In the most recent poll from the folks at Pew Research we learn a lot about the differences between people on the right and left of the political spectrum. As you can imagine, there are quite a few differences (and a couple of similarities) between us.
The stat that might jump out the quickest to the average American sifting through the data is the one that tells us that only 40% of liberals are actually “proud to be American.” Only 40%! Shouldn’t national pride have something to do with your ability to vote? I mean do we really want people who aren’t proud to represent their nation making the decision for our nation? That seems highly counterproductive.
Another interesting tidbit in the poll showed that as anti-gun as most liberals seem to be, more than 1 in 4 have a gun in their home! Somewhere between 25% and 33% of all liberal surveyed keep one of those crazy right-wing death machines in their own homes.
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Now, to be sure, the number of liberal gun owners is far lower than conservative gun owners… but it seems a bit hypocritical of the left to be conducting an all-out assault on gun rights when 1 out of 3 or 4 of their own voters have guns too.
Hard Work seems to be another area of division between the right and the left. Conservatives believe that with hard work often comes success. Liberals are much more pessimistic of that idea. Interestingly though, while most conservatives believe that hard work brings success – liberals seem split on the matter. Perhaps this basic belief that hard work is no predictor of success is why liberals are so hell-bent on supporting our failing welfare state system?
One interesting place where the right and left seem to come together is over privacy and safety. Most Americans, no matter their political stripes, do not believe that we should give up our privacy in order to increase our safety!
Moreover, the most conservative and the most liberal are practically tied at the hip when it comes to our hatred of the tactics used by the NSA to “fight terrorism.” We don’t like the idea of the NSA sweeping up all of our data… even if it means a safer America.
Three more points to take from the poll:
1. Groups in America’s political middle are less partisan, less predictable, and less engaged in politics.
Which is why it should worry everyone that the middle is where elections are won. Liberals may be wrong about almost everything… but at least they’re paying attention. The moderates in the middle don’t care enough about their country to even pay attention. Squishy moderates are what is wrong with our country.
2. Majorities of all typology groups, especially conservative groups, express low levels of trust in government.
Nobody trusts the government because we can all see that the government is corrupt, inefficient and full of uselessness. But only conservatives put that understanding to practical use and try to shrink the government. Liberals know they can’t trust the government… but keep trying to make it bigger, more powerful and more necessary. What kind of sense does that make?
Most conservatives believe our country’s best years are behind us, most liberals believe they are ahead of us.
Sadly, I believe that many conservatives are pessimistic about our ability to win back the future. We can see the steady slide toward socialism and moral decay that has been happening since the Gilded Age of the late 1800’s, and it’s hard to see a way for us to turn back the tide. Fighting against the continued decay of many of our most important national pillars is becoming overwhelming.
Conversely, liberals can see that they are winning. They’ve won all of the most important victories since Teddy Roosevelt and the “Progressive Era,” including FDR’s New Deal, the Sexual Revolution, the Great Society, Roe v. Wade, and now Obamacare and Gay Marriage. In fact, the reelection of President Obama when every quantifiable statistic or measure was against the Democrats is in and of itself a HUGE victory. It speaks very clearly to the sad state of the American electorate.
Polls like this one from Pew can be alternatingly causes for optimism and causes for pessimism – but we must try to remain even keeled. While we may have reason to be pessimistic about the future, we also must remain hopeful. Our nation is worth fighting for and our past is a wonderful foundation for our future – if we remain faithful to our cause and don’t lose heart… we may still win the day.
The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by EagleRising.com