The American Enterprise Institute’s Survey Center of American Life latest survey results took a closer look at the effects that politics can have on modern friendships. In such a frayed political landscape, it is easy to see why this is becoming more and more of a debate for many. Their May survey examined a range of topics.
How did friendships survive during the pandemic? Who are Americans relying on for personal support at the moment? How many close friends do most people say that they have? In addition to these questions, the most important query was focused on the intersection between politics and friendship. Surprisingly, most Americans do not even talk about politics enough for this to be as big of an issue as people would think.
From the American Survey Center:
“Few Americans report that they regularly discuss politics or government with their friends. About only one in five (21 percent) Americans say they discuss political issues at least a few times a week. About one in four (24 percent) say they talk with friends about politics a few times a month. More than half (55 percent) the public report that they talk about politics with their friends less often. Notably, Democrats and Republicans are not any more likely to discuss politics with their friends than the public overall is.”
On the other hand, the minority that does discuss politics are more likely to become more heated. The American Survey Center has more:
“For most Americans, political affiliation is probably not a prerequisite for forming a friendship, but both Democrats and Republicans are far more likely to have friends who belong to their preferred party. About eight in 10 (82 percent) Democrats and Republicans (80 percent) say they have at least some friends who share the same political identity. Importantly, Republicans have more bipartisan friendships than Democrats do. A majority (53 percent) of Republicans say they have at least some friends who are Democrats. In contrast, less than one-third (32 percent) of Democrats say they have at least some Republican friends.”
This is the part where the progressives are really going to be taken to task. They have been found to be the most likely to cut off their old friends over political leanings. Conservatives are much more open-minded in comparison:
“Although political disagreements are common, few Americans report having stopped talking to or being friends with someone because of their views about government or politics. Only 15 percent of the public have ended a friendship over politics.
Ending friendships over political disagreements occurs more among liberal and Democratic-leaning Americans. Democrats are twice as likely as Republicans are to report having ended a friendship over a political disagreement (20 percent vs. 10 percent). Political liberals are also far more likely than conservatives are to say they are no longer friends with someone due to political differences (28 percent vs. 10 percent, respectively). No group is more likely to end a friendship over politics than liberal women are; 33 percent say they stopped being friends with someone because of their politics.”
We cannot say that we are surprised by these results. The same people who spend all day online looking for conservative thinkers to cancel are doing the same in their personal lives? Big stunner there, of course. These are not people who are accustomed to seeing nuances. They view things in strictly black and white, with absolutely no room for any sort of grey area.
Cancel culture is not something that goes away when we put our phones down. The progressives do whatever they can to bring the concept into everyday life and conservative thinkers are feeling the brunt of these philosophies at the moment. The left needs to learn how to embrace people who have different mindsets from their own but that does not seem imminent, by any stretch of the imagination. They are going to continue to cut themselves off from any sort of alternative point of view.