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A '''silent majority''' is a large amount of people who, as the term implies, constitute a [[majority]] or large amount of the population on a certain issue or issues, but have not openly expressed their opinions. This causes the opposing side to appear numerically larger, but the silent majority can often be seen on election days.
In [[United States]] history, the term has been closely associated with the Nixon Administration. Nixon was a middle-of-the-road politician who reached out to [[China]] as a
counter-balance to the Soviet Union and established the [[Environmental Protection Agency]]. He positioned himself to the left of principled conservatives such as [[Barry Goldwater]] and [[Ronald Reagan]]. The "silent majority" sought to appeal to working-class voters, particularly those in the south who were upset by the Civil Rights legislation adopted in the 1960s under [[Lyndon Johnson]].
The silent majority has usually consisted of law-abiding [[conservatives]], fed up or unpersuaded by the vocal [[left-wing]] minority. Rather than holding major [[protest]]s, oftentimes disruptive or violent in the case of the left-wingers, they let their views be known through the ballot box.
==Origin of the term==
The term "silent majority" first originated under [[Republican Party|Republican]] U.S. president [[Richard Nixon]].
Nixon, who was elected [[President of the United States|president]] in [[United States presidential election, 1968|1968]], promised an end to the [[Vietnam War]].<ref name="CHNM">[https://chnm.gmu.edu/hardhats/silent.html Nixon's "Silent Majority" Speech]. ''chnm.gmu.edu''. Retrieved December 18, 2016.</ref> After he assumed office, Nixon decided against a quick withdrawal, as it would severely damage international trust and confidence in American leadership.<ref name="CHNM"/> However, [[liberal]] antiwar activists, who wanted a quick withdrawal regardless of its effects, were very unhappy and vocal in their unhappiness, staging at least one major protest in [[Washington D.C.]]<ref name="CHNM"/>
While the [[New Left]], antiwar protestors, and [[hippies]] vocally expressed their leftist views, a silent majority of Americans who had not given in to their agenda. In fact, a [[Gallup]] poll released soon after Nixon's November 1969 speech showed 77 percent of Americans in favor of Nixon's policy, despite the [[Anti-war|antiwar]] protests.<ref name="History"/>
The existence of the silent majority was further seen in the [[United States presidential election, 1972|1972 presidential election]]. Democrats nominated [[George McGovern]], likely the most [[left-wing]] nominee in history at that point. Large numbers of [[Democratic Party|Democrats]] abandoned the party and its nominee who was not in line with their traditional conservative values and voted for Nixon.<ref name="Britannica">[https://www.britannica.com/event/United-States-presidential-election-of-1972 United States presidential election of 1972]. ''Encyclopædia Britannica''. Retrieved December 18, 2016.</ref> Nixon was successfully able to point out McGovern's extreme views, and he won the election in one of the largest landslides in United States history.<ref name="Britannica"/><ref name="WaPo1972">Broder, David S. (November 8, 1972). [
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/national/longterm/watergate/articles/110872-1.htm Nixon Wins Landslide Victory; Democrats Hold Senate, House]. ''The Washington Post''. Retrieved December 18, 2016.</ref> Even traditionally Democrat states, such as [[West Virginia]], [[New York]], and [[Texas]], voted for Nixon (he won 49 states).<ref name="WaPo1972"/> As of 2016, the 1972 presidential election was the 4th largest landslide election in terms of the popular vote, and even larger than the [[United States presidential election, 1964|1964 presidential election]].<ref>[http://www.worldatlas.com/articles/largest-landslide-victories-in-us-presidential-election-history.html Largest Landslide Victories In US Presidential Election History]. ''worldatlas.com''. Retrieved December 18, 2016.</ref>
==Other potential examples of the silent majority in U.S. history==
===Black silent majority===
During the 1960s and 70s, a silent majority existed in the [[African Americans|black community]] that opposed the undue sympathy of the liberal elites towards criminals and drug dealers.<ref name="Federalist">Grabar, Mary (May 5, 2016). [
http://thefederalist.com/2016/05/05/the-forgotten-history-of-the-black-silent-majority/ The Forgotten History Of ‘The Black Silent Majority’]. ''The Federalist''. Retrieved December 18, 2016.</ref> Rather than condemning "police brutality", blaming crime and drug use on racism, or supporting the [[welfare state]] as a solution, they supported tougher crime laws.<ref name="Federalist"/> Some even supported [[capital punishment]] for these crimes.<ref name="Federalist"/>
===Trump's silent majority===
[[Donald Trump]] frequently mentioned the silent majority in speeches during the [[2016 U.S. presidential election|2016 presidential election]].<ref>Sanders, Sam (January 22, 2016). [
