To counter partisan polarization, political theorists like John Rawls and political leaders like Barack Obama have sought to locate and express consensual elements of American culture that can appeal to or at least be accepted by people having political, religious, moral, and philosophical differences. While orthodox pluralism previously recognized the need for a normative consensus to regulate political struggles, a new principled pluralism expands on the contents of the American consensus by proposing many political principles and philosophical assumptions that are articulated at an intermediate level of abstraction, that express the emerging (though not always present) common sensibilities of most Americans, and that can be used to justify political policies and practices.
Paul Schumaker, "John Rawls, Barack Obama, and the Pluralist Political Consensus," American Political Thought 5, no. 4 (Fall 2016): 628-657. DOI: 10.1086/688631