We’re staying silent out of fear

In the United States today, right- and left-wing tribes — Progressive Activists and Devoted Conservatives, as the More in Common report designates them — enforce “core beliefs” within their own ranks. A quarter to a third of Americans feel pressure to “think a certain way” about controversial issues even among people like themselves, according to the report.

Among progressives, more men than women felt pressure to conform; among conservatives, more women than men did.

With these less-than-tolerant ideological factions dominating everything from town hall meetings to Twitter, the far larger percentage of Americans who do see nuances, and who do favor policy compromise, keep their heads down.

They now constitute what the report describes as an Exhausted Majority, consisting of about two-thirds of the electorate. And 65 percent of the Exhausted Majority agree with the statement “people I agree with politically need to be willing to listen to others and compromise.” Yet their views are not reflected in political discourse, they believe.

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