A new study from the Survey Center on American Life shows that the “open-minded” mentality of many liberals is likely a bunch of hot air.
The Survey Center interviewed 2,019 adults, reporting a margin of error of +/- 2.4 percentage points, in its May 2021 American Perspectives Survey to analyze how the tense political climate impacts friendships.
While only 15 percent of people have ended a friendship over political disagreements, there is a clear ideological tilt when the rift political differences can cause is broken down.
“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),” the group explained.
The study also discovered that liberal women in particular are most likely to end a friendship with someone of opposing views.
“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.”
Former President Donald Trump played a factor as well — 22 percent of those who ended a friendship over politics cited the other friend’s support or opposition to him as their reason for doing so.
Republicans have received the usually false reputation of being hateful and intolerant of those with differing opinions than theirs.
Of course, that myth was easily debunked by this study as well.
“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,” the study found.
So not only are Republicans less likely to cut someone out of their lives for political reasons, but they are also less likely to find themselves in an echo chamber when it comes to their social circle.
The fact that assumptions tend to fuel the narrative that conservatives are prejudiced toward those who are different than they are, likely contributes to this data.
Generally speaking, conservatives believe liberals have bad ideas, whereas many liberals think conservatives are bad people.
When most people start getting politically active and begin to be consistently vocal about their ideas, it is natural to lose friends.
But most Americans should never have to deal with this issue, and hopefully that 15 percent number (although it is small) will shrink further.
Civil discussion and friendships with a wide variety of people are fundamental factors in developing a better society, politically and culturally.
Americans must strive each and every day to learn from each others’ political differences, no matter how ridiculous the other person might sound.
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