The “open borders” statement is also interesting. The Republican estimate is almost identical to the estimate for “abolish ICE.” This suggests that many respondents think these two statements are equivalent, a sentiment I’ve seen many times. But of course the idea there is to turn over its functions to another agency or create a new agency. The actual perception gap there is probably a lot larger due to this difference in understanding.
Or consider “Donald Trump is a flawed person.” The listed perception gap for bat one is very small, with both estimate and reality being around 45%. Does that imply that 55% of Republicans think Trump is perfect? The vast majority of Republicans are Christians, and a core tenet of that religion is that Man is inherently flawed. It doesn’t add up. “Flawed” must have a totally different meaning here.
It’s also unfortunate that it doesn’t include each group's estimate of itself. It would give us a much better sense of how significant this gap is if we could see that too.
Muslim isn’t a race.
The sort of person who had an anti-Muslim bias is generally not the sort of person with this level of nuanced understanding of race, culture, and religion.
I’m simply a fan of speaking as carefully and clearly as possible. I don’t mind linking ideas in a conversation but doing so up front and in the open. Not with a wink and nod that we can intuit “what they really think.” Just look at how much weasel wording you wrote and assumptions made when clarifiying.
To make my own point as clearly as possible: I am certain that people who say Muslims aren’t good Americans are racists and are a disproof of their own statement if they say that racism doesn’t exist in America.
If you have some counterargument to that then please go right ahead.
I’m trying not to have a dog in the race while commenting on the meta.
I’m not actually an idiot. I know that “Muslim” isn’t a race. Replying with that is the sort of facile dismissal that makes the commenter feel smart but accomplishes nothing besides starting an argument.
However in my experience, there are many people who do not believe that people from Muslim majority countries are evil but who do believe that Islam is an innately violent religion. At the same time, I do think it's possible that those beliefs are at least partially influenced by a, perhaps subconscious, fear of "the other".
However, it is very interesting that Democrats actually thought that Republicans would not agree with that statement
Republican: "Of course it's blue. It's hot pink, which is a shade of blue."
Democrat: "... wait, what? You think... huh?"
Interviewer: "Looks like the Democrat was wrong!"
Which is true... ish. Truthy.
But it's not as clean as this. Because of the messiness of natural language -- which goes double for political language -- there's no guaranteed equality between the two Xs.
I wish they'd included "do democrats support murder" and "do republicans support murder". That'd have been fun. Some would certainly have said yes on either side (abortion, the death penalty) and they'd be right from their point of view, even though "do you support murder?" would have been near-zero on both sides.
I don't call myself a Democrat though.
I think open borders is a good idea it's humane. I think adding a federal vat or sales tax would help get taxes from those who do come. I think full citizenship should definitely have a build up (state benefits, voting rights, etc), but anyone should be allowed to come/go as they please. A tax on goods purchased would ensure that all who are here would pay.
I think we could even move from income taxes to sales taxes and possibly property taxes (all purchases including business purchases like employee salaries, etc would have the same tax, all investments would have the tax on the initial investment, and the institute receiving the investment would pay a tax on the interest since they are paying that to the recipient before the recipient receives it).
Homes, boats, cars, airplanes, all taxed at purchase. Tax rate would be decidable by congress based on current needs. This would go hand in hand though with guaranteed basic income and ending welfare. Tax rate would burden the lower 1/3rd so GBI would need to be a necessity to offset that and would be adjustable based on housing estimates -- the goal should be to get everyone into a home, and if people are still homeless it's possibly not enough. Though, a home address should also be required within 3 months of receiving GBI to continue receiving it.
Welfare should turn into social workers who are helping the homeless adjust to being non-homeless and ensuring they meet minimal guidelines to receive GBI which is - be living in a home, and not just paying someone to say you live there.
I'm for single-payer but not sure how we'd pay for immigrant coverage, perhaps they'd need to use coverage from their home country of citizenship or buy a plan to be covered? It might be a moot issue if the costs of hospital and drugs go down enough and we end up paying less to cover anyone in the country, but I also think we need to work w/ the world in general to adopt open borders everywhere so the U.S. is not the only place people can/will go.
