The term "political correctness" (shortened as PC below) was first used by Marxists-Leninists after the 1917 Russian Revolution, according to Encyclopaedia Britannica, to describe "adherence to the policies and principles of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union". This phrase only expanded as a derogatory one during the U.S. of the 1990s but largely disappeared later.
However, the 2016 U.S. presidential election season has greatly revived the terminology – despite the fact that a university in Wisconsin recently ignored the consistency of their axioms and declared the phrase "politically correct" to be a politically incorrect micro-aggression. (See also Google Trends.) For the Donald Trump, the leader of GOP polls, it's probably the #1 evil. Ben Carson seems to agree – his campaign seems to be in trouble right now, however.
(Even after a decade in the U.S., Ivana Trump's "The Donald" sounds natural to me. Even more clearly, I would tend to say The Donald Duck or Donald the Duck instead of Donald Duck which seems to be the correct choice here. We the Slavs simply don't have any innate aptitude for an/the/_ article[s].)
GOP's #2 candidate in most polls, Ted Cruz, isn't so clearly focused on that evil. But his father Reverend Rafael Cruz has urged Americans to reject the leftists' PC vocabulary including the terms "gay" and "pro-choice" for homosexuals and the supporters of abortion. "Gay" means "happy", not "homosexual", and the opposite of "pro-life" is clearly "pro-death" or "pro-murder".
I've consider the freedom of speech and related values very important since I was a teenage dissident in communism. The Velvet Revolution has cured many problems, I thought, and I didn't care about those matters too much up to 2004 or so when I joined the faculty of a very PC university and began to be harassed by PC regularly.
The university environment is a very typical victim of PC and it's not just because of the SJW placemats. For example, a new poll among 1,000 Americans concluded, among other worrisome things, that 71% of Democrats and 40% of Republicans support the punishment of students who dare to say politically incorrect things about the racial problems. The U.S. anthem talks about the "land of the free". Should it be updated to "land of PC"?
For a few decades, PC has been hurting the people's freedom, a healthy and vital discussion about lots of important topics, and meritocracy in many industries and occupations. Lots of people are fed up with PC; there are lots of people who openly celebrate PC, too. Even the previous paragraph is enough to see that the boundary between these two groups doesn't quite coincide with the old-fashioned political divisions or the separation of the two major parties. You find Republicans who are staunchly PC; and, as I will argue, you find lots of Democrats and people from the "traditionally oppressed groups" who are staunchly anti-PC.
This cartoonist proudly defends PC and he claims that "PC" is synonymous with "not being able to insult women and minorities". This translation isn't quite accurate. These days, there are lots of other protected groups of people and their relationships and other things that people are not supposed to belittle. But otherwise, yes! The point really is that PC is a terrible thing because certain groups of people became uncriticizable.
It's absolutely terrible when women or non-whites can't be criticized because there are lots of reasons why they often deserve a criticism – or why they often shouldn't be taken too seriously. Sometimes they deserve it randomly and individually, just like men and whites sometimes do. Sometimes, they deserve some special criticism collectively because they are much more likely to do certain wrong things than e.g. white men. The heavy bias that enforces a nearly absolute "protection" against all kinds of criticisms is totally unhealthy, dangerous, and harmful.
The cartoonist is extremely far from being the only one. You find kilotons of old white men who will defend PC by words that sound like a parody. Take this Mr Robert Saul:
...commentators say being politically correct is corrupting our society. I refuse to believe that.Wow. Does your democracy demand that you carefully consider your remarks? This is how the Soviet system worked after the October coup in November 1917 and that was indeed when the term "political correctness" was first used for people who are careful not to say something that is "officially" undesirable (i.e. not wanted by the bunch of thugs who had a complete control over the country). But America has been the land of the free for more than 200 years.
Social discourse and our democracy demands we carefully consider our remarks and not defame people or inflame situations.
Has your democracy demanded that people don't defame other people or inflame situations? Many blacks have been called negroed and niggers for a long time, often pejoratively, while the Southerners were rednecks, Germans were Huns and even Autobahns, and Japanese were bomb watchers, butterheads, hentais, and at least 30 other words.
It wasn't just words. Americans often had to inflame situations by doing things like starting a civil war, entering one of the two civil wars and many other wars, destroying a hundred of thousand people by nukes, introducing one of the uncountable iPhone killers, and many other things. What is this individual talking about and what is this pricked slut smoking when xe claims that "social discourse and our democracy demand [PC]"?
When I was young, people with intellectual disability were referred to as “retarded.”Sorry but this is an absolutely emotionally neutral, technical term for the characteristic. It simply means delayed. In fact, this word equivalent to "delayed" is already PC because it suggests that if we wait a little more time, the person may match the intellectual abilities of others – which is usually not the case.
