Poll confirms what we all know: Democrats in love with censorship

(Li Tao/Xinhua via AP)

Conservatives have known that Democrats have developed a love affair with censorship, but liberals refuse to see it. They see the conservative push to keep actual, honest-to-God pornography and alphabet propaganda out of the schools as incipient Nazism, but rush to embrace laws and rules to shut people up if they dissent in the slightest from Leftist orthodoxy.


As liberal orthodoxy has drifted toward and now rushed to embrace actual Marxism (through Critical Theory), the Left has embraced the tactics made famous in East Germany, the USSR, and China.

It’s not just yours and my fevered imagination. RealClearPolitics did a poll and it confirms what we all have been witnessing: Democrats don’t call it censorship; they call it the war on misinformation, but censorship it is.

he concept of free speech dates to the 5th century B.C. in ancient Greece and was codified in America’s founding documents on Dec. 15, 1791, with the ratification of the Bill of Rights. The 45-word First Amendment prohibited Congress from “abridging freedom of speech, or of the press,” and has been long understood to include any branch of government.

James Madison, the drafter of the first 10 constitutional amendments, originally drafted a more fiery version of the First Amendment, one that included its underlying rationale: “The people shall not be deprived or abridged of their right to speak, to write, or to publish their sentiments; and the freedom of the press, as one of the great bulwarks of liberty, shall be inviolable.”

“Inviolable” is a powerful word, notwithstanding the fact that the right to speak and write freely has always come with various limitations. They range from libel and slander laws to national security secrets, obscenity statutes, and the notorious analogy popularized by Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. of “falsely shouting ‘fire!’ in a theater and causing panic.”

Most citizens accept some of these caveats; others do not. But by overwhelming majorities, Americans generally still cherish their rights to free expression — at least in theory. A new poll on censorship by RealClear Opinion Research shows that 90% of voters in the United States express support for the Founders’ curbs on government power.


Democrats will gleefully note that 90%!!! support free speech, which is something like saying that 90% support puppies and rainbows. Nobody wants to say “I support censorship,” until you dig a bit deeper. Then the truth comes out, and it is really ugly.

Painting with a broad brush, Democrats grant significantly more deference to government than do Republicans when it comes to regulating free speech. This wasn’t the only fault line revealed by the RCP survey.

Some of what is dividing these differences is generational, as Millennials and Gen-Z have come of age in a digital age environment in which reasonable expectations of privacy seem a relic of the past. “Those under 30 are most open to censorship by the government,” Kimball noted, adding that 42% of this cohort deem it “more important” to them that the government protect national security than guard the right to free expression. Among those over 65 years old, the corresponding percentage was 26%.

Young people, affluent women, and Democrats–but I repeat myself–value a certain kind of safety and conformity than they do free thought and expression. You saw this during COVID, of course, but the evidence is all around us. The MSM, our cultural and political elite, and of course the bureaucracies in government have all embraced the idea that the “wrong” sort of people should be shut up, and the “wrong” ideas whether true or not should be silenced.


There are lots of excuses for this, but the impulse is the same as that found in the Chinese Communist Party and the Soviet Union: the regime must be supported at all costs, including your ability to think for yourself.

Think of how the Democrat Party turned on a dime regarding COVID. In the first weeks, we saw the ‘Hug a Chinese Person” videos, the acceptance of Fauci’s “don’t wear a mask” messaging, and the attacks on Trump for closing down flights from China as racist.

Then, suddenly and with no explanation, everything reversed in a day. Masks were mandatory. Closing borders is a good thing. Everybody had to panic. And dissent on any of these issues was fascism.

All in a day. Follow the Narrative. Wherever it leads.

The poll is devastating for liberals who still think of themselves as the defenders of civil liberties. The truth is that liberals don’t like free speech as a group, and the dominant forces in the Democrat Party hate it with a passion.