http://www.npr.org/2016/01/22/463884201/trump-champions-the-silent-majority-but-what-does-that-mean-in-2016 Trump Champions The 'Silent Majority,' But What Does That Mean In 2016?]. ''NPR''. Retrieved December 18, 2016.</ref> While polling predicted [[Hillary Clinton]] would win easily, Trump performed significantly better than polling suggested.<ref>Mercer, Andrew; Deane, Claudia; McGeeney, Kyley (November 9, 2016). [ http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2016/11/09/why-2016-election-polls-missed-their-mark/ Why 2016 election polls missed their mark]. ''Pew Research Center''. Retrieved December 18, 2016.</ref><ref name="FiveThirtyEight">Bialik, Carl; Enten, Harry (November 9, 2016). [http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/the-polls-missed-trump-we-asked-pollsters-why/ The Polls Missed Trump. We Asked Pollsters Why.]. ''FiveThirtyEight''. Retrieved December 18, 2016.</ref> Trump voters were underrepresented in polling samples, and it is possible that, because it is social taboo in mainstream society to support Trump, many voters did not state their real voting intentions to pollsters, even though that idea was rejected by some.<ref name="FiveThirtyEight"/ >
After Trump's inauguration, a vocal minority of leftist protesters staged "women's marches" around the world.<ref>Keneally, Meghan (January 22, 2017). [
http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/womens-march-heads-washington-day-trumps-inauguration/story?id=44936042 More than 1 Million Rally at Women's Marches in US and Around World]. ''ABC News''. Retrieved January 22, 2017.</ref> This "women's march" was largely just a sham intended to bash President Trump and promote far-left and [[feminist]] ideology that hundreds of millions of women oppose.<ref name="LiberalTPs">Mcardle, Mairead (January 21, 2017). [ http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/womens-march-sports-slew-of-liberal-talking-points/article/2612596 Women's March sports slew of liberal talking points]. ''Washington Examiner''. Retrieved January 22, 2017.</ref> Additionally, [[pro-life]] groups were excluded from the D.C. march, even though they support the humane principle of opposing legalized murder.<ref name="LiberalTPs"/> Additionally, hateful leftist activists such as [[Madonna Ciccone|Madonna]]<ref>[ http://www.foxnews.com/entertainment/2017/01/21/madonna-gives-profanity-laced-speech-at-womens-march-in-washington.html Madonna gives profanity-laced speech at Women's March in Washington]. ''Fox News''. January 21, 2017. Retrieved January 22, 2017.</ref> and [[Ashley Judd]]<ref>Laila, Cristina (January 21, 2017). [ http://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2017/01/unhinged-ashley-judd-recites-nasty-woman-poem-womens-march-video/ Unhinged! Ashley Judd Recites ‘Nasty Woman’ Poem At Women’s March (VIDEO)]. ''The Gateway Pundit''. Retrieved January 22, 2017.</ref> gave hateful, vulgar, and idiotic rants against Trump. These protesters forgot that Trump still managed to win about 42% of women and won a strong majority of about 53% of white women according to liberal "mainstream" exit polls.<ref>[ http://www.nbcnews.com/politics/2016-election/president Presidential Results]. ''NBC News''. Retrieved January 22, 2017.</ref><ref>[ http://edition.cnn.com/election/results/exit-polls/national/president Exit polls]. ''CNN''. Retrieved January 22, 2017.</ref>
Despite major left-wing hysteria and criticism due to President Trump's executive order temporarily suspending refugee inflows
as well as immigration from certain high-risk nations, 49 percent of the American public supported the decision compared to 41 percent opposed, according to the "mainstream" Reuters,<ref>Kahn, Chris (January 31, 2017). [ http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trump-immigration-poll-exclusive-idUSKBN15F2MG Exclusive: Only a third of Americans think Trump's travel ban will make them more safe]. ''Reuters''. Retrieved January 31, 2017.</ref> and 57% percent of likely American voters supported the ban according to Rasmussen.<ref>[http://m.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/current_events/immigration/january_2017/most_support_temporary_ban_on_newcomers_from_terrorist_havens Most Support Temporary Ban on Newcomers from Terrorist Havens].'' January 2017. Retrieved February 2, 2017.</ref>
Despite the fact that only 4.1% of the U.S. population in 2017 identified as [[LGBT]], just over half a percentage point higher than four years prior,<ref>Gates, Gary J. (January 11, 2017). [
http://www.gallup.com/poll/201731/lgbt-identification-rises.aspx ?utm_source=Daily+Briefing&utm_campaign=e78663af9e-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2017_01_05&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_ed3d9d5277-e78663af9e-273636929&mc_cid=e78663af9e&mc_eid=6492c3988e&utm_source=Cultural+Commentary&utm_campaign=36e55c71c7-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2016_11_01&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_51f776a552-36e55c71c7-273780261&mc_cid=36e55c71c7&mc_eid=067f1df51b In US, More Adults Identifying as LGBT]. ''Gallup''. Retrieved January 18, 2017.</ref> Americans greatly overestimate the proportion of homosexuals in the nation to be an average of 23%.<ref name="GreatlyOver">Newport, Frank (May 21, 2015). [ http://www.gallup.com/poll/183383/americans-greatly-overestimate-percent-gay-lesbian.aspx ?utm_source=Cultural+Commentary&utm_campaign=36e55c71c7-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2016_11_01&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_51f776a552-36e55c71c7-273780261&mc_cid=36e55c71c7&mc_eid=067f1df51b Americans Greatly Overestimate Percent Gay, Lesbian in U.S.] ''Gallup''. Retrieved January 18, 2017.</ref> While neither statistic shows homosexuals in the majority, their size and strength is greatly exaggerated, in conformance with earlier examples. Interestingly, Republicans and conservatives gave estimates closest to the actual number.<ref name="GreatlyOver"/>