What’s your opinion?

prickly pear cactus
Prickly pear cactus are starting to appear.

I remember while growing up, my parents would talk politics over the fence with neighbors as easily as they’d talk tomatoes. It was polite, civil and people’s opinions were all over the place.

I’d get into heavy discussions about religion with one of my best friends. We sincerely wanted each other’s opinions.

Those days are over.

In fact, in a Cato Institute survey self-censorship is the norm:

A new Cato national survey finds that self‐​censorship is on the rise in the United States. Nearly two-thirds—62%—of Americans say the political climate these days prevents them from saying things they believe because others might find them offensive. The share of Americans who self‐​censor has risen several points since 2017 when 58% of Americans agreed with this statement.

These fears cross partisan lines. Majorities of Democrats (52%), independents (59%) and Republicans (77%) all agree they have political opinions they are afraid to selfshare.


The survey found that only very liberal democrats feel free to express their opinions.
Middle-of-the-road Democrats self-censor as do Independents and Republicans.

Why do you think this happened? Is it because the political divide is wider than ever before? Or lack of civility? Is it because people are getting their news from separate universes? Do you share religious or political beliefs? Or do you self-censor?

22 thoughts on “What’s your opinion?

  1. I never used to talk about politics because I didn’t feel I knew enough. Now I am so worried about the state of this country and see what would happen if we had an autocrat running the show that I am speaking out more and more. But, I do make sure I have the facts to support what I’m saying. It is so important right now to get those voting rights laws passed.

  2. I mostly avoid, unless it’s my kids. They are reasonable, logical adults and they all can express their viewpoints with clarity and insight. I think we generally all follow the same ideology as well but even if we differ it’s respectful. The ex husband and I never saw things to agree on and I’ve been in work settings with some very outspoken colleagues. It would depend on my mood and the day. Sometimes I might engage a bit, usually I just let them say what they wanted and remain noncommittal. When you have to see someone everyday why start a perpetual war.

    • I agree not to start a perpetual war. My son is very articulate and we like to discuss politics. We agree on some things and respect each other’s view on others.

  3. Unfortunately, this is true. I can’t talk politics or even wear certain political party clothing without worrying about getting attacked. It’s really ridiculous.

  4. Discussing politics can be a divisional activity with the wrong people. Extremist are difficult to talk to and I’ll shut down when people get too aggressive. Ill discuss politics with people I feel safe with and can manage a difference of opinion with grace. 💕C

  5. I don’t normally discuss politics unless I’m with a friend and we generally agree. Unfortunately, that leads to confirmation bias, but I haven’t found many people who are capable of disagreeing while remaining civil. I would love to find someone who can give me a good, fact-filled, honest debate.

  6. Hi – I think it’s accurate that many people hold back on their political views, but not everyone. I have always regretted getting into political discussions because it unleashes an aggression in many people. That makes the whole conversation heated and often lopsided. It’s never good to bring up politics in a work environment, but people do it all the time – to me that’s a no-brainer. That said, I have talked about politics with some family members who are respectful. It’s good to express an opinion and be respected. Great topic.

  7. I self censor with all but my closest friends. I think there’s so much info out there people think they are experts in everything and there’s no way they can be wrong

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