TLDR; Open borders yes, income tax replaced by VAT/Sales, Single Payer and Guaranteed Basic income are a must for citizens only for VAT to work. Be humane but don't encourage 'leeching', other than having access immigrants would not receive benefits for being here until they're citizens and would pay higher VAT than citizens and greencard holders. I think a job guarantee is unrealistic jobs come and go and there's an entire industry of self-employeed contractors now via UBER / DoorDash / etc that would provide opportunities for newbies to work and support their families.
If someone is so desperate for medical care that they'll leave their own country to come here, let's just give it to them. We're willing to "share democracy" through trillions in military spending, but this would be purely good thing. There's plenty of money to go around here.
> One of the conservative misperceptions is that the sizable majority of Democrats take the concrete, extreme position of being in favor of completely open borders.
This seems like a bit of a strange comparison. Correct me if I'm wrong, but it kind of seems like you are comparing ~the general nature or typical/average of one side's perceptions (giving an example of a typical perception), while comparing that to what I suspect must be a comically hyperbolic example of an extreme (and extremely delusional) perception held by the other side.
And the bad thing is, that many people believe these things. I had an old friend telling me frantically that we are guarantueed to get sharia law if I vote for any party left of the conservatives.
This stuff is utterly ridiculous
I think what you would find is that most people on the right feel that most people on the left don't hold the opinion that borders should be open but that politicians and the media in general take that position simply because they are anti-Trump, that Trump has pushed liberal discourse pretty far to the left simply to counter Trump who, they would say, is actually relatively moderate in his policies, though not in his communication.
As someone who doesn't identify with either group, both major parties seem equally toxic and rife with misconceptions or deliberate misrepresentations of the other side.
Consider it an extension of social media activists (e.g. "Repost if you think X should be illegal!!!)
They are both painting with overly broad brushes.
"People think that people who aren't like them aren't like them in more ways than they actually are!" is...something? Probably not "bad" exactly, but not good either?
And I still don't get how this is a "broad brush"? People don't want to go on vacations to challenge their ideals. They're usually going somewhere to relax or visit something they find interesting. No offense to the state of Mississippi, but it's not known for being a tourist destination. I'm not generally a fan of cancel culture, and the abortion legislation their government passed moved the needle from "0% chance I'll ever visit" to "0% chance I'll ever visit" but I don't think someone is "misinterpreting" something when they decide not to visit somewhere they likely had no intention of visiting before new information was provided to them that opposed their worldview.
TL;dr- This anecdote doesn't help demonstrate anything meaningful to me. In this way, it is very much like the article. Language is very nuanced and often because we don't have infinite time we take linguistic shortcuts that can eliminate some clarity to our meaning/intention. That's all this really seems like.
With a wide perception gap, we are guaranteed to be framing our opponents' views inaccurately and therefore fighting the wrong battles if movement at a societal level is actually what is desired.
The more politically diverse your direct in-person interactions are, the better your perception gap, and the more likely you are to be able to accurately frame your opponents' arguments when debating with them.
I don't think that would change very much about this report overall; I'm sure both extremists would still overestimate the size of the extremists groups on both sides quite significantly. But it would be an interesting data point.
I'd hypothesize that the perception gap would be smaller in the regions identified here as "more politically tolerant" - https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2019/03/us-coun... , just due to the fact that living and interacting with people with more varied opinions may make people more in-tune with what members of the opposing political party actually believe.
Would be cool to an analysis of the data to see if that correlation actually holds.
I guess my point is that just because the extremes are confused about how America feels, that doesn't mean they aren't driving us towards irreconcilable conflict.
Now, I'm not one of those that thinks an intra-American conflict is forthcoming. But I would guess that if you modeled various internal conflicts throughout the history of nations, you wouldn't find many where roughly half the population stood solidly behind one idea and the half stood firmly behind another. I think in most you'd actually find something a lot like this. Two outlying groups driving the discourse against each other and a constituency of allies on each side that can't break away for various reasons.
