The Cato Institute has been a leader in illuminating factual evidence and offering sound reasoning for a wide range of American political commentary. They have been outstanding in their discussions of political correctness and how it undermines our political system. We have great respect for the facts and believe that a rational discussion of facts is the best path to mutual understanding. Apropos of this belief, we hope that our readers will enjoy browsing these excerpts from Cato’s landmark 2017 “Free Speech & Tolerance Survey”.
Let’s stop talking and do something!
It follows that a solid majority (59%) of Americans think people should be allowed to express unpopular opinions in public, even those deeply offensive to others. On the other hand, 40% think the government should prevent hate speech. Despite this, the survey also found Americans willing to censor, regulate, or punish a wide variety of speech and expression they personally find offensive:
- 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 to 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 agree.
Americans Oppose Hate Speech Bans But Say Hate Speech is Morally Unacceptable
Although Americans oppose (59%) outright bans on public hate speech, that doesn’t mean they think hate speech is acceptable. An overwhelming majority (79%) say it’s “morally unacceptable” to say offensive things about racial or religious groups.
Check out Cato’s landmark 2017 “Free Speech & Tolerance Survey”.