Groundbreaking Research Debunks Myth of “Two Americas”

The media, the parties, even many academics want people to believe that political divisions run deep within the American populace. They present an image of America that is divided into two — those on “the Right” and those on “the Left.”

Yet survey results from (TheChisel) show that this myth of “two Americas” is greatly exaggerated and, frankly, false. TheChisel found that “Americans’ shared values far outweigh their differences.”

Spearheaded by TheChisel, the research is supported by a broad coalition of 30 universities, media outlets (including IVN), and organizations across the political spectrum and across the nation. The results of the coalition’s “What’s Your American Dream?” survey were published into a book, now available for purchase online.

The survey focused on 7 critical topics to the nation’s future:

  • Economy
  • Social Justice
  • Liberty & Regulation
  • Health, Education & Care
  • Infrastructure & Services
  • Foreign Affairs
  • Governance

View the online survey here

Instead of asking about specific policy positions (or meaningless questions like, “what’s most important to you, health care, jobs, or foreign policy?”), the survey asked 1,318 voting-age Americans — reflecting the 2016 census by gender, age, race, geography, income — to name their top priorities in achieving the American Dream from a list of goals on 34 issues. Respondents were also asked to self-identify by political affiliation.

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For instance, on the economy, instead of asking a broad and ambiguous question — like “Do you think the country is headed in the right direction?” — people were asked about their top goals on employment, industry, the federal debt and deficit, and more to achieve their American Dream.

We are not talking about a generic idea of the American Dream, but each respondent’s American Dream.

From TheChisel’s “What’s Your American Dream?” survey.

What the survey found was astonishing. Results showed that “Right, Left, and Center” agreed on their top 3 goals in achieving the American Dream for 74% of the 34 issues surveyed. And for 53% of the issues, the number one goal was the same.

“The results demonstrate that, across the political spectrum, we Americans agree on important issues facing our country. Despite different vocabularies, dialects, favorite news channels, or professions, Americans still maintain many shared values,” said Michael Smerconish, Sirius radio host and TheChisel partner.

From TheChisel’s “What’s Your American Dream?” survey.

Using the economy as an example again, the survey found that the number one priority for respondents on the Left, Center, and Right on the corporate income tax was that it be simple and easy to comply with. In fact, a plurality of all 3 groups agreed on their number one priority on 4 out of the 6 issues under “Economy.”

“The coalition expects the survey will be used as a tool to help guide the nation’s leaders to understand Americans’ united goals and then devise the tactics to achieve those goals,” said Deborah L. Devedjian, Founder of TheChisel.

Along with the survey, TheChisel also offers a series of “ChiselBits,” developed jointly with subject experts from across the political spectrum and present important and hot-button issues in fun, easy-to-understand infographics.

Check out the “ChiselBit” on Gun Presence in America.

TheChisel is also collaborating with experts and key stakeholders from opposite sides of the political spectrum on forging and finding “pragmatic and compassionate” proposals for the nation’s biggest issues — at the federal, state, and local levels.

The platform invites people to give feedback on the proposals and vote on them. There are currently four proposals: Economy (2), Elections (1), and Tax (1). The single tax proposal is the only one that is now closed.

See more on the “What’s Your American Dream?” survey here and stay tuned for additional coverage on TheChisel’s new proposals initiative.

About TheChisel: “TheChisel is the first and only civic platform with 100% bipartisan facts and proposals. TheChisel avoids bias and uses fun graphics to illuminate issues. Content is developed with recognized experts from both sides of the aisle working together. TheChisel’s content and technologies help people and institutions with opposing views find common ground and reach agreement. Its board, advisors, investors, and team reflect America’s full political spectrum. Users can voice their thoughts, engage with experts, and give their feedback to TheChisel community to realize America’s aspirations.”

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