The fact that Americans tend to overwhelmingly agree on what could be called American values is promising news. At a time when our national discourse is hyper-polarized, and nearly every facet of American life has been weaponized for political gain, Americans still agree on basic tenets of what it means to be American. Unsurprisingly, these are all positive, common sense views that demonstrate a culture that believes the rights of the individual are sacred. This polling also shows a strong sentiment towards meritocracy and that all people have value.
Finally, the results cut across party and demographic lines. This reinforces the fact that these common sense views are ingrained within the American psyche.
The common sense views are as follows:
- Equality of opportunity is a fundamental American principle; equality of outcome is not.
- 74 percent agree, 13 percent disagree.
- America is not perfect, but it is good to be patriotic and proud of the country.
- 80 percent agree, 14 percent disagree.
- Discrimination and racism are bad, but they are not the cause of all disparities in American society.
- 70 percent agree, 23 percent disagree.
- No one is completely without bias, but calling all white people racists who benefit from white privilege and American society a white supremacist society is not right or fair.
- 75 percent agree, 17 percent disagree.
- America benefits from the presence of immigrants, and no immigrant, even if illegal, should be mistreated. But border security is still important, as is an enforceable system that fairly decides who can enter the country.
- 80 percent agree, 13 percent disagree.
- Police misconduct and brutality against people of any race is wrong, and we need to reform police conduct and recruitment. More and better policing is needed for public safety, and that cannot be provided by “defunding the police.”
- 81 percent agree, 13 percent disagree.
- There are underlying differences between men and women, but discrimination on the basis of gender is wrong.
- 84 percent agree, 9 percent disagree.
- People who want to live as a gender different from their biological sex should have that right and not be discriminated against. However, there are issues around child consent to transitioning and participation in women’s sports that are complicated and not settled.
- 71 percent agree, 18 percent disagree.
- Racial achievement gaps are bad, and we should seek to close them. However, they are not due just to racism, and standards of high achievement should be maintained for people of all races.
- 74 percent agree, 16 percent disagree.
- Language policing has gone too far; by and large, people should be able to express their views without fear of sanction by employer, school, institution, or government. Good faith should be assumed, not bad faith.
- 76 percent agree, 14 percent disagree.