bullshit, and the author buys into it.

Ditto. But I suspect they, themselves, know this but it serves their purposed to promote that theory. They are the real racists and they know it.

bgates said...

That a "large segment of the population....[B]elieve that compromise is necessary in politics, as in other parts of life, and want to see the country come together and solve its problems" isn't a sentiment I remember hearing much in 2008, or 2012 - or even 2016, until mid-November.

I'm honestly kinda curious what views that "traditional or devoted conservatives" hold that could be categorized as "far outside" the American mainstream.

God exists, socialism is both an accurate term for the system of government in Venezuela and the primary reason why that country is falling apart, an adult with a penis attached to his body is a man....

buwaya said...

People tend to assume a lot about themselves.

This sort of report is based around a lot of self-reported feelings about whatever matters are included in questionnaires. That is, about assumptions about themselves.

Out of these responses the analysts create categories.

Rob said...

I’m tired. https://youtu.be/Uai7M4RpoLU

Bruce Hayden said...

"white people who refused to accept the 1964 Civil Rights Act."

The reality that the authors refuse to acknowledge is that almost all of that group were Democrats. And very likely ignore that Sen Bob "Sheets" Byrd, a former KKK Grand Kleegle, was lionized and eulogized by the Democrats decades after the 1964 Act was passed (that he had voted against). Or, indeed, that the KKK was the militant wing of the Democratic Party, for much of a century, as Antifa is today.

stlcdr said...

At this point, I just want the political party of Leave Me Alone. Republicans, and Trump, by their action and inaction fit that bill.

Bruce Hayden said...

"Or, indeed, that the KKK was the militant wing of the Democratic Party, for much of a century, as Antifa is today."

I am just waiting for when some fascist Antifa thugs get prosecuted under Klan laws that make it illegal to go masked in order to intimidate through the use of violence. My guess is that it will happen, after they cross the line, and leave their progressive paradises to intimidate conservatives outside their safe spaces.

bleh said...

Somehow I doubt "traditional liberals" are the same thing as classical liberals. Where do small government, pro-individual freedoms types fit in?

mockturtle said...

Rob links: I'm Tired. If Althouse won't watch Blazing Saddles she needs to watch this, at least.

Real American said...

Calling oneself "woke" is just another way to admit to being a huge asshole.

mockturtle said...

bleh asks: Somehow I doubt "traditional liberals" are the same thing as classical liberals. Where do small government, pro-individual freedoms types fit in?

Uh, that would be under 'Devoted Conservatives'. ;-)

Steve Uhr said...

Hopefully this will be a reality check for some of the commentators. No, just because we disagree on particular issues, or think our president is not sufficiently presidential, does not mean we are on the far radical left.

Curious George said...

"...and do their simple role of voting."

Not for blacks. Nothing simple about it. They don't have ID. Don't have access or ability to use the internet. Don't drive. Disfranchised.

Curious George said...

"...and do their simple role of voting."

Not for blacks. Nothing simple about it. They don't have ID. Don't have access or ability to use the internet. Don't drive. Disfranchised.

traditionalguy said...

Jordan Peterson is a Traditional Liberal. The Professor is an exceptional mind anchored to traditional Word's meanings.

Darrell said...

"While 83 percent of respondents who make less than $50,000 dislike political correctness, just 70 percent of those who make more than $100,000 are skeptical about it."

People with money are worried that the crazy Left will come after them if they don't practice correct speak. They think the market researcher is a Lefty Grass. Or at least 13% of them are. . .

Michael K said...

No, just because we disagree on particular issues, or think our president is not sufficiently presidential, does not mean we are on the far radical left.

Oh, I thought you were a Democrat. My mistake,

Michael K said...

"leave their progressive paradises to intimidate conservatives outside their safe spaces."

Why do you think they are all in Portland and California and DC ?

If they ventured down to the part of Oregon where my stepson lives, they would get their asses shot off.

Portland and the two college towns are blue islands in a red sea.

Michael K said...


Blogger Bruce Hayden said...
"white people who refused to accept the 1964 Civil Rights Act."

