Political correctness has altered our public discourse. A new Cato Institute 2017 Free Speech and Tolerance Survey finds 71% of Americans point to political correctness as the cause of polarization infecting our conversations with those who hold opinions other than our own. 58% of Americans says they’re keeping their mouths shut because of it.
Emily Ekins conducted the wide-ranging poll, and says Republicans are more likely to self-censor than Democrats, though an overwhelming majority of all people think everyone should be free to speak their mind. “71% believe that political correctness has done more to silence discussions that our society needs to have while a third think political correctness is more about helping to reduce offense,” she tells NewsRadio 740 KTRH.
She says the pressure to keep your beliefs to yourself is most acutely felt by conservatives living in urban areas. “Many of those believe they can’t talk about their religious beliefs, immigration was also an important issue, issues of diversity and race relations. What’s interesting is that Liberals say the same thing,” Ekins says.
Among the findings of the survey:
· 51% of staunch liberals say it’s “morally acceptable” to punch Nazis.
· 53% of Republicans favor stripping U.S. citizenship from people who burn the American flag.
· 51% of Democrats support a law that requires Americans use transgender people’s preferred gender pronouns.
· 65% of Republicans say NFL players should be fired if they refuse to stand for the anthem.
· 58% of Democrats say employers should punish employees for offensive Facebook posts.
· 47% of Republicans favor bans on building new mosques.
Americans also can’t agree what speech is hateful, offensive, or simply a political opinion:
· 59% of liberals say it’s hate speech to say transgender people have a mental disorder; only 17% of conservatives agree.
· 39% of conservatives believe it’s hate speech to say the police are racist; only 17% of liberals agree.
· 80% of liberals say it’s hateful or offensive to say illegal immigrants should be deported; only 36% of conservatives agree.
· 87% of liberals say it’s hateful or offensive to say women shouldn’t fight in military combat roles, while 47% of conservatives agree.
· 90% of liberals say it’s hateful or offensive to say homosexuality is a sin, while 47% of conservatives