America has a temperate climate, yet she remains a land filled with snowflakes.
A new study helps explain.
The Pew Research Center, in a poll, released Wednesday, looked at trends regarding political correctness and “offensive” speech in the U.S. relative to Britain, France, and Germany.
Of the four countries, the Germans were the only ones with a majority (53 percent) that agreed with the idea that people should be careful what they say to avoid offending others.
Interestingly, America was at the bottom of the list in that regard, registering 40 percent.
And in what might appear to be good news, the U.S. was at the top on the other side of the equation. Fifty-seven percent of Americans believe “people today are too easily offended by what others say.”
Yet, despite that, Cancel Culture is a real, and intimidating, thing. But Pew uncovered some other nuggets about Americans.
When pollsters looked at the ideological beliefs of respondents, when it came to speech, the gap was largest in the U.S. among the four nations.
According to Pew, 65 percent of respondents on the left think people “should be careful” to avoid offending others with their comments.
For the right, it was 23 percent.
Comparatively, Britain, France, and Germany broke the same way, with a majority of leftists willing to tread lightly on rhetorical eggshells. But the left-right gap was significantly smaller, coming in at 17 percent in Britain, 15 percent in Germany, and 6 percent in France.
Moreover, “In the U.S., these ideological differences are closely related to partisanship. Six-in-ten Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents say people should be careful what they say to avoid offending others, while only 17% of Republicans and GOP-leaners say the same.”
Additionally, “Some Democrats … were worried that PC culture could end up being a harmful force, however. … Democrats worried that the ‘weaponization of difference’ could exacerbate polarization.”
Arguably, we’re well past that point.
The irony of Pew’s research is that just 10 months ago, the libertarian Cato Institute released a survey that found 62 percent of Americans accepted self-censorship in order to avoid blowback. That was up four points from the last time Cato asked the question in 2017.
But among the subsets, 77 percent of Republicans felt it best to hold their tongues.
On the other hand, “Strong liberals stand out … as the only political group who feel they can express themselves. Nearly 6 in 10 (58%) of staunch liberals feel they can say what they believe,” Cato reported.
So to sum up, when we put these polls together, conservatives believe much more strongly in free speech, per Pew, yet according to Cato, don’t dare to speak out – while liberals don’t believe in offending anyone, according to Pew, but, as Cato notes, have no problem leveling others with their beliefs.
That we continue to drift apart as a country should surprise no one.
Check out the ‘Cancel Corner‘, a section we launched in February 2021 where we report on the latest Cancel Cases and stories from around the globe.
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