I’ve been hearing about this so-called “silent majority” in America for more than four years now; and I keep waiting for them to speak up.
Let’s remember a few things; the majority of Americans did NOT vote for Donald Trump for President. Additionally, the 2016 pre-election polls WEREN’T WRONG…STOP REPEATING THAT LIE!! The turnout models were wrong, not peoples’ opinions. Both political parties issued post-mortem reports (as they do every four years) and both acknowledged that had voters who supported Hillary Clinton simply showed up, rather than believing there was no way Trump would win, she would have won in a landslide.
I’m not suggesting that the “shy trump supporters” theory isn’t real. It’s absolutely real. For five years, an unknowably high number of people have silently supported Trump and his policies. They stay quiet out of fear of ridicule or repercussions, as well as embarrassment. However, to suggest that all of them are also voters is laughably stupid. In 2016, only 55% of America’s voting age population actually voted, whereas pretty much 100% of us have opinions in this polarized age. The people walking around afraid to express support for Trump do not therefore represent those who also vote.
But this is about more than Trump and the upcoming presidential election. Every major topic of our time is met with the same asinine remark. If you ask people about the riots in America’s major cities you’re told, “the silent majority won’t tolerate it!” If you believe that America needs to learn to live with the Covid-19 virus and open back up entirely you hear “The silent majority agrees with you!” If you question the lurch towards Socialism that is sweeping across Americans under the age of 40 at higher levels than in 100 years you’re told to calm down because “the silent majority will never let that happen!”
Where are these people? And when, exactly, are they going to speak up?
I understand that it’s human nature to want to believe that most people agree with us; but it’s also a roadmap to delusion and despair. For obvious reasons, people tend to surround themselves with like-minded people. That’s not to suggest we don’t have friends with differing opinions, but other than family-forced relationships, most of us don’t choose to hang around with people who have fundamentally different views of the world. If you believe in personal responsibility, it doesn’t take long for you to distance yourself from someone who always makes excuses and blames anything other than themselves when things go wrong. If you’re a minority, you’re not going to tolerate an overt racist in your bubble. Perhaps an even more relatable example is the phenomenon of friends having children. As we age our way through our 20’s and 30’s we see it play out in generation after generation; as certain friends become parents, their non-parent friends become more distant for obvious reasons; they are now living fundamentally different lives at their core, and there simply isn’t that much relatable to talk about anymore. No one is wrong; it’s just how life works.
None of those examples are the same as having friends with different opinions. And please note, I mean living, breathing, humans you spend actual time with; not social media “friends.” Grow up.
If you must label me (and that seems to be a necessity in 2020), I’d be described as leaning politically to the left on social issues (LGBTQ rights, racial equality, legalization of marijuana, making the “Dreamers” legally whole) and leaning to the right on economic and national security issues (low taxes, fewer regulations and restrictions on business, dominant military, well-funded and well-trained police). I have friends who are both Socialists and Trumpsters because at our core, we see life in similar fashions. Sadly, many of you don’t understand how that’s possible, which is part of the problem with America in the 21st century. If you actually sit down and talk with people, you find out that we really aren’t that different, even if we’ve reached vastly different conclusions. The problem today is that the only people we see are those who scream the loudest and listen the least, and we think it represents the country.
Which brings us back to this rarely-seen-or-heard-yet wildly-claimed-to-exist “silent majority.” Exactly how many nights in a row must a city burn for this group to speak up and/or do something? What is the exact number of businesses that need to go under and exactly how many millions of Americans need to be unemployed for us to finally hear from this alleged majority? At what point will this gaggle speak up as it relates to American cops being assassinated?
Perhaps no issue better illustrates this lunacy than guns in America. The state of California has some of the most restrictive gun laws in the country, yet no state comes close to the number of guns owned. Not registered, but owned. This so-called silent majority of Californians who love their guns say nothing (stay silent), and simply buy, find, barter, and get guns under the radar and against the laws of the state. That’s not the silent majority “not standing for it,” that’s the exact opposite. That’s merely self-preservation. And cowardice.
For 6 months, we have chronicled breathlessly and endlessly the overwhelming evidence that shows that a solid two-thirds (66%) of Americans supports keeping America shut-down and/or doing everything we must to hide from the Covid-19 virus. As businesses that are open continue to die on the vine because Americans are terrified of getting sick, it’s laughable that anyone even questions this fact, but they do. “The silent majority has had enough of this!” Aaaaannnnnnndddddd?!?! What?
I want to believe my friends and others who claim that this silent majority agrees with my points of view. We all want that. It’s great to be agreed with! But what good is this so-called majority if its’ feckless? People often make the claim that “most people” are too busy living life to waste their time screaming, and so it only “seems” like people think in ways opposite. Well, what does that say about them and how does it translate to reality? Are they just cowards? Spineless? Apathetic? Disaffected? All of the above?
Being in the majority and being silent is like trying to hunt for elk with a fishing pole.
So, I ask again, where is this silent majority and what good is it? And what’s it going to take for it to find its’ voice? If 2020 hasn’t done the trick, nothing will.