Skip to content

The Hidden Tribes of America – By Tommy Purser

The Hidden Tribes of America.

That’s the title of a year-long project recently launched by a group that calls itself More in Common.

The Hidden Tribes of America survey collected the views of more than 8,000 people, a group of U.S. citizens statistically representative of the population based on census data.

While so many people say America is split into two sides — You’re either with me or against me. If you disagree with a single conservative viewpoint, you’re a liberal. And vice versa. No in between.

But the Hidden Tribes of America survey identified at least seven tribes. Here’s a inkling of what they found:

The Tribes

1. Progressive Activists (8 percent of the population) are deeply concerned with issues concerning equity, fairness, and America’s direction today.

2. Traditional Liberals (11 percent) tend to be cautious, rational, and idealistic. They value tolerance and compromise and place great faith in institutions.

3. Passive Liberals (15 percent) tend to feel isolated from their communities. They are insecure in their beliefs and try to avoid political conversations. They have a fatalistic view of politics and feel that the circumstances of their lives are beyond their control.

4. The Politically Disengaged (26 percent) are untrusting, suspicious about external threats, conspiratorially minded, and pessimistic about progress. They tend to be patriotic yet detached from politics.

5. Moderates (15 percent) are engaged in their communities, well informed, and civic-minded. Their faith is often an important part of their lives. They shy away from extremism of any sort.

6. Traditional Conservatives (19 percent) tend to be religious, patriotic, and highly moralistic. They believe deeply in personal responsibility and self-reliance.

7. Devoted Conservatives (6 percent) are deeply engaged with politics and hold strident, uncompromising views. They feel that America is embattled, and they perceive themselves as the last defenders of traditional values that are under threat.

While Progressive Activists and Devoted Conservatives make a lot of loud noise, it’s conforting to know they are a very small percentage of the population.

While I’ve had Devoted Conservatives accuse me of being a liberal many times, I have always said I was and am a Moderate. I feel comfortable with that label. To what Tribe do you belong?

Leave a Comment