The left and free speech

By Christopher Harper

Many Americans say they do not talk about politics for fear it might cost them their jobs.

A Cato Institute poll found that 62% of those surveyed believe the current political climate prevents them from making their views public.

These fears cross partisan lines, but Republicans at 77% are by far the most likely to stay quiet.

Leftists stand out, however, as the only political group who feel they can say whatever they want to.

The survey also found that many people, particularly those on the left, think political contributions should affect someone’s employment. Nearly a third, or 31%, support firing a business executive who donates to Donald Trump’s reelection campaign. Support increases to 50% of leftist who support firing executives who personally donate to Trump.

Young Americans are also more likely than older Americans to support punishing people at work for personal donations to Trump. Forty-four percent of Americans under 30 support firing executives if they donate to Trump. That belief falls significantly, or 20%, among those over 55.

The analysts summed it up: “If people feel they cannot discuss these important policy matters, such views will not have an opportunity to be scrutinized, understood, or reformed.”

A recent email from Pearson Higher Ed, a major publisher of academic journals and books, underlined how leftists shout the loudest.

The publisher was pushing a variety of seminars on racism. “Systemic racism has created an unprecedented level of outrage across America and around the globe. People are looking for answers and information about how we got to this point and how to create a more equitable world,” the publisher postulated.

I’m almost certain many of my colleagues will pass along the seminars to their students. If I even questioned the foundation of these beliefs, I would be even more castigated by my colleagues. I just shut up and vote for Trump. Now I know I’m not alone.

The survey was designed and conducted by the Cato Institute in collaboration with YouGov. YouGov collected responses online July 1–6 from a national sample of 2,000 Americans 18 years of age and older. The margin of error for the survey is +/- 2.36 percentage points at a 95% level of confidence. See the full report at https://www.cato.org/publications/survey-reports/poll-62-americans-say-they-have-political-views-theyre-afraid-share

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