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Sunday, June 21, 2015

What is Political Correctness?

Daryl Kane

Recently comedian Jerry Seinfeld made headlines by stating that he avoids doing shows on college campuses due to political correctness.  This sentiment, which has been expressed by numerous other high profile comedians (Chris Rock, Louis C.K. etc.), has stirred up a moderate level of discussion.  Conservatives, being quite familiar with the experience of being silenced by political correctness, have rallied behind Seinfeld while progressive syndicates have done the opposite.     

Now that the issue is front and center the time is right to address a question that has been bothering me for many years: Just what is political correctness?

If you ask the average, reasonably informed citizen to define political correctness most would describe it as a mindset of hyper-sensitivity to the feelings of others, particularly regarding ethnicity, gender, religion or sexual orientation.  This assessment has some truth to it but it misses a very big point. 

Let’s look at religion as an example.  Political correctness informs us that we must be sensitive to Islam and its relationship to terrorism.  This courtesy however, is not extended to Christianity.  Whereas political correctness comes to the defense of Islam when its followers commit terrible atrocities, it searches for opportunities to condemn Christians as bigots.  This bizarre contradiction is odd, but far from unique.  Across the board when one looks at the various ways in which people can be categorized we can draw a clear distinction between groups promoted by PC values and those demonized by them.

The common denominator to be found amongst groups benefiting from political correctness is that they are groups not traditionally associated with American power.  Be it women in the workplace, minorities from non-European countries, or people engaging in alternative sexual lifestyles, political correctness advocates expanding the influence and collective voice of these groups.  Political correctness is a forced selection choosing that which is alien or new to America over that which is traditional.  This is not to say, as Seinfeld would say, that there is “anything wrong” with these groups.  It is merely an acknowledgement that political correctness actively discriminates against what is traditionally perceived as American. 

Political correctness becomes laughable when confronted by its absurdity.  But the laughter quickly fades when one contemplates the degree to which Western life is influenced by political correctness.  Not only are the PC sensibilities promoted on all levels of popular culture, but it has taken unilateral control of public education.  So much so that one could easily argue that the primary focus has shifted from educating students in math and science to indoctrinating them into a particular ideology.  So much so that Jerry Seinfeld does not feel comfortable performing on public campuses.

Identity politics is not the only issue covered by political correctness.  Political correctness also speaks to foreign policy and national security.  Whether the issue is ISIS or having secure national boarders, the American liberal can usually be found defending those who are undermining America.  At the very least, they occupy the part of the discussion least interested in defending America.  For this reason it could easily be argued that political correctness as a collective force represents the single greatest threat to America.  Because political correctness simultaneously coalesces and amplifies all of the threats that we face.
            There is a name for political movements that spread their ideas by converting public institutions into political weapons: “Fascism.”  When it is not “politically correct” for a nation to treat the groups that built it fairly, or to defend itself from outside threats, it becomes imperative that citizens begin to seriously question the “politics” of the day.

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