A new poll finds exactly what everyone thought; Democrats hate free speech and want government used to eliminate it… at least, for everyone but liberals.
Free speech — especially political free speech — was one of the few rights that our founders felt was “inviolable,” or something that cannot be abridged unless it is used to willfully slander people.
But a new poll published by Real Clear Politics finds that Democrats are not fans of our longstanding American freedom.
Over all, the poll does find that “9 in 10 voters in the U.S. think First Amendment protections for freedom of speech is a good thing, while only 9% think it is a bad thing.”
But, the poll also highlights the fact that Democrats feel that the government should be used to eliminate the free speech of anyone they think is speaking “misinformation.”
“Misinformation,” of course, is the code word for anything liberals don’t like, factual or not.
The poll finds a big split between ill-educated people (and by ill-educated” I don’t mean lacking useless degrees and schooling so many have, I mean that they are uninformed and uninterested in the American ethos) under 40 and those over that age as well as another huge split between those who claim to be politically left-leaning and the rest of us.
As RCP explains:
Some of what is dividing these differences is generational, as Millennials and Gen-Z have come of age in a digital age environment in which reasonable expectations of privacy seem a relic of the past. “Those under 30 are most open to censorship by the government,” Kimball noted, adding that 42% of this cohort deem it “more important” to them that the government protect national security than guard the right to free expression. Among those over 65 years old, the corresponding percentage was 26%.
Also, a gender gap reveals itself, one that dovetails with the discrepancy in party registration between men and women — but which is more pronounced. Asked whether they support free speech even if it’s “deeply offensive,” 78% of men answered affirmatively, compared to 66% of women.
But the most glaring gap is between conservatives and liberals, i.e., between Republicans and Democrats. On the issue of free expression, at least, Republicans are not the authoritarian party. That distinction belongs to the Democrats, the party launched by Thomas Jefferson — the Founding Father who famously said that if he were forced to choose between “a government without newspapers or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter.”
These deeper results prove that while many Democrats pretend they like free speech, when it gets down to brass tacks, they simply don’t.
Some more findings:
- Republican voters (74%) and independents (61%) believe speech should be legal “under any circumstances, while Democrats are almost evenly divided. A bare majority of Democrats (53%) say speech should be legal under any circumstances, while 47% say it should be legal “only under certain circumstances.”
- Nearly one-third of Democratic voters (34%) say Americans have “too much freedom.” This compared to 14.6% of Republicans. Republicans were most likely to say Americans have too little freedom (46%), while only 22% of Democrats feel that way. Independents were in the middle in both categories.
- Although majorities of Democrats, Republicans, and independents agree the news media should be able to report stories they believe are in the national interest, this consensus shifts when it comes to social media censorship. A majority of Democrats (52%) approve of the government censoring social media content under the rubric of protecting national security. Among Republicans and independents, this percentage is only one-third.
- Poll respondents were read this statement: “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.” Only 31% of Democratic voters “strongly agreed” with that sentiment, compared to 51% of Republicans.
- Fully three-fourths of Democrats believe government has a responsibility to limit “hateful” social media posts, while Republicans are more split, with 50% believing the government has a responsibility to restrict hateful posts. (Independents, once again, are in the middle.)
- Democrats are significantly more likely than Republicans to favor stifling the free speech rights of political extremists. Also, Republicans don’t vary by the group: Only about half of GOP voters favor censorship — whether asked about the Ku Klux Klan, Nazis, or the Communist Party.
The poll shows that Democrats increasingly hate the American way, dislike our freedoms, want to ignore the law and the U.S. Constitution, and hope to lead by force, guile, misdirection, and mob action.Commentary