- The Washington Times - Thursday, April 25, 2019

Culture may seem to be dominated by trigger warning and hypersensitivity. A sizable new poll, however, finds that 81% of Americans agree that “people are too easily offended these days,” an opinion that also spans political beliefs.

The poll found that 94% of Republicans, 82% of independents and 70% of Democrats agree with this idea.

The finding comes from a Morning Consult poll of more than 13,000 U.S. adults.

The public also reveals a certain weariness with both the culture wars and the social dynamics at work these days. Only about a third of Americans would describe themselves as “politically correct.” Though half of the nation says there’s prejudice in the country, about half also say there is too much political correctness as well. And three-fourths of the nation say they have censored or changed their words or actions when around people who were “different” than themselves.

A sampling of numbers from this wide-ranging research:



• 75% of Americans have censored their words and actions when with people “different” from themselves; 75% of Republicans, 72% of independents and 79% of Democrats agree.

• 72% overall agree that “rules about what you can and cannot say change so fast it’s difficult to keep up”; 85% of Republicans, 70% of independents and 64% of Democrats agree.

• 65% overall agree that “people should be able to say what they really think, even if it might offend people”; 75% of Republicans, 66% of independents and 55% of Democrats agree.

• 52% say there is “too much prejudice in the country today”; 29% of Republicans, 50% of independents and 75% of Democrats agree.

• 48% say there is “too much political correctness in the country today”; 71% of Republicans, 50% of independents and 25% of Democrats agree.

• 43% overall “strongly agree” Republicans should be more “open-minded” in their views; 25% of Republicans, 40% of independents and 64% of Democrats agree.

• 42% overall “strongly agree” Democrats should be more “open-minded” in their views; 61% of Republicans, 39% of independents and 27% of Democrats agree.

• 34% overall would classify themselves as “politically correct”; 32% of Republicans, 25% of independents and 46% of Democrats agree.

Source: A Morning Consult poll of 13,206 U.S. adults conducted Feb. 6-March 15 and released Wednesday.

WHCD, WITH A FEW REGRETS

There were still pre-parties and after-parties.  A swank hotel accommodated several thousand diners in formal wear. But oh, the drama, trauma and angst. Much coverage of the White House Correspondents’ Association dinner on Saturday night mourns the loss of the glitz and glamour which has been trademark of the annual gathering in recent years — mostly blaming it on President Trump’s decision not to attend for the third year in a row.

He was at a preferred event: a jumbo campaign-style rally in Green Bay, Wisconsin, which proved so popular that the Wisconsin Republican Party reports they are getting calls from hopeful Trump fans in Michigan, Iowa, Minnesota and Illinois — all scrambling to seek entry. Mr. Trump says the rally will be a positive and uplifting occasion.

The press, however, appears melancholy. Or something. Here’s just a few sample headlines from recent days:

“How Trump took the shine off Washington’s glitziest night” (Politico); “Why Trump loves to hate the White House Correspondents’ Dinner” (CNN); “Killing the White House Correspondents’ dinner” (Columbia Journalism Review); “The decline and fall of the White House Correspondents’ Dinner” (The Washington Examiner); and “How the White House correspondents’ dinner lost its sense of humor” (The Washington Post).

Some will have none of this hand-wringing, though. Fox News late-night host Greg Gutfeld was not happy with CNN analyst Brian Stelter, who publicly criticized the president for not attending the “useful” dinner, saying in a recent broadcast that “we’re seeing this administration’s attack against the media. It takes many forms.”

“So now, skipping a dinner is an attack on the media?” countered Mr. Gutfeld in an op-ed for his network, calling the meal itself an “orgy of self-congratulation,” among other things.

“Some will say Trump’s a coward for avoiding this clown show. That’s not cowardice. It’s common sense,” Mr. Gutfeld wrote, and he had a observation about the disappointed press itself.

