What Is It That People Are Afraid To Say These Days?

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Here’s the latest on the brutal muzzling of free speech in America:

A new Cato Institute/​YouGov national survey of 2,000 Americans finds that 62% of Americans say the political climate these days prevents them from saying things they believe because others might find them offensive. This is up from 2017 when 58% agreed with this statement.

That’s an increase of . . . 4 percent! Clearly George Floyd and the forces of political correctness have wreaked havoc on American culture.

On a more serious note, polls like this would be a lot more useful if they tried to dive into what people are afraid to say. If it’s something like “Black people are lazy” then I’d say the increase to 62 percent means that Americans are increasingly wary of expressing racist ideas in public, and that’s a good thing. On the other hand, if it’s something like “Class-based affirmative action is a good idea” then we might have a real problem. So which is it?

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THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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