From the press release: From the moment he is handed a possibility of making the first alien contact, Saunders Maxwell decides he will do it, even if doing so takes him through hell and back.
A new poll has found that while a large minority of registered voters approve of banning offensive speakers from college campuses, a majority still support the idea of a free and open society.
Below the fold is the entire poll [pdf] for this particular question, with the poll results broken down across a wide selection of demographic groups. Except for only a handful of such groups, which I have highlighted, Americans across the board continue to support the idea of free speech, though the large minorities are certainly worrisome. Then again, I have seen polls like this for most of my life, and the news story routinely focuses in on the large minorities that favor restricting free speech, as does the story at the link above. Such minorities have always existed, however, and sometimes there are even circumstances where they are right!
The question isn’t whether they are there. The questions should be: What are the trends? And are those who are hostile to free speech concentrated in any single demographic group that holds power?
So, what are those handful of demographic groups where a plurality favors banning speakers? Not surprisingly, those groups are Democrats, Democratic women, African-Americans, homemakers, those who do not have an identifiable job, and those who consider Medicare and Social Security to be the #1 issue facing the nation. Essentially, these groups form the heart and soul of the modern Democratic Party, which appears increasingly to also be the home of people who are hostile to freedom and wish to restrict it. This fact helps explain why the Democrats in the last Congress actually proposed an amend to the Constitution that would have partially repealed the first amendment, allowing Congress to restrict speech.
If you are Democrat and support free speech, you should be aware of this, either to change your party, or to consider leaving it. I tried the first when I lived in New York, failed, and thus was forced to chose the second. I have never looked back.
Every July, to celebrate the anniversary of the start of Behind the Black in 2010, I hold a month-long fund-raising campaign to make it possible for me to continue my work here for another year.
This year's fund-raising drive however is more significant in that it is also the 10th anniversary of this website's founding. It is hard to believe, but I have been doing this for a full decade, during which I have written more than 22,000 posts, of which more than 1,000 were essays and almost 2,600 were evening pauses.
This year's fund drive is also more important because of the growing intolerance of free speech and dissent in American culture. Increasingly people who don't like what they read are blatantly acting to blackball sites like mine. I have tried to insulate myself from this tyrannical effort by not depending on Google advertising or cross-posts Facebook or Twitter. Though this prevents them from having a hold on me, it also acts to limit my exposure.
Therefore, I hope you will please consider donating to Behind the Black, by giving either a one-time contribution or a regular subscription, as outlined in the tip jar below. Your support will allow me to continue covering science and culture as I have for the past twenty years, independent and free from any outside influence.
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