America: Are there American ‘universals’?

https://readthespirit.com/ourvalues/wp-content/uploads/sites/17/2013/03/wpid-ov_2010_08_12_equal_opportunity_for_all.jpgWe Americans are united when it comes to some values and divided on others. We are united in our love of American symbols like the flag and anthem and we share similar definitions of freedom. We are divided when it comes to healthcare reform, gay marriage, and immigration. (Scroll down in the right margin for links to more stories about these and other core values.)

Today, let’s consider these core American values: equal opportunities and respect for others. Do we share these values?

The answer is a resounding yes, according to my latest poll. Almost everyone agrees that everyone should have equal opportunities in life. Just about everyone says that respect for people from different racial and ethnic groups is important to them. And just about everyone says that respect for people of different faiths is important to them as well.

Even more: these values are so widely held that they can be said to be American universals. Americans of different ages agree that everyone should have equal opportunities. So do Americans with different levels of education. So do rich and poor Americans. So do Americans living in different regions of the country. So do Americans with different faiths. And so do liberals and conservatives.

The same is true for respect of people of different ethnic and racial groups. There is widespread agreement across age, education, income, region, religion, and political ideology.

And the same is true for respect for people of different faiths: widespread agreement across all lines. Of course, consensus on principles doesn’t mean agreement on how to realize them. But I am comforted to know about these American universals.

How about you?

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