Definition of big tent
: a widely inclusive composition or character that allows people of differing backgrounds, opinions, and interests to be members of a group or organization (such as a political party) … Democratic talk of a big tent was becoming alarmingly familiar as the Party dealt with what amounted to a case of “values” shock—the post-election impression that Democrats keep losing because they have lost touch with mainstream American values.— Peter J. Boyer, New Yorker, 14 Nov. 2005 I feel very comfortable in the Republican tent. It's a big tent. It goes all the way from the right, all the way crossing the center line.— Arnold Schwarzenegger, PBS Newshour, 22 June 2007 We have big arguments within the party because we got a big tent …— Barack Obama, quoted in Rolling Stone, 14 Oct. 2010 also : a group or organization that has a widely inclusive composition or character When the parties were big tents, you had to make deals within your party in order to govern. — William Schneider, CNN, 24 May 2001 … Orthodox Judaism is a big tent that includes both fundamentalists and nonfundamentalists … — Alan Reder, Yoga Journal, July 2001 Irvin and his writers realize that pop music is an awfully big tent, one where greatness can be bestowed not only on the sublime … but on the ridiculous … — Bradley Bambarger, Billboard, 28 July 2001
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