Here are some of its findings:

  • Republican voters (74%) and independents (61%) believe speech should be legal “under any circumstances, while Democrats are almost evenly divided. A bare majority of Democrats (53%) say speech should be legal under any circumstances, while 47% say it should be legal “only under certain circumstances.”
  • Nearly one-third of Democratic voters (34%) say Americans have “too much freedom.” This compared to 14.6% of Republicans. Republicans were most likely to say Americans have too little freedom (46%), while only 22% of Democrats feel that way. Independents were in the middle in both categories.
  • Although majorities of Democrats, Republicans, and independents agree the news media should be able to report stories they believe are in the national interest, this consensus shifts when it comes to social media censorship. A majority of Democrats (52%) approve of the government censoring social media content under the rubric of protecting national security. Among Republicans and independents, this percentage is only one-third.
  • Poll respondents were read this statement: “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.” Only 31% of Democratic voters “strongly agreed” with that sentiment, compared to 51% of Republicans.
  • Fully three-fourths of Democrats believe government has a responsibility to limit “hateful” social media posts, while Republicans are more split, with 50% believing the government has a responsibility to restrict hateful posts. (Independents, once again, are in the middle.)
  • Democrats are significantly more likely than Republicans to favor stifling the free speech rights of political extremists. Also, Republicans don’t vary by the group: Only about half of GOP voters favor censorship — whether asked about the Ku Klux Klan, Nazis, or the Communist Party.

This last finding, which is perhaps counterintuitive, dovetails with groundbreaking research released earlier this year on free speech by three California college professors, Ruth E. Appel and Jennifer Pan of Stanford and Margaret E. Roberts of the University of California, San Diego. Their study, “Partisan Conflict Over Content Moderation Is More Than Disagreement about Facts,” examined liberals’


Perhaps most striking about the poll is how transactional the Democrats are about free speech. They like it when Republicans are censored but rebel at the idea of censoring liberals. Their commitment is not to ideas or truth, but to winning politically. You saw this get out into the open during the height of COVID censorship when bureaucrats openly admitted they wanted to censor true but “harmful” content.

Harmful, of course, simply means inconvenient.

To try and assess what is going on with censorship, the authors showed the 1,120 people in their study fake news headlines, such as “Hours after signing an executive order on Jan. 20, 2021, President Joe Biden violated his own mask mandate” or “In Sept. 2016, Ted Cruz tweeted, ‘I’ll believe in climate change when Texas freezes over.’”

The poll respondents were then told the headlines were invented and solicited the respondents’ views as to whether they should be censored. The results were stark. “Even when Republicans agree that content is false, they are half as likely as Democrats to say that the content should be removed and more than twice as likely to consider removal as censorship,” the authors wrote.

You can see what happened here: For purposes of this study, the authors took Door No. 1 (the notion that liberal news is more reliable) off the table. So that left Door No. 2 (values gap) and Door No. 3 (partisan advantage) still in play. If Republicans’ aversion to censorship was transactional, they would have identified Democratic-friendly misinformation for removal. But they didn’t. “Regardless of the partisan slant of the content, Democrats are more likely to support the removal of content, while Republicans are more likely to oppose removing content,” the study noted.

It was Democrats who more often employed situational ethics, giving a pass to misinformation that helped their side. Most Republicans didn’t differentiate based on which way the false headline cut.


This impulse to shut people up is about as damaging as you can get, especially when the Left owns most of the levers of government, almost the entire news and entertainment industry, and our education system.

Why? Because to the people with control over information, the truth is utterly irrelevant; all that matters is getting their way.

This is the world we live in today. We have to confront it; we have to fight it; and, if we want to save our Republic, we have to win this battle for the soul of our country.

Democrats keep saying high-minded things about defending democracy, and they keep attacking its very foundations. Look at the January 6th hearings–they were literally scripted by a TV producer. Our very own Leni Riefenstahl.

Our Republican form of government depends upon free thought and the free flow of information. Debate and dissent are as important to Republican government as they are for science–and as under threat.

Western civilization is at a crisis point. Unless we stand up for what is right, ours will be the last generation to live in a free society.

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