The vast majority of Americans still believe in free speech and would agree with Voltaire that it's worth dying for, Rasmussen Reports revealed in a newly released poll.
According to Rasmussen, a whopping 85 percent of Americans believe that free speech is more important than making sure no one is offended by words. This is up slightly from the 83 percent of people who said the same in 2016.
Only 8 percent of those polled believed speech should be curbed to prevent offense.
Additionally, 73 percent of respondents said they agree with 18th century French author Voltaire when he said, “I disapprove of what you say but will defend to the death your right to say it.” Only 10 percent disagreed with Voltaire, and 17 percent were unsure.
According to Rasmussen, Republicans and Democrats were surprisingly in agreement about the importance of free speech, though Democrats and independents slightly less so:
There is rare partisan agreement on freedom of speech. Most Americans regardless of political affiliation agree that they would defend someone’s right to say something even if they don’t agree with it, although Democrats are slightly less sure than Republicans and those not affiliated with either major party. The majority across the political spectrum also agree that free speech is more important than making sure no one’s offended.
When it comes to race, 75 percent of whites said they would defend someone's right to free speech to the death, while blacks came in at 65 percent, and 73 percent of other minorities agreed with Voltaire.
Rasmussen also reported that men agree with Voltaire more than women.
The media are making anti-free speech crowd look bigger
Antifa is the hottest thing on the net right now, and articles featuring college social justice warriors generate more clicks than a dolphin super-pod. However, numbers like these show that there are more people in complete disagreement with the neon-haired university students and masked protesters than not.
The bipartisan agreement that death is preferable to suppression of speech is even more indicative of a desire for freedom that is still very much alive. Even popular leftist figures such as Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Va.) have called for attacks on free speech at universities to stop.
Also, a May survey by the Fund for American Studies showed that 92 percent of millennials support free speech, despite the calls for limited speech by groups of over-exposed university students.
While the media spotlight protests, activists, and talking heads all banging the drum for a more silent country, a majority of Americans still want a free and vocal populace.