With the holiday season fast approaching (Halloween has passed so look for Thanksgiving and Christmas decorations to go up any day now), Americans across the country are no doubt beginning to dread the dining room table talk that comes along with the festivities.
But in 2017, it's even worse.
Nearly 6 in 10 (58%) of those surveyed for a new poll agreed that the "political climate prevents them from sharing their political beliefs."
The survey by the Cato Institute found that 73% of Republicans said "they keep some of their political beliefs to themselves." Fifty-eight percent of independents also keep views to themselves, while 53% of Democrats did so, the poll found.
What's more, a whopping 71% of those polled "believe that political correctness has silenced important discussions our society needs to have," the survey found.
Americans also don't agree on what speech can be defined as hateful as opposed to a political opinion, Cato found.
- 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.
America is almost evenly split among the two primary parties. In 2016, President Trump won 46% of the vote, Hillary Clinton 48% (although Trump won the electoral vote 57-42). In 2012, it was 51-47; in 2008, 53-45; in 2004 51-48; and in 2000, the year of the "hanging chad," it was 48.38 to 47.87.
But the 2016 election was perhaps the most divisive election in the last 20 years, with both sides demonizing the other.
And that's going to make for some rather unpleasant conversation around the dinner table come the holidays. Unless everyone just plays with their smart phones.