“By skipping the dinner, Trump has stripped away the novelty that turned the original charity event into a thirst-fest for spotlight-chasing lollipops. He made it great again. It’s about journalism. No wonder they’re miserable,” Mr. Gutfeld concluded.

NRA CONVENTION: A BODACIOUS EVENT

Meanwhile, there does not appear to be much angst at the National Rifle Association’s 148th annual convention, which begins Friday in Indianapolis — and yes, both President Trump and Vice President Mike Pence both addressed this mammoth assembly on Friday.

“Donald Trump is the most enthusiastic supporter of the Second Amendment to occupy the Oval Office in our lifetimes. It is truly an honor to have President Trump address NRA members for the fifth consecutive year,” says Chris Cox, executive director of the organization’s Institute for Legislative Action.

At least 80,000 guests are expected — 87,000 showed up at the convention in Dallas last year. Attendees can roam an 15-acre exhibit space filled with the wares of 800 vendors — some very well known indeed. Local officials expect the NRA folks to spend $35.3 million on local hotels and restaurants during their stay — considered an “economic win” by Visit Indy, an interest group.

The big doings include a women’s forum, a firearms law seminar, a barbecue and auction, two grand country music concerts and a prayer breakfast. Peek in on it all at Nraam.org.

A BRIEF REALITY CHECK

“Often, migrants must walk hundreds of miles across rugged terrain without access to adequate food, water and shelter — and that’s only one leg of the journey. Smugglers have been known to pack migrants in box trucks, sometimes causing them to suffocate, force them to hang onto flatbeds, and squeeze them into trunks of vehicles,” advise Republicans on the House Homeland Security Committee.

“As a result, more than 10,000 migrants have been sent to a hospital or medical facility this fiscal year after being smuggled to the U.S.-Mexico Border. Customs and Border Protection officers have spent 116,481 hours ensuring migrants have access to medical care, which diverts them from their primary job of securing our border from national security threats,” they note.

“Democrats continue to try to pin the blame on our border crisis on President Trump. But the truth is that the laws criminal organizations are exploiting date back well before the Trump administration. The administration is doing everything it can without the help of Congress to secure our border. Congress must invest more in manpower, infrastructure and 21st century technology, and fix the immigration loopholes that smugglers are exploiting,” they conclude.

A PRESIDENTIAL READ

C-SPAN has published yet another significant book, and the title tells all: “The Presidents: Noted Historians Rank America’s Best — and Worst — Chief Executives.”

The new books offers 522 pages of analysis covering each and every president from a learned crowd, indeed — including Ron Chernow, the historian who will appear at the aforementioned White House Correspondents’ Association dinner. Other historians contributing to the book include Doris Kearns Goodwin, Douglas Brinkley, Amity Shlaes, David Maraniss, Robert Dallek, Harold Holzer and Lou Cannon, and a trio of historians offer a “conversation” about President Trump, now midway through his term of office.

The project was shepherded along by C-SPAN founder Brian Lamb and CEO Susan Swain. Royalties go to the nonprofit C-SPAN Educational Foundation.

Curious? Find everything you need at C-Span.org/thepresidents.

WEEKEND REAL ESTATE

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POLL DU JOUR

81% of Americans agree that “people are offended too easily these days”; 94% of Republicans, 82% of independents and 70% of Democrats agree.

72% overall agree that “rules about what you can and cannot say change so fast it’s difficult to keep up”: 85% of Republicans, 70% of independents and 64% of Democrats agree.

65% overall agree that “people should be able to say what they really think, even if it might offend people”; 75% of Republicans, 66% of independents and 55% of Democrats agree.

34% overall would classify themselves as “politically correct”; 32% of Republicans, 25% of independents and 46% of Democrats agree.

Source: A Morning Consult poll of 13,206 U.S. adults conducted Feb. 6-March 15 and released Wednesday.

• Kindly follow Jennifer Harper on Twitter @HarperBulletin

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