On November 3, 1969, Richard Nixon addressed the nation and used the now-famous line regarding “the Silent Majority” to refer to Americans who engaged very little in the public discourse, particularly regarding the Vietnam War and the related protests. Fresh in the memory of Americans was the turmoil of recent years, including the Democratic Party 1968 convention, which broke out in violence in a somewhat eerie mirror to some of the modern-day protests.
The appeal to the Silent Majority was an appeal to the Americans who were tired of the turmoil and chaos for which they were not responsible, had no hand in perpetrating, and felt they could do little to nothing about. It was a Silent Majority that was more concerned with the day-to-day living, raising kids, paying bills, and getting to work on time. It was an American majority which barely spoke about political matters except maybe to neighbors and friends. It is a Silent Majority that never really went away.
The Silent Majority is that demographic group that seems to change to a specific generation every thirty years or so. It is the generation that engages in the most economic activity and does not have the time to deal with frivolities such as twitter fights and gets annoyed by repeated spam posts from a MAGA Karen sister-in-law or woke 20-year-old Millenial cousin who still lives at home.
As the meme says, they ain’t got time for that.
The Silent Majority is the bulk of the electorate, and probably the one that changes the least. It is generally fine with the status quo, as long as that status quo does not interrupt their regularly scheduled programming.
And in the last year, boy has the channel been changed.
Now, the Silent Majority is more likely to go with the candidate that will re-establish the status quo. It is always where the parties generally lean, because that status quo also keeps all levels of governments off of the radar of the Silent Majority. It is why both sides of Congress rarely get much done, and anything done publicly rarely produces a final bill which is signed by the President. It is why the spending levels keep going up; it is why little to nothing has been on abortion; it is why, even under the Trump administration, government continues to grow.
So what is the status quo that the Silent Majority will want to return to?
First is the return to be able to leave well enough alone. The present idea from the left is that Silence is complicity. The anti-racism crowd is heavily pushing the idea that people HAVE to care and do something about racism. Being just not racist and treating everyone the same is not enough. It is an active push against the idea of a Silent Majority, where the expectation is that people have to take time out of their already burdened daily lives to deal with another burden.
Second is the return to economic normalcy. The Silent Majority probably will not mind – and rarely has – the increasing technological advances and the conveniences they provide, and those who will be able to stay at home and avoid long commutes will welcome that change. However, the many jobs lost or interrupted will need decrease back to the low unemployment we were enjoying to see the Silent Majority satisfied.
Third is the return to pre-COVID standards. The Silent Majority likes church or ball games or going out to eat once in a while. It likes its neighbors. It does not like being told to stay away from them. The closer that we can get to a more regular lifestyle, the party that can put that in place is going to get the votes.
You know what the Silent Majority hates? It hates loudmouth juveniles telling it what to believe. It hates the idea that they are supposed to take seriously people with platforms and no experience. It hates the idea of extremes, and hates the idea that they have to care about someone’s pet issue. It wants to be left alone.
And it will vote for the party that can leave it alone.