Let’s start digging into the nine new political categories from Pew, which I began analyzing yesterday. Today, we look at Independents, the growing number of Americans who don’t align with a major political party and whose values defy easy categorization. We’ll get to the extremes—Staunch Republicans & Solid Liberals—later.
TODAY, tell us what you think: Are the Independents mixed up? Pew calls them a study in contrasts because the three independent types—Post-Moderns, Disafffecteds, and Libertarians are so diverse. Members of all three don’t agree on much of anything, yet take any two categories and you find agreement.
Political ideology: Libertarians are the most conservative of the Independents, but the Disaffecteds are conservative, too. Post-Moderns tend to be moderate to liberal.
Big government: None like the idea of a bigger government that provides more services, but the Libertarians really abhor the idea.
Homosexuality: Strong majorities of Post-Moderns and Libertarians believe homosexuality should be accepted by society. Fewer than half of Disaffecteds agree.
Big business, big profits: Three of four Disaffecteds say big corporations make too much profit, and about half of the Post-Moderns agree. Only one in ten Libertarians think the same way.
Environment: Almost all Post-Moderns say America should do whatever it takes to protect the environment, with seven of ten Disaffecteds agreeing. Most Libertarians disagree.
This may seem like a puzzling list, but it presents a fascinating array of values to consider and possibly to re-group. For example, we’ve illustrated today’s column with a bit of famous graffiti from the notorious British street artist Banksy, who is spending more and more time in the U.S. now. He loves to paint rats on walls, usually poking fun at big government and big business. The photo today shows a Banksy Anarchist rat. So, if Banksy settled full time in the U.S., would he be called an Independent?
How about you? Are you an Independent?
Now that you see some of the details, which type are you?
Remember: Pew offers a 20-questions online survey where they’ll divine your true political type. Let us know what you find out!
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(Originally published at www.OurValues.org, an online experiment in civil dialogue on American values.)