The reality that the authors refuse to acknowledge is that almost all of that group were Democrats.


That was in the study guide for the final exam in a History course in a university. I was helping my daughter study for finals her freshman year. She also had an instructor in an English class spend the final "review" period on an hour long rant about how Reagan was an actor reading lines written for him by others.

This is college education today.

NorthOfTheOneOhOne said...

Bruce Hayden said...

I am just waiting for when some fascist Antifa thugs get prosecuted under Klan laws that make it illegal to go masked in order to intimidate through the use of violence.

No one was prosecuted per se; but Richmond PD shut down a potential riot at the Lee Memorial about a year back using Virginia's anti-masking laws. Of course, this was never reported in the national media.

n.n said...

#TooManyLabels

hstad said...

AA, you keep citing these East Coast media hacks for the definitive interpretation of where the people in the USA are with their thinking. I think you read to much from the 'leftist bubble'. Consequently, you miss, like the liberals, so many issues which are of concern to the normal American.

Howard said...

Blogger The Crack Emcee said...

None of those designated groups describe me.


They don't describe anyone. It's a team of strawmen

cubanbob said...

Steve Uhr said...
Hopefully this will be a reality check for some of the commentators. No, just because we disagree on particular issues, or think our president is not sufficiently presidential, does not mean we are on the far radical left."

Under Obama, I paid a combined state, local and federal rate of 50% of my income. That's more than enough radical Left for me.

Howard said...

Blogger Michael K said...

If they ventured down to the part of Oregon where my stepson lives, they would get their asses shot off.


You are completely oblivious how weak and pathetic this brand of nonsense is. I read a new psycho study that says people like you are successful because of deep insecurity. That's a shame. Good that you didn't let your kids suffer from the same malady.

Big Mike said...

@Howard, your study sounds “psycho,” all right. The really insecure never try to succeed, so they are not successful. People have to believe in themselves before they even try.

James K said...

At least when the 'silent majority' emerged there were legitimate policy debates over important things like the Vietnam War. Now we get a cascade of '1st world problems' like gender-neutral bathrooms, safe spaces, and cockamamie notions like "women don't lie about sex," "white privilege," and so on.

Seeing Red said...

No, just because we disagree on particular issues, or think our president is not sufficiently presidential, does not mean we are on the far radical left.

Not necessarily. It depends on how one wants to solve particular issues we disagree on which might determine radical left.

wildswan said...

Anyhow, "Devoted Conservatives" are at the head of this bell curve and "Progressive Activists" are the ... tail.

Michael K said...

I read a new psycho study that says people like you are successful because of deep insecurity.

I guess that is why I got 28 units of A the semester before medical school and was first in my class all four years,

Howard, you are a riot.

Henry said...

Okay. I skimmed the report and it took until the conclusions to figure out why "traditional conservatives" are classed as a wing group. This paragraph is the key:

There is a consistent pattern in the way that America’s hidden tribes think about a wide
range of issues. There is a group of middle segments (the Exhausted Majority) and a
group of “wing segments” (Progressive Activists, Devoted Conservatives and Traditional
Conservatives; the latter are included as a wing segment because they are much closer
in characteristics to the Devoted Conservatives than to the Exhausted Majority).
The wing segments consistently hold opposing views on divisive subjects, and have
remarkable internal consistency. The middle groups, on the other hand, show far
greater flexibility in their views and appear to recognize that there are many sides to
these issues. The research repeatedly finds that a person’s tribe predicts their views
better than their membership to any demographic group based on visible traits.


This is actually pretty interesting. What the researchers are after is a way to identify the people who don't hold a fixed view on divisive issues. But what does this really mean? One possibility is that the inconsistent middlers react pragmatically to various political conflicts, focusing more on the individual case than the overarching ideology. Or they hold highly individualistic viewpoints that don't map to a particular ideology. Or, from total apathy, or close examination of competing claims, they sincerely don't care to pick a side.

The thinking seems to be that If you politically engage such people you can limit the divisiveness erupting from the wings. But holy presumption, Batman, how do you politically engage people who don't hold consistent views? How do you get them riled up?

