Although the entire country seems to be plagued by riots and revolution, most Americans disapprove of the turmoil. In a 2018 survey, only 8% of the population identified as progressive, and of these, only a portion support Marxism, the driving force behind Antifa and Black Lives Matter. But thanks to the media’s complicity, Americans are not informed that the riots are part of a fringe revolution.
According to the Hidden Tribes report in 2018, only 8% of Americans identify as progressive, whereas 67% of the population belong to what it calls the “exhausted majority,” a group disengaged politically.
Nearly all – 99% – progressives think immigration is unambiguously good, 96% of them identify as feminist, and 95% agree that police brutality toward African Americans is a severe problem. Unsurprisingly, 99% of them strongly disapprove of President Donald Trump.
Another prominent belief is that government should take more responsibility so that everyone is provided for. They believe that men and whites – and especially white men – start with an advantage and that people’s outcomes are outside their control. They are not proud of American history and don’t regard political correctness to be a problem.
These beliefs and values are fueling the ongoing riots. They are not shared by most Americans, either among liberals or conservatives. By any standard, progressivism is a fringe ideology. Despite this, progressives manage to wield considerable influence.
The reason for this becomes apparent when we see the areas in which progressives are radically overrepresented: academia, the media, and Hollywood. Conservatives have allowed the radical left to own the commanding heights of culture. The result is that progressives appear to dominate.
An Awakening Majority?
The riots and outright attacks on core American values and institutions may have awakened the so-called “exhausted majority.” Although the initial response to George Floyd’s death was a burst of support for Black Lives Matter, the public’s approval of the Marxist organization is now lower than before.
In a poll conducted by Rasmussen in August 2020, 57% of likely voters said that the riots are mostly criminals taking advantage of the situation. 72% said that they are concerned with the growing level of violent protest nationwide, with 43% saying that they are very concerned.
Defunding the police – the core issue of Black Lives Matter – is opposed by 66% of voters. The voice of the exhausted majority may be timid, but its opinion is firm.
Will they Act?
There is no more potent motivational force than fear. Therefore, concern for the fate of the republic may be driving people out of their dormancy to vote. Although the evidence is still anecdotal, a significant number of liberals and lifelong Democrats are reporting that they will be casting their vote for a Republican president for the first time in their lives.
They do this, they say, not because they like Trump – but to save the republic. To paraphrase a quote often attributed to George Orwell: In a time of anarchy and chaos, voting for law and order is a revolutionary act.
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