A new poll from CATO Institute demonstrates in living color just why President Trump won the 2016 election. According to the poll, 71% of Americans “believe that political correctness has done more to silence important discussions our society needs to have.” Only 28% of Americans think political correctness has bettered society.
That’s an amazing statistic, and shows just why the Left was bound to fail in 2016. They continue to maintain that intersectionality is a path to glory — that a philosophy that prizes shutting down certain viewpoints based on ethnicity and class will help them cobble together a winning coalition. But broad majorities of Americans reject that view. What’s more, Americans who reject that view seem most likely to keep their views to themselves, possibly skewing political polls: 73% of Republicans and 58% of independents say they self-censor in order to avoid political blowback.
President Trump ran on an anti-PC platform. He won on that platform. This poll shows why.
There’s mixed news from this poll on free speech generally. Nearly 6 in 10 Americans agree that hate speech is protected by the Constitution (it is), and nearly 8 in 10 say people should refrain from engaging in hate speech. This, of course, is the proper balance in a civilized society. But over half of strong liberals say it’s “morally acceptable” to physically harm Nazis, over half of Republicans say those who burn the American flag should have their citizenship removed, and over half of Democrats say that Americans should be forced to use the wrong biological pronouns for transgender people, among other disturbing findings. Half of Americans who went to college say that speakers who say transgenderism is a mental disorder should be banned from campus, and four in ten say that speakers who want to deport illegal immigrants should be banned as well. And 6 in 10 Republicans agree with President Trump that the media are enemies of the American people.
All of which suggests that there’s a seething undercurrent of anger from both Right and Left, a reactionary tendency in American politics that leads Americans to feel both stymied and willing to stymie others.
But there is some good news: people aren’t quite as offended as they seem to be on others’ behalf. A vast majority of blacks and Latinos don’t find typical “microaggressions” particularly offensive.
This means that if Americans saw each other as individuals, rather than as stereotypes of political views they hated, they’d be more likely to calm down and engage rather than increasing the vitriolic tenor of today’s politics. But that would mean moving beyond reactionary politics — and that would, in turn, require the Left to stop promoting the regime of political correctness and intersectionality. That seems unlikely, given the poll result that 61% of Democrats say it’s hard for them to be friends with Trump voters. But the more Democrats alienate Trump voters, the more they’re setting up Trump’s re-election effort.