In 2009, a former member of a radical left student organization from the 1960s (i.e., the SDS) repackaged communist vanguardism into a patriot vanguardism designed to appeal to the far-right ideology of the American militia movement. Instead of building class consciousness, these III Percenters would challenge the growing power of the federal government, and build a consciousness that the federal government needs to return to a more limited form (e.g., the original Constitution). Like radical movements during the counter-cultural 1960s, III Percenters choose direct action to forward their agenda, typically by showing up carrying firearms in situations where police authorities are in conflict with local residents.

The origins of 3% are not clear. Colonists fighting in the American Revolutions were less than 1% of the population, just as less than 1% of the population are veterans today. Support for the American Revoltution was somewhere between 40-45%. Since the 1950s, outlaw biker gangs have claimed they are "one percenters" and "five percenters" are an offshoot of the black nationalist Nation of Islam. It seems likely that 3% simply splits the difference, and linking it to the American Revolution makes it unnecessary to talk about the communist history of vanguardism and where these repackaged ideas came from.
"When the three percenters showed up, things escalated quickly."
by cafebedouin January 10, 2016
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In Mormon culture there's a general understanding, shared with missionaries during training. Only two percent of missionaries return home and marry the boyfriend or girlfriend they left, while three percent fall in love with one of their same-sex companions. This is mainly shared to put their relationships in perspective and maybe to soften the blow when they almost inevitably find out their SO has moved on sometime in their two years out spreading the gospel.
"Three percenter" is thus used as a perjorative among Mormon missionaries to describe a guy (or gal) who seems a little too happy about spending all their waking hours in the company of their same-sex companion. Given that the Mormon church considers homosexuality a sin, it can be taken or meant as an insult.
I think Elder Johnson and Elder Smith are three percenters. I hope I don't get paired with one of them next!
by CJBrimson January 7, 2021
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