Inside the Beltway: Complaint: Americans are ‘too easily offended’

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Popular culture, much of the news media, celebrities and many politicians have fixated on the idea that Americans are an easily offended, fragile bunch who need to be shielded from certain commentary and conversation. Is that what the U.S. population really thinks?

Uh, no. There is, in fact, a rising public fatigue with the matter.

“Only four-in-ten Americans think people should be careful what they say to avoid offending others, with a majority (57%) saying people today are too easily offended by what others say,” reports a new Pew Research Center poll that explored national attitudes toward “PC culture” in the U.S., Britain and Germany.

“Ideological leanings play a role in how American, British and German adults feel. The ideological gap is largest in the U.S., where 65% of those on the ideological left think people should be careful to avoid offending others, compared with about one-in-four on the right, a gap of 42 percentage points,” says the Global Attitudes poll.

“In the U.S., these ideological differences are closely related to partisanship. Six-in-ten Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents say people should be careful what they say to avoid offending others, while only 17% of Republicans and GOP-leaners say the same. Women in the U.S. are also more likely to think people should be careful what they say than men,” the analysis said.

In Britain, 55% of left-leaners agreed with this social caution, compared to 38% of right-leaners — a gap of 17 percentage points. In Germany, the comparison was 61% for the left and 46% for the right, or a gap of 15 percentage points.

The Global Attitudes poll asked 1,000 adults in each of the three nations between Nov. 10 and Dec. 17. The results and analysis were released Thursday.

NOEM THE FIRST IN THE NATION

South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem is the first active public office holder and potential 2024 presidential candidate to sign “The 1776 Pledge to Save Our Schools,” a new public pledge which vows to restore patriotism and old-fashioned national pride in the schools.

Organized by 1776action.org — a nonprofit group supported by such conservative luminaries as Ben Carson and Newt Gingrich — the pledge asks political candidates to promise to “restore honest, patriotic education that cultivates in our children a profound love for our country,” and “promote a curriculum that teaches that all children are created equal, have equal moral value under God, our Constitution, and the law, and are members of a national community united by our founding principles.”

Among other things. Find the details at 1776action.org.

“School curriculum like 1619 Project & Critical Race Theory is lying to our children about America’s history. That’s why I was the first candidate to sign The 1776 Action pledge. And why I’ll use the example we’ve set in South Dakota to lead on this issue,” Ms. Noem tweeted in the aftermath.

THE FATE OF GITMO

What will happen to the detention camp located on Guantanamo Bay Naval Base in Cuba, which was established in 2002 by then-President George W. Bush following the 9/11 terrorist attacks?

Former President Barack Obama promised to close the prison, but shelved the idea after pushback in Congress. Former President Donald Trump signed an executive order in 2018 to keep the facility open.

President Biden appears determined to finally close the site, which still has some 40 prisoners. In a recent conversation, CBS News anchor and “60 Minutes” correspondent Norah O’Donnell had a simple question for Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

“Will the Biden administration close Guantanamo Bay?” She asked.

“We believe that it should be [closed]. That’s certainly a goal, but it’s something that we’ll bring some focus to in the months ahead,” Mr. Blinken replied.

The Biden administration launched a review of the prison in mid-February. White House press secretary Jen Psaki, meanwhile, has informed the press that the “goal and intention” is to close the site.

A HAPPY FISH TALE

The U.S. National Fish and Wildlife Service reports that three scientists from the federal agency’s Alpena, Michigan, office recently made a mighty big catch.

The trio were on the Detroit River, which separates Detroit and Windsor, Ontario, attempting to make an accurate count of the region’s sturgeon population. A 7-foot, 240-pound member of that species soon arrived in the scientists’ net to contribute to their census.

The astonished humans estimated the big lady fish to be over 100 years old, with a four-foot girth. They managed to haul her aboard and take a photo — which instantly went viral on social media, complete with such hashtags as #fishnerds and #rivermonsters.

This was the ultimate catch-and-release situation, though. The scientists quickly microchipped the grand fish, slid her back in the water with gargantuan effort — and bid a fond farewell.

WEEKEND REAL ESTATE

For sale: The Herman Uihlein House, built in Italian Renaissance style in 1917 on three waterfront acres in Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin. Nine bedrooms, eight baths, original architectural details, gilded ceilings, marble flooring, grand staircase, custom kitchen, home theater, fitness center, media room, staff quarters, wine cellar with grotto; 13,717 square-feet. Terraced walkways overlooking lake, formal gardens with fountains, gated entrance, much more. Priced at $6.95 million through SothebysRealty.com.

POLL DU JOUR

• 42% of U.S. adults say they have received all injections required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19; 42% of Republicans, 35% of independents and 53% of Democrats agree.

• 14% have started the vaccination process but “need another shot”; 11% of Republicans, 13% of independents and 18% of Democrats agree.

• 13% plan to get vaccinated; 7% of Republicans, 13% of independents and 16% of Democrats agree.

• 14% are “not sure” about getting vaccinated; 13% of Republicans, 14% of independents and 8% of Democrats agree.

• 18% overall say they will not get vaccinated; 27% of Republicans, 26% of independents and 5% of Democrats agree.

Source: An Economist/YouGov poll of 1,500 U.S. adults conducted from Saturday to Tuesday.

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