Destroyed American Flag

Huge Number of Americans Fear Free Speech Is Disintegrating

(WND News Center)—Free speech fights are becoming more and more common these days, as social media play a growing role in people’s lives and the leftist corporate owners insist more and more that only their views should be allowed to be disseminated to the public.

Even Joe Biden’s administration tried to use public money to set up what was described as essentially the same as the “Ministry of Truth” found in the dystopian novel “1984.”

The result isn’t good, according to a new poll, which reveals only 1 in 4 Americans think their right to free speech is secure, and more than two-thirds say the nation’s trajectory on free speech is going the wrong way.

The poll is from the Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression and the Polarization Research Lab.

When asked about “whether people are able to freely express their views,” 69% of respondents said things in America are heading in the wrong direction, compared to only 31% who believe that things are heading in the “right direction,” the polling revealed.

Almost one-third of the respondents, 29%, said free speech is not at all secure.

“The average American already thinks that free speech in America is in dire straits. Most worryingly, they think it will get worse,” said FIRE chief research Adviser Sean Stevens. “These findings should be a wake-up call for the nation to recommit to a vibrant free speech culture before it’s too late.”

The poll was done Jan. 12-19 and FIRE said it is the first installment of a National Speech Index, a new quarterly survey intended to measure support for the First Amendment.

“Polarization not only divides Americans on policy, but it fractures our assessments of the stability of the bedrock features of our democracy,” said PRL Director Sean Westwood. “Nearly half of Democrats think free speech rights are headed in the right direction, compared to only 26 percent of Republicans. And more than a third of Republicans think the right to free speech is not secure, compared to only 17 percent of Democrats.”

The groups reported, “One alarmingly common belief that crosses partisan lines is that idea that the First Amendment ‘goes too far in the rights it guarantees.’ Around a third of Republicans and a third of Democrats ‘completely’ or ‘mostly’ agree with that statement. ”

The survey proposed several statements that, though offensive to some, are protected by the First Amendment.

“Roughly half of respondents (52%) said their community should not allow a public speech that espouses the belief they selected as the most offensive. A supermajority, 69%, said their local college should not allow a professor who espoused that belief to teach classes,” the report said.

Stevens said the results were not surprising, but were disappointing.

“Here at FIRE, we’ve long observed that many people who say they’re concerned about free speech waver when it comes to beliefs they personally find offensive. But the best way to protect your speech in the future is to defend the right to controversial and offensive speech today.”

For 25 years, WND has boldly brought you the news that really matters. If you appreciate our Christian journalists and their uniquely truthful reporting and analysis, please help us by becoming a WND Insider!

Content created by the WND News Center is available for re-publication without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact licensing@wndnewscenter.org.

SUPPORT TRUTHFUL JOURNALISM. MAKE A DONATION TO THE NONPROFIT WND NEWS CENTER. THANK YOU!

This article was originally published by the WND News Center.