Poll: 71 percent of Americans believe political correctness silencing important discussion

A new study suggests a vast majority of Americans feel political correctness has muddied the waters to the point it has become virtually impossible to carry on much needed social dialogues.

The Cato 2017 Free Speech and Tolerance Survey suggests 71 percent of those surveyed believe political correctness is silencing “important discussions” on issues like race, religion and politics.

On Wednesday’s “The Final 5,” Jim Lokay was joined by Eric Schiffer, President of Reputation Management Consultants, who weighed in.

“You can’t lose authenticity," Schiffer said. "What is important to understand in any communication is to find a way to communicate in a way that is authentic and shows how you feel, but also respects people, so I think you get into challenges, and where a lot of these challengers is people end up feeling offended. It’s far more complicated now, especially considering the politics.”

President Donald Trump, who made an anti-political correctness plank a central part of his successful 2016 campaign, capitalized on the trend that some see of political correctness run amok, especially when appealing to his political base.

“When you get into giving statements and giving comments on a public platform, that is where things can be interpreted based upon the different demographics you’re hitting,” said Schiffer.

Schiffer also commented on the ongoing Hollywood sex harassment and assault scandals, which engulfed actor Kevin Spacey. The Oscar winner was publicly called out by fellow actor Anthony Rapp, who alleged he was sexually assaulted at age 14 by Spacey, who was 26 years old at the time. Spacey offered a public apology in a statement that also divulged he was gay.

“He attempted to make his coming out, if you will, the issue, so people could latch onto that instead of the disgusting behavior he conducted when this victim was 14," Schiffer said. “In the process, he created another case of political correctness run amok when he enflamed the LGBT community that felt insulted he would tie that sexual orientation to that heinous act on a child.”