House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., at a news conference Jan. 17, 2019 (video screenshot)

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., at a news conference Jan. 17, 2019 (video screenshot)

In the two years President Trump has been in office, Americans believe the state of political discourse has become more negative, less respectful, less fact-based, less focused on issues and less entertaining.

That’s according to a new poll by Pew Research.

“The public renders a harsh judgment on the state of political discourse in this country. And for many Americans, their own conversations about politics have become stressful experiences that they prefer to avoid,” the report said.

Pew found 85 percent of Americans believe the political debate is more negative, 85 percent say it’s less respectful and 76 percent say it’s less fact-based.

They blame Trump for changing the tone and nature of political debate, not Democrats who have fought him and pursued unsubstantiated Russia-collusion allegations or the media, which has backed them.

Fifty-five percent say Trump made the tone worse, while 24 percent say he’s improved it.

“Meanwhile, people’s everyday conversations about politics and other sensitive topics are often tense and difficult. Half say talking about politics with people they disagree with politically is ‘stressful and frustrating,'” the report said.

The conflict is obvious, with Democrats routinely comparing the president to Adolf Hitler.

Trump has responded with nicknames such as “sleepy Joe” for Joe Biden and “Pocahontas” for Elizabeth Warren.

“When speaking with people they do not know well, more say they would be very comfortable talking about the weather and sports – and even religion – than politics. And it is people who are most comfortable with interpersonal conflict, including arguing with other people, who also are most likely to talk about politics frequently and to be politically engaged,” Pew said.

The survey interviewed 10,170 adults April 29-May 13.

It found 78 percent believe that “elected officials using heated or aggressive language … makes violence against those groups more likely.”

And it found: “Majorities in both parties say it is very important that elected officials treat their opponents with respect. But while most Democrats (78 percent) say it is very important for Republican elected officials to treat Democratic officials with respect, only about half (47 percent) say it is very important for officials from their party to treat Republican politicians with respect. There is similar divide in the opinions of Republicans; 75 percent say Democrats should be respectful of GOP officials, while only 49 percent say the same about Republicans’ treatment of Democratic officials.”

Further, majorities say people cannot even any longer agree on what constitutes racist or sexist language.

“As in the past, a majority of Americans (60 percent) say ‘too many people are easily offended over the language that others use.’ Yet there is uncertainty about what constitutes offensive speech: About half (51 percent) say it is easy to know what others might find offensive, while nearly as many (48 percent) say it is hard to know. In addition, majorities say that people in this country do not generally agree about the types of language considered to be sexist (65 percent) and racist (61 percent).”

The survey also found most people say social media companies should be responsible enough to remove “offensive” content.

And what about those personal insults?

“Most Republicans (72 percent) say it is never acceptable for a Democratic official to call a Republican opponent ‘stupid,’ while far fewer (49 percent) say it is unacceptable for a Republican to use this slur against a Democrat. Among Democrats, 76 percent would rule out a Republican calling a Democratic opponent ‘stupid,’ while 60 percent say the same about Democrat calling a Republican ‘stupid.'”

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