Nearly Half of Democrats Believe Free Speech Should Be Legal ‘Only Under Certain Circumstances’

September 27, 2023 in News by RBN Staff


Source: Legal Insurrection

“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.’”

Almost half of Democrats believe free speech should be legal “only under certain circumstances,” according to new polling. This is not really surprising, as Democrats have been following the model of college progressives, who believe that speech can be violence and shouting down speakers they don’t like is acceptable behavior.

Tom Bevan of Real Clear Politics tweeted this:

Carl M. Cannon writes at Real Clear Politics:

The 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…

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.

“Overall, 9 in 10 voters in the U.S. think First Amendment protections for freedom of speech is a good thing, while only 9% think it is a bad thing,” said pollster Spencer Kimball, who directed the RCP survey. “This is agreed upon across the demographics, like party affiliation, age, and race.”…

Asked whether they support free speech even if it’s “deeply offensive,” 78% of men answered affirmatively, compared to 66% of women.

But the most glaring gap is between conservatives and liberals, i.e., between Republicans and Democrats. On the issue of free expression, at least, Republicans are not the authoritarian party. That distinction belongs to the Democrats, the party launched by Thomas Jefferson — the Founding Father who famously said that if he were forced to choose between “a government without newspapers or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter.”

These are the two big 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.

Megyn Kelly’s reaction was perfect. The New York Post reported on it:

Megyn Kelly reacted over the weekend to a new survey that found nearly half of Democrats support limiting freedom of speech.

“This is what we’re up against,” Kelly wrote on the social media platform X — linking to a RealClearPolitics survey which showed a startlingly high number of Democrats backing censorship

According to the survey, 47% of Democrats say that speech should be legal “only under certain circumstances.”

A slim majority of Democrats (53%) agreed that speech should be legal under any circumstances while a third of Democrats (34%) think Americans have “too much freedom,” according to the poll.

Among registered Republicans, almost three quarters of them (74%) think speech should be legal “under any circumstances” while 61% of independents say the same, the RealClearPolitics survey found.


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