Ellen Weaver

Common Man…Or Out-of-Touch?

May 12, 2016

Ellen Weaver

Many folks I’ve talked with over the last few months have spluttered in bewilderment at the political pool we’ve been throw into.  “Donald Trump? Bernie Sanders?  REALLY?  What are people thinking?!”

Even the most successful Americans tend to view themselves as average Joe’s who have worked hard and seen success because of the blessing of living in the land of the free and the home of the brave.   General discomfort with class snobbery is a long-ingrained part of our pioneer spirit.

But are we all as in touch with the common man as we think?  In his 2012 book “Coming Apart,” noted political scientist Charles Murray lays out the ever-growing gap between the lives and culture of average Americans and an increasingly insular upper middle class.  Although wealth can certainly play a role in this isolation, more often than not, education level – and the tastes it cultivates –  plays a big part of the divide.  And for many Americans, it feels like the hope of the American Dream is slipping out of their grasp.

So how “in touch” with the common man are you?  Or putting the question another way, how thick is your bubble?

Find out by taking this short quiz: the higher your score, the less insulated you are from average America.  I personally got a 68.  The Palmetto Promise team average was 54, putting us right in the middle of the spread as a group of primarily “first-generation middle-class people with working-class parents and average television and movie going habits.”

To be clear, “bubbles” of any kind are a problem – whether it’s a bubble of quasi-elitism or a bubble of ignorance.  But knowing you’re IN a bubble is the first step to breaking through and understanding how to reach other people in theirs.

So take the quiz…and leave a comment to let us know what you scored!

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