According to a poll of 2,000 college undergraduates by the College Pulse organization, a huge majority of students who identify as Democrats think there is virtually no difference between an off-color joke and actual hate speech. And since we already know from previous polls that these students believe that “hate speech” is akin to violence and should be prosecuted under the law, this poll shows that America’s youth – at least on the left – is getting less and less tolerant of the First Amendment.

According to the poll, 76% of Democrat students “believe offensive jokes can constitute hate speech,” while only 36% of Republican students believe the same. Overall, 60% of all students think that jokes and hate speech are one in the same. This last figure is interesting, since it shows you what weak representation conservatism has among young college students in the first place. It also illuminates why so many colleges go overboard to shut down anything, from posters and essays to Halloween costumes, that could be even vaguely misconstrued as offensive to anyone. Well, anyone in a “protected class,” that is.

“There are similar political divides when it comes to whether the same rules of political correctness that apply to everyday life also apply to comedic performances,” College Pulse reported. “While about 4 in 10 students say either the same rules do not apply (40%) or it depends (42%), nearly two-thirds (65%) of Republican students say they do not apply. By comparison, 3 in 10 (30%) Democratic students agree.”

It’s just crazy how eager young liberals are to put the clamps of censorship over everyone’s mouth. And by everyone, we of course mean “everyone who doesn’t think and act just like they want them to.” We’re so old we remember when liberalism was all about protecting free speech and free expression. Hell, those were the building blocks of the university system itself! And now these institutions are home to some of the most sensitive, freedom-killing fascists in the country. To them, there is no greater tragedy than to be offended.

If you’d asked us last year what it would have taken to wake these kids up, we might have said one of two things: Either they would have to find themselves penalized by the very rules they’re trying to push on everyone else…or they would have to be confronted with a national emergency of such weight and severity that they suddenly realized how silly they are being.

Well, the latter situation has come to pass, and we haven’t seen any sign that it’s killing off the idiocy of social justice warriorism. Indeed, with all the handwringing about terms like “Chinese virus,” we’d say it’s only gotten worse.