Francisco D said...

I read a new psycho study that says people like you are successful because of deep insecurity. That's a shame. Good that you didn't let your kids suffer from the same malady.

Do you have a citation for that study, Howard?

James K said...

But holy presumption, Batman, how do you politically engage people who don't hold consistent views?

Good question. I think the term that recently got tossed around that is maybe the common denominator is "persuadable." But that really means that they are not a "tribe," but can ally themselves with one tribe or the other depending on how strong the candidates are or what the pressing issues of the day are. So we get Reagan/Trump Democrats, or all those people who voted for Obama who used to not vote or maybe even vote Republican. After one party has been in power for 8 years, it's common for this group to be persuaded to flip.

wildswan said...

"Waiting for the Election and Enjoying myself Meanwhile" isn't the same as "exhausted" but I think it's the majority attitude on the right. The left probably is should be diagnosed as suffering from burnout rather than exhaustion. All the same the election matters because the left activists and Democratic politicians will scream, investigate and impeach no matter how tired everyone is of them. In Wisconsin they've never accepted Walker and intend to Make Wisconsin Chicago Again if elected. Same on the national scene. "Death to Wrongthink Voters"

Michael K said...


Blogger Francisco D said...
I read a new psycho study that says people like you are successful because of deep insecurity. That's a shame. Good that you didn't let your kids suffer from the same malady.

Do you have a citation for that study, Howard?


I think you might have to pull Howard's pants down to find the source of his "study."

It's interesting that he assumes that my kids are less successful than I am.

tcrosse said...

Rather than "Exhausted", it might be more appropriate to say "Sick and Tired".

Fernandistein said...

https://www.fastcompany.com/3022152/why-insecurity-may-be-the-key-to-success
TL;SD;DR

Hilts: "goes awry in order to win the license to spew outright racial hatred." No! That is PC nonsense.

They consider statements against open borders or affirmative action to be "spewing outright racial hatred". (The guy who wrote the article and the people who did the online-survey, er, "study", are Eurotrash, mostly Germans)

Fernandistein said...

Drudge is advertising the latest 'n' greatest Dem "star/powerhouse" creature with a picture of a crowd of tattooed people making gang signs.

tim in vermont said...

No, just because we disagree on particular issues, or think our president is not sufficiently presidential, does not mean we are on the far radical left.

Maybe you should be back over at liberal websites encouraging people not to shoot up baseball games or hector political opponents out of family meals.

Rabel said...

"The research repeatedly finds that a person’s tribe predicts their views
better than their membership to any demographic group based on visible traits."

When an analysis places people in a "tribe" based on their political views it is a certainty that their membership in the "tribe" to which the analysis assigns them will predict their political views.

Nonapod said...

Henry said...What the researchers are after is a way to identify the people who don't hold a fixed view on divisive issues. But what does this really mean? One possibility is that the inconsistent middlers react pragmatically to various political conflicts, focusing more on the individual case than the overarching ideology. Or they hold highly individualistic viewpoints that don't map to a particular ideology. Or, from total apathy, or close examination of competing claims, they sincerely don't care to pick a side.

First off, I'd just like to know what exactly these "divisive issues" are before I come to any conclusions about these "inconsistent middlers". I mean, I could guess I suppose (Abortion? How much of a problem police violence really is?) but it's my sense that if we really honestly drilled down into some of these so called divisive issues we'd probably find out that there's more commonality between these different "hidden tribes" than differences. Between regular people so much of our disagreements boil down to miscommunication and misleading arguments and strawmen set up by power seekers.

I have no doubt that there's a ton of people who are squishy out there for a number of reasons

Rabel said...

Here's a gem from the gent who wrote the Atlantic article:

"It doesn’t take an outsized imagination to envisage how conservatives, emboldened by their newfound majority, and carried along on the great wave of tribal anger, might in good time go one step further. If Trump managed to take full control of the FBI and the agency started to investigate the Democratic candidate in a presidential election, would they be sure to stop it?"

Francisco D said...

I think you might have to pull Howard's pants down to find the source of his "study."

