Political correctness is killing all of us, but now there’s Donald Trump.
Before I continue this post, let me clarify that I have not endorsed Trump. His candidacy clearly offers some vigor and vibrancy to the field, but we’re still early in the vetting process. I largely agree with him on a number of issues, however, including his recognition of two menaces that face our nation—illegal immigration and political correctness. I don’t want to get into the weeds of policy in this post, but suffice to say that these two issues are joined at the hip. Illegal immigration continues unabated in the U.S. and very few politicians prior to Trump have been willing to address it because of fears of political correctness.
Here’s how it works. Anyone who opposes open borders is a racist because the majority of current illegals in our nation are not of European descent. Besides, we are told that, “the U.S. is a nation of immigrants,” so anyone who seeks to explain the obvious flaws in connecting open borders today to open immigration a century ago is ignorant of history. There’s a script you have to follow on this issue lest you be scorned as a bigot.
Of course, the political movement correctness is internally inconsistent. In the immigration example, notice how justifying today’s open borders on immigration policies of the 1800s and early 1900s is legitimate and based on an understanding of history. Of course, the world has changed in many ways progressives have championed. The Federal Researve, fiat currency, Social Security, and Obamacare all represent stark departures from life in the U.S. circa 1900. The PC comeback to arguments for the gold standard claim that things have changed and you can’t live in the past. Even those who question man-induced climate change are called “flat-earthers.”
In short, PC is about stifling debate on certain issues. It leverages emotion and surface-level logic to squelch arguments that would be difficult to win in a more rational setting where all sides would be required to defend their claims in detail. It hides behind “stop the hate” and other slogans designed to portray free speech as irresponsible. The PC crowd demands that opposition speech is insensitive to certain groups of people and therefore should be controlled. Apologies are demanded from anyone who utters anything that might be offensive even if it is unintended or misunderstood. Fearing reprisal from the media and others, most politicians refrain from discussing certain topics and issue apologies whenever demanded. Of course, this only legitimizes the PC effort.
Nowhere is the PC movement more pervasive than on the college campus. They promote “safe zones” to protect students from alleged harassment. They designate certain areas on campus as “free speech zones” so as to restrict certain kinds of speech elsewhere. Oppose the safe zones and you are tagged and someone who seeks to promote intolerance. Even capitalism is a dirty word and its proponents are tagged as insensitive to the plight of those it has allegedly left to suffer.
Back to Trump. In the early stages of his campaign—when naysayers told us that he would not be taken seriously—demands for apologies were constant. A few examples include his use of the term “anchor baby,” his supposed indirect insult of Jeb Bush’s wife, and his lack to response to a statement (not a question) about President Obama’s religion. In each of these instances, Trump refused to apologize. Since then, the demands have waned, and many Americans seem to appreciate Trump as someone willing to speak his mind, even if his choice of words isn’t always perfect. His style is rubbing off on others. Even Jeb Bush mustered up the courage to use the term “anchor baby” without apology.
I’m a big proponent of using choosing your words wisely, especially when discussing difficult topics. I also understand that you shouldn’t yell “fire” in a crowded theater or directly incite a riot. However, I understand that nobody is perfect, and I am willing to live with occasional utterances of ignorance or stupidity in the interest of the free exchange of ideas. We need more speech, not less. Win or lose, if Trump is able to expose PC for the effort at mind control it is, then more politicians might be willing to engage in direct conversations about the future of our country without fear of reprisal. For this reason, if for no other, I’m glad to see Trump in the race.