(NewsNation) — A prominent Democrat, Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, is speaking out about his political party.
The congressman representing New York’s 18th District and leader of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has received attention after telling The New York Times that Democrats have a “likeability problem.”
Maloney says Democrats need to learn how to communicate better with the American people.
In an interview with Dan Abrams on Wednesday evening, Maloney said he wants his party to become “more generous and less judgmental.”
“I think sometimes instead of listening, we delivered scorn, we become too good at only talking to people who already agree with us,” Maloney said. “I want us to be more generous and less judgmental. And I think we’ll do better and have more capacity to bring about the kind of change that we all believe in.”
Maloney’s comments come as a new study suggests that Americans are now being silenced on hot button issues due to mounting social pressure.
Researchers with the think tank Populace find what they call “self-silencing,” or people being afraid to share their true opinions, because of what others might think in a what seems like a divisive political climate.
“What’s interesting is we’re all doing this. We’re all misrepresenting our views,” said Todd Rose, co-founder of Populace. “It was pretty shocking. Every single demographic in the country is misrepresenting their views on multiple issues. But there are different issues, right? So we’re all being pulled to the fringes in public and that’s creating this sense of false polarization.”
The study examined different issues. On the topic of abortion, the study found that despite an overwhelming majority of Republicans, 64 percent, saying publicly that Roe v. Wade should be overturned, only about 51 percent reported believing that privately.
When it comes to the question of asking if people thought wearing a mask was an effective way to stop the spread of COVID-19, 59 percent of Americans publicly said yes while privately, only 47 percent actually believed it.
Overall, the study identified Hispanics and independents as the groups that are least comfortable sharing their private views in public.
“Political discourse in this country has become so toxic and uncivil that people would rather go along to get along rather than be shamed for having a potentially unpopular or more nuanced take,” Abrams commented.
Rose summed up the study with these words: “We have opinions. We want to speak up. We want to hear from each other, but we don’t feel like we can.”