Michael,

As an MD, you have a lot more experience with that than I do. :-)

I mostly try to pull down their psychological defenses.

tim in vermont said...

What the researchers are after is a way to identify the people who don't hold a fixed view on divisive issues. But what does this really mean?

These are the people who punished the 'R's for impeachment, and will likely punish the 'D's for the Kavanaugh show trial.

mockturtle said...

There is a consistent pattern in the way that America’s hidden tribes think about a wide range of issues.

If we're a 'hidden tribe', will we be featured in National Geographic Magazine?

n.n said...

statements against open borders or affirmative action to be "spewing outright racial hatred"

One reason to oppose open borders is to promote emigration reform (e.g. anti-refugee crises, anti-mass emigration, anti-trail of tears, pro-native).

One reason to oppose affirmative action is diversity. People have a civil right under our constitution to be free from color judgments/quotas/discrimination.

n.n said...

punished the 'R's for impeachment

That's when we learned that the ethical code proscribing superior exploitation of women was Pro-Choice. A decade later, we heard the politically congruent apology for "rape-rape" vs "rape". The progression reached a pinnacle of absurdity with the warlock hunts and trials.

Wilbur said...

Hopefully this will be a reality check for some of the commentators. No, just because we disagree on particular issues, or think our president is not sufficiently presidential, does not mean we are on the far radical left.
__________________________

I doubt anyone could be any more condescending. But so typical of you and your ilk.

Howard said...

Francisco D: This was the book I was thinking of:
https://www.amazon.com/Confidence-Overcoming-Self-Esteem-Insecurity-Self-Doubt/dp/1594631263/ref=sr_1_6?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1364993042&sr=1-6
by
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tomas_Chamorro-Premuzic

Jim at said...

No, just because we disagree on particular issues, or think our president is not sufficiently presidential, does not mean we are on the far radical left.

Yes. You are.

If you don't want to be labeled a radical, far leftist, maybe you should stop acting like a radical, far leftist.

Francisco D said...

Howard,

The main focus of the book (from Amazon):

Millions of people are plagued by low self-confidence. But in Confidence, personality expert Dr. Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic shows us that high confidence makes us less likeable, less employable, and less successful in the long run. He reveals the benefits of low confidence (including being more motivated and self-aware), teaches us how to know when to fake it, get ahead at work, improve our social skills, feel better emotionally and physically, and much more

Your inferences appear to misrepresent the book. In any case, there is a plethora of personality research that is plagued by poor design and analysis. You can pretty much support any of your prejudices with that sort of weak "research." That is why psychologists usually take personality research with a grain or two of salt.

chickenlittle said...

@Rob & mockturtle: Thanks for that link! You’re going to make a convert out of me. I’ve never seen it in its entirety — only in snippets. Gonna fix that soon.

Michael K said...

Howard, maybe you should read "The Power of Positive Thinking."'

It's about as good as anything.

Personally, I like "Magnificent Obsession" which has the advantage of being about a real man. The first chief of Neurosurgery at U of Michigan.

His name was Edgar H Kahn.

MB said...

I don't think the "exhausted majority" is meant to be the same as the "silent majority". It's rather about groups, like immigrants, women, gay and black people, which according to leftist ideology should be their natural and unquestioning allies, getting tired of the constant progressive pushes.
Maybe they rode them too hard. A break is needed before the next "Strike Hard" campaign. But we'll get one sooner or later anyway.

FIDO said...

Hmm.

So 40% of the population is Conservative, 26% of the population just wants to be left alone and not forced to learn new pronouns on pain of reeducation...and 8% of the population are in media and the Academy.

Oh...and were baristas at Starbucks, worked in Animal Shelters and wrote poetry.

Can't forget them.


So 8% are trying to hold 66% hostage.

It might work as long as you make that 26% think you are working in their best interest. Avoid excitement. Avoid dirty tricks. Keep one's moral standing reasonably unblemished.


Oh...um...time for a rebranding?

mikee said...

I'm far from exhausted, but I am tired of this shit.
The difference will be clear in early November.
My comment applies to almost all political groups.