I tell folks all the time that if you want to get a sense of political sentiment in this country, ignore the corporate media altogether (yes, that includes Fox News, conservative friends) and look for real-world proxies. The only thing the corporate media is good at telling you is what big money donors want you to care about and what their weird fantasy society looks like.
Where are people choosing to live and what places are they choosing to leave? Where are they sending their children for school? What are people choosing to watch on television and what are they not? Where are people choosing to shop? Where are people choosing to worship? People vote with their wallets and their time. Look for the places where those dollars are flowing.
For example, the Catholic Church, Episcopalians, Methodists, and Lutherans have all largely adopted beliefs that rely more on identity politics and critical theory than the Gospel. Are they being rewarded with larger memberships? No. In fact, several of those sects are seeing membership declines that suggest their churches will be gone within a single generation. It’s hard to make less popular decisions than that. Meanwhile, evangelicals are building ever more megachurches. In 25 years, religion in this country will look spectacularly different, but to understand that you need to look at real data and not the “news” or social media mobs.
One of the most interesting real-world proxies (people “voting” with their wallets) has been gun sales. There are already more guns in civilian hands than there are in the military and police forces combined. But gun sales in the US continue to blow past records established in recent years nonetheless.
According to FBI statistics on background checks (which UNDERESTIMATES gun sales, as not all gun sales involve or require background checks), there were 4 million gun sales in the month of June alone. That brings us to over 19 million sales for the first half of the year. By comparison, there were 28 million background checks for the entirety of last year, which was the highest on record. And reports indicate that more than half of those 4 million sales were to first-time gun owners.
That’s a whole lot of people who are worried about civil unrest and “defund the police” initiatives. Regardless of what the media wants to tell you about these issues and how books like White Fragility are just flying off the shelves for the book clubs of privileged white liberal women to down with their chardonnay, there’s significant evidence these are wildly unpopular among ordinary Americans.