Many assuredly weren't abolitionists, at least not as a matter of policy. The Corwin Amendment  was even passed by the 2/3 majority in the remaining senate and ratified by some northern states. Don't forget, Maryland was a slave state and fought on the side of the north.
This isn't about a perception gap. It's about not putting together very good polling questions and then drawing some conclusions based on them.
I recently spoke to a man who used to work for the Republican party. He felt that politics is so polarized because the two parties aren't even talking about the same things. The example he gave is that it's not possible for Democrats and Republicans to find common ground on racial inequality, because the Republican party simply doesn't have that as part of their platform.
Today if you want to address racial inequality via legislation, that means police reform and drug policy. When you talk about those subjects to someone who isn't either directly affected by them or well-educated about them, they don't seem on their face to be related to racial inequality.
Only recently do you see republicans starting to talk (a little) about drug policy changes now that opioid abuse has started becoming a huge problem in some white communities. Video camera footage of police abuse may also help eventually bring republicans in on that problem - but that is dependent on cops having working cameras, not turning them off, and the people watching the video actually having empathy for the people being abused. Maybe if cops started harassing vocal 2nd amendment advocates their tune would change.
I rarely see discussion of the gaps that hide under an umbrella like <party/ideology>-ans. Are we talking about candidates and office-holders? Party officials and operatives? Openly-affiliated pundits? Activists? People otherwise not on the playing field who happen to vote for or be registered as party-affiliated? Abstract stereotypes projected by partisan media?
In practice, these groups may be largely distinct, and questions referencing them can easily smuggle a lot of assumptions in. I would be surprised if highly disengaged voters and highly engaged ones aren't talking about different things when they tell you what they think <X>-ans think, so you'd expect a delta.
Aside from nailing down who the questions mean, it might be interesting to see how well respondents can imagine what partisans think about obscure concrete issues.
The gap isn't in perception, it's in civilized behavior.
Why are "Traditional Liberals" part of the "Exhausted Majority", but "Traditional Conservatives" part of the "Wings"? This is particularly confusing to me because the latter is the second largest of all groups.
In fact, if I'm reading their chart correct, they seem to be claiming that anyone who identifies as "conservative" is part of the "wing"...
The tribes come from another report from the same people, which says "[Traditional conservatives] are included as a wing segment because they are much closer in characteristics to the Devoted Conservatives than to the Exhausted Majority." I'll admit I've only skimmed the graphs (it's 110 pages long), but I'm not sure their data shows that clearly.
Looking at a few more of their charts, I think I can see the case for it. On social issues, the gap between traditional conservatives and moderates is large, and the gap between traditional conservatives and devoted conservatives is quite small. On the other hand, the gap between traditional conservatives and moderates is large, while the gap between traditional liberals and passive liberals is much smaller.
My feelings on this are kind of muddled, mostly due to my own biases. I'm very much a libertarian (technically, an anarcho-capitalist) but feel much more affinity for the GOP than the Democrats. Objectively, I share about the same amount with each party but I have lived the vast majority of my life in very conservative communities.
One of the things I didn't mention that bothered me about the article was that it excluded pretty much all of the minority factions in American politics, such as libertarians. I thought that the article was about Democrat vs. Republican, so that sorta made sense... but reading the hiddentribes.us site that it references, now I'm not so sure. Their categorization seems forced to me.
Also would have been nice to see what Dems and Reps think of independents: are they viewed as centrist wafflers or unmoored radicals?
I think they should've kept news sources to only nbc/cbs/cnn/cnbc/abc/hn as those are really the most conservative (not meaning GOP but 'reserved') news agencies that tend to (at least try to appear) non biased. Fox is definitely biased right, and MSNBC (which is what I watch) I agree skews left of center.
