I was almost sure we had a clue about how a large portion of Americans felt about political correctness about the time Donald Trump cinched the Republican nomination. It has often been posited that Trump's willingness to talk about subjects in a blunt and oftentimes caustic manner was part of the appeal to his base.
Even as someone that didn't vote for him, I did appreciate that he had pried the Overton window open with a crowbar even though it was sometimes a cringe-worthy degree of rhetoric he wielded. He was the only one speaking to the 'data voids' identified by Eric Weinstein where people of good conscience and compassion have concerns that neither major party was articulating. Positions such as some immigration can be a good thing, but not all immigration is good for America. Or perhaps that freedom of religion is an inalienable right, but there is a form of fundamental Islam that seems to be linked to a lot of terrorism.
This has not stopped Democrats and the far left mobs from continuing to push and in some cases even openly state they would like to control people's speech. Progressive feminist Meghan Murphy was banned from Twitter for saying a biological male is not a woman. Professor Jordan Peterson is regularly routed for making such shocking statements as "Men and women are different". The Heisman trophy winner had to apologize for trash talking with a friend on Twitter when he was a teen. And in the last week or so, Kevin Hart had to give up hosting the Oscars because at one point in time he tweeted that he did want his son to be gay.
None of these statements is particularly shocking. And I would make a level bet these are opinions held by more than a plurality if not a majority of Americans. But uttering them can bring on an onslaught of criticism, cost you your job and in some cases get you deplatformed. Americans are taking notice. From NPR:
Fifty-two percent of Americans, including a majority of independents, said they are against the country becoming more politically correct and are upset that there are too many things people can't say anymore. About a third said they are in favor of the country becoming more politically correct and like when people are being more sensitive in their comments about others.
That's a big warning sign for Democrats heading into the 2020 primaries when cultural sensitivity has become such a defining issue with the progressive base.
"If the Democratic Party moves in a direction that is more to its base on this issue, it suggests independents are going to be tested to stay with the Democrats electorally," said Lee Miringoff, director of the Marist Institute for Public Opinion, which conducted the poll.
Let's be clear. Being "politically correct" is not analogous with being sensitive or compassionate as NPR frames the opinions of one third or respondents. Rather, it is making certain beliefs or positions taboo as a means of controlling the language and behavior of others. With the Democrats investment in intersectional politics, the parameters of acceptable speech are narrowing quickly.
Use a phrase or express and idea in the public square that violates these unwritten rules and you will have and 'ist or an 'ism hurled at you. Do it at work and you may find yourself in the HR manager's office having to answer for it. Utter them in certain college classes and it may affect your grade.
Mind you, these ideas or opinions do not contain slurs or profanity. They just might be offensive to some portion of the progressive intersectional coalition. Never mind surveys indicate this coalition makes up about 8% of the population. They are loud and have a lot of free time. Time to scrub a person's Twitter timeline looking to be offended. Time to review YouTube videos and podcasts for words or ideas that are not 'woke' enough. Time to use what they find to make an example of you, you 'ist demonstrating an 'ism.
Not surprisingly, Democrats (55%), women (52%) and African Americans (52%) are in favor of greater levels of politcal correctness. However, when you look at politcal affiliation, 76% of Republicans and 53% of Independents are against increasing levels of politcal correctness. Even 33% of Democrats have had enough.
The most notable differences are in age. A majority of people over the age of 30 have had enough. But the youngsters have been programmed appropriately. Or at least to respond appropriately. How politically correct. Respondents between the ages of 18 and 29 would like to see increased levels of politcal correctness at a rate of 55%. There is a certain amount of irony in the fact this is the same cohort that played Cards Against Humanity, the wildly popular and politically incorrect card game, in their high school cafeterias. Maybe by the time they are 30 they will feel comfortable actually saying they have had enough rather than just playing at it.
I am not sure Democrats will hear this warning from their media ally. Anymore than they hear the messages on immigration and other issues that are routinely polled. They seem to remain deliberately tone deaf on in order to appeal to their activist base by taking the most extreme position or simply to oppose the President. Whether or not it will affect them electorally remains to be seen.