Most Americans don’t like political correctness.

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According to Yascha Mounk in The Atlantic the following people dislike political correctness:

  • 97% of devoted conservatives
  • 88% of American Indians
  • 87% of those who have never attended college
  • 87% of Hispanics
  • 83% of those who make less than $50,000 per year
  • 82% of Asian people
  • 79% of people under age 24
  • 79% of white people
  • 75% of African Americans
  • 74% of people age 24-29
  • 70% of those who make more than $100,000 per year
  • 66% of those with a postgraduate degree
  • 61% of traditional liberals
  • 30% of progressive activists

In fact “progressive activists” were the only group that overall liked political correctness, which Mounk describes as “much more likely to be rich, highly educated–and white.” This description supports previous findings by Pew Research.

Mounk asked his Twitter followers to guess what percent of the country has a problem with political correctness, and they greatly underestimated the true numbers. Mounk theorizes this is because, as he puts it,

They are probably a decent approximation for a particular intellectual milieu to which I also belong: politically engaged, highly educated, left-leaning Americans—the kinds of people, in other words, who are in charge of universities, edit the nation’s most important newspapers and magazines, and advise Democratic political candidates on their campaigns.

In other words, the progressive view (the minority view) benefits from having a particularly large mouthpiece.

The study Mounk is reviewing found that most Americans, described as the “exhausted majority,” see political correctness as “the preening display of cultural superiority” and “an excuse to mock the values and ignorance of others.” Mounk concludes:

A publication whose editors think they represent the views of a majority of Americans when they actually speak to a small minority of the country may eventually see its influence wane and its readership decline. And a political candidate who believes she is speaking for half of the population when she is actually voicing the opinions of one-fifth is likely to lose the next election.

In a democracy, it is difficult to win fellow citizens over to your own side, or to build public support to remedy injustices that remain all too real, when you fundamentally misunderstand how they see the world.

Graphic from the report “Hidden Tribes: A Study of America’s Polarized Landscape,” which Mounk summarizes in his article.