I think if we brought back the Fairness doctrine that would help a lot but I don't know if we could enforce that on the internet or if we should. I'm a social democrat (not for full socialism, for social democracy like Denmark/France/Germany), but I can definitely see the perception gap for what it is, and it's causes. Our media system is broken. It's a propaganda machine that is controlled by multiple parties with no middle ground. A fairness doctrine would at least allow all sides of an issue to be represented and temper the propaganda machines.
There are billionaires and Super PACS on both sides that are working to divide us. In fact there's some albeit conspiracy-sounding theories that the elite want us divided by fringe issues like abortion/gun control/immigration so we don't band together on worker rights, labor unions, healthcare, etc that would force them to funnel money at the bottom and switch from trickle down to trickle up economy. As long as we're hating each other and have these misperceptions and polarizations we're easy sheep to control.
For example, the "racism still exists in America" question. A right-wing person may say "racism exists, but it targets white people now". A left-wing person might see that as a denial of racism's existence. You'd get a fundamental disagreement on what the answer meant.
I mean, it calls itself "The Perception Gap", except there really isn't any such thing by the way they describe it: half the things they ask about are factual things (such as the second amendment (it doesn't matter if you personally think we shouldn't bare arms, it is in the Constitution on how and when to do so), or America being a socialist country (FDR made America adopt many Socialist ideals, forming a hybrid of modern Socialism and our existing Democratic Republic, to fill the gaps in one with the other)); the other half are just polarizing issues that are complex, nuanced, and not something you merely can ask on a simple questionnaire.
The whole article says things that are true, but tries to build a narrative around those things that doesn't quite function. For it to be effective, imo, it should just straight out claim people don't like the truth, don't like the reality they live in, and have chosen to ignore it or recontextualize it into something more palatable instead of accepting it: reality is still real, even when you don't believe in it.
The truth is: our politics are shaped by people who live in pure fantasy, they are allowed to vote, even though they aren't even capable of understanding what they are voting on, or what the outcome will actually mean (ex: Trump protest votes helped get Trump elected, even though the people making the protest votes readily admitted Trump was a bad candidate and would not make a good President), and the article just dances around the issue instead of nailing it.
In short, people want the world to fit their narrative, not the other way around.
A) a "population" can be 1 person, a random demographic, a continent, or a fringe religious group. It just means a mathematical set of people.
B) while one could argue for or against universal moral truths until they're blue in the face, from a practical standpoint there are absolutely views that large populations believe in that are objectively abhorrent. FGM, killing people for their religion, torturing immigrant children, etc.
This is also the reason that the extreme right has often had corporate sponsorship at key moments in history.
Frankly, this is just an example of the type of polarization the article describes. "If you support some X that I oppose, it is not because you have a principled reason for believing it to be beneficial, but rather because you are racist/sexist/etc."
The right- or at least the portion with all the money and influence to control their narrative- is absolutely not making their case on a good faith basis. Why attack Iraq? Money and power. Why run anti-union campaigns? Money and power. Why insist that health care for everyone is impossible? Money and power. I mean just make the absolute worst assumptions about why they do anything and suddenly the world makes a lot more sense.
To make the point even more explicit- who do you suppose funds More In Common, and why do you suppose they do that?
Fellow Americans should be able to disagree and settle the conflict with elections. Enemies wish for each other's destruction, and while it may be how you feel, it is not the right frame of mind to take when attempting exchange of ideas on policy.
It shouldn't be a war. It should be a philosophical disagreement between brothers and sisters.
I say what I say out of a desire to influence people; I want to influence people out of a desire to make the world better. I have two kids- I don’t want them to be drafted in a war, or go hungry because of climate change. But if the conservatives get their way, that’s what will happen to them. I’ve been in city Council meetings advocating for paid sick leave for local working people. On my side was the vast majority of citizens, together with organized labor, on the other side was the chamber of commerce. The testimony was 20 to 1 in favor. But we lost, because the young lawyer in the expensive suit from the Chamber stood up and reminded the city Council members of who funded their election campaigns. And by defeating paid sick leave, they force people to work preparing food when they have the flu, they force people to choose between watching their sick kids or losing their jobs. I was once a fast food worker and my boss wouldn’t let me go home even though I was barfing in a trash can behind the fryolator. An experience like that changes you. But you know, the Chamber won, and they saved the business owners of the city a lot of money.
