WASHINGTON—Providing insight into how American citizens participate in the political process, a report released Tuesday by the Pew Research Center revealed that the vast majority of civic engagement in the U.S. centers around oppressing other people. “We found that Americans are fairly active in making their voices heard and engaging in the public sphere, typically in an effort to restrict the rights of those who look or behave differently from them,” said lead researcher Dana McNeil, who added that well over two-thirds of the nation’s rallies, petitions, and letter-writing campaigns were aimed at making life worse for a portion of the population of which the participants were not a part. “Taking away the rights of other people was by far the most common subject of calls placed to congressional representatives, as well as the single greatest factor in predicting voter turnout. Indeed, when Americans join a citizens group or volunteer their time for a cause, more often than not, it’s to shout angrily at a specific group of people and call for their persecution.” McNeil added that, at the very least, it was encouraging to see so many Americans using the democratic process to make lasting change.
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