Look, your side wants a war with Iran that will necessitate the return of the draft; to do nothing about climate change which is rolling the dice on civilization itself; and to literally put children in cages (while making substantial profit for doing it). I’m sorry but you’re not my brother or sister if you support that kind of violence.
The same phenomenon applies in a different way to Mexico; you want to move your factories to where labor is cheap. But if all those Mexicans can just leave, it defeats the purpose of moving your plant to Mexico.
Democrats and Republicans both agree there are problems. The difference is in their solutions. If you ask a facile question like "Is homelessness bad" of course both sides will agree. The difference is that the Republican solution is criminalizing homelessness and other things that treat the symptoms, or handwaving it away and "letting the free market fix it." That doesn't even get into all the ways Republicans repeatedly will defund and undermine any government program, no matter how well they're working. (They're trying to cut SNAP for fucks sake. Over 40% of SNAP recipients are children!) Meanwhile Democrats will make mistakes and get caught in bureaucracy but at least actually make an effort at attacking the cause.
Even if you virulently disagree with me on my characterization of the two parties, you have to agree that the linked article is meaningless. The fact that "both sides agree" on the problems means nothing if one side's solutions aren't fact-based.
Apparently, many Democrats thought Republicans would say no. That's what's being measured.
The definitions of what these words actually mean are in dispute between the two groups. Someone on the left may be answering the question as "what do they actually believe, regardless of how they would answer the question." I know that's how I'd reply to a survey like this. I certainly wouldn't have in the moment considered if they would have a warped view of the words.
(Am I mischaracterizing this graph with respect to racism?)
side note, I fall into the post-doc group who would say that my colleagues and friends generally agree with me politically. But from my perspective, it's because we are more united on what the right ways to handle the problems actually are rather than because we are politically isolated. I consider myself a libertarian, but I generally vote blue; I've got friends who disagree with my general ideological stances but who understand that particular policies are better than nothing. I think that the story that this  graph is telling is that the more educated you become, the more you realize that only one of two parties in the united states is proposing sane solutions to the problems we face; whereas republicans in general are the ones who have a perception gap. Probably because they're more likely to be misinformed by the media they consume. 
Part of that is correctly interpreting how they are going to understand the question.
If you can't understand how the other side is going to read the question correctly, it's still a fail.
If I say "Dogs are members of Canis familiaris" and someone else says "no, those are wolves" and a 3rd person asks me "How likely is that guy to know what Canis familiaris is" based on me asking him the question "Do you know what Canis familiaris is?" I'm going to get the answer wrong 100% of the time, because of my "perception" of things.
This is meaningless however, because some facts are facts, and not everything is "shades of gray". Also vice versa.
Saying "there's a perception gap" when two people aren't even having the same conversation doesn't feel like the blame should be on either person. In this case, the observer who's trying to draw a conclusion is drawing a pointless conclusion/asking trap questions.
That's a meaningless statement - everyone everywhere agrees there are problems!
The all-important fact is that people on either side disagree about what the problems even are. So the difference is not in the solutions, but rather in the entire idea of what needs to be solved in the first place.
I dunno. The linked article seems like p hacking to me.
Not a Republican, but it's almost like the article created a living caricature of the phenomenon it was describing.
Surveyed Democrats guessed that almost 50% would, and even self-identified Independents guessed that roughly 40% would.
The problem is the high level interpretation doesn't get us anywhere. The devil is in the details, and Republicans are, for example, fully willing to gerrymander and engage in other forms of voter suppression that affect minorities disproportionately. The fact that they say one thing and do another shows they don't really mean what they say, or are so eager to throw away their morals in the pursuit of political expediency that it might as well not matter whether they mean it or not.