There are no synonyms that would be absolutely unoffensive. It's obvious why. It's because the very content of what the words are meant to describe is a sensitive issue. It's not such a great thing to be retarded and it's probably not nice to be reminded of that. But in many contexts, the word is necessary. It's necessary when retarded children are assigned to schools and in tons of other contexts. You simply can't assume that whenever someone uses such a word, it's because he's or she's evil. Sometimes, people with certain tasks should be distinguishing imbeciles (IQ 26-50) from morons (51-70) and idiots (0-25). Note that this technical jargon has turned into such a taboo that most of us were just surprised to learn that an idiot is stupider than an imbecile!
This guy defends the PC taboos in about 10 other contexts. He's completely insane. I won't discuss additional details. Another guy named Bill Schneider is another staunch advocate of PC. I think that most of these people live in heavily hypocritical environments, their support for PC results from their effort to be even better – more PC – than others, and benefit from that hypocrisy on steroids. Many of them may be genuinely retarded, however.
But Schneider's text brings me to the other part of the story: the unexpected people who hate PC. Schneider mentions several groups that are strongly anti-PC. Obviously, it's true for most Trump supporters:
Enter Trump. When Latino protesters show up at Trump rallies, the candidate’s supporters have been heard to shout, “Somebody press 1 for English!”Funny. But the article also mentions a more serious issue about the anti-PC groups:
White working-class men are enraged because they inhabit a world they don’t recognise. It's a world with a black president, same-sex marriage, illegal immigration, empowered women, anti-police protests and radical Islam. They want the Old America back — when white men were in charge, gays stayed in the closet, women were compliant, Muslims were far away and the police had unquestioned authority. It’s a world they have lost. And good riddance to it, the rest of us say.Schneider is pro-PC but you know, I think that this description is pretty much accurate. Yes, the Americans – and members of other nations – who are terrified by PC want their Old America (or another country that used to be similar enough) back. Why? Because it was a better America than the asexual LGBT multicultural gay pride hybrid that is gradually replacing the Old America.
It's the Old America that has turned America into a superpower. No one can question that the modern civilization as we know it was overwhelmingly built by men – and yes, white straight men. People would be savages if the Old America hasn't done what it has done or if it has worked very differently than how it did.
And you know what? It's not just rich old white straight men who know that. Many workers and poor people feel it even more strongly. They simply hate hypocrisy. They hate being trained not to say certain things – especially things they feel strongly about. They may not be as wealthy as others but they're adults and they have the right to decide how they speak. Also, tons of women just despise PC. They even despise colorless cowardly PC men. Many women strongly dislike homosexual activists and their efforts to get some special advantages. And vice versa. And blacks often dislike special advantages for homosexuals and vice versa. And so on, and so on. If one is a member of one of the "protected groups", it doesn't imply that he or she or xe or ze worships the whole PC ideology and all the other "protected groups" as well. Lots of reasonable members of these "protected groups" refuse to worship even their own "protected group".
Left-wing demagogues would love to label Trump as a racist bigot of a sort. He must surely be disliked by almost everyone who is not fully Caucasian, right? Well, not so quickly. A recent poll showed that 37.7% of whites picked Trump in the primaries. And only 19% of Asians. What about blacks and Hispanics? Trump must have zero chance among them, right? Well, 40% of blacks and 45% of Hispanics pick Trump!
The idea that the PC folks are the chosen beloved ones by the non-white population is simply rubbish. Just because they're non-whites doesn't mean that they're complete idiots. At least O(50%) of them may see that the PC folks are untrustworthy hypocritical actors or incompetent sissies. Trump gets a lot of support.
One might even argue that PC is currently the most important tool of the white imperialism against the racial minorities. PC is a form of moral imperialism. If members of a community benefit from their PC behavior, it's very likely that the whites will be at the very top because you may find the best hypocritical players among the whites! In other racial groups, it's more expected to behave more naturally and speak candidly which is what puts these mostly non-white people in a disadvantage relatively to the slickest white moral imperialists whenever PC is considered an advantage!
You don't need to ask fully American U.S. blacks only. Read the opinion of Obama's countrymate, Henry Gekonde, in Kenyan newspapers:
Critics can say all they want about Trump's outbursts, but at the heart of his defiance is a readily recognisable fundamental theme: grown-ups resent being told by others how to speak or write about reality.You just shouldn't expect people to support all maximally left-wing PC fads just because their skin color is a color that the PC categorization considers inferior and therefore "deserving a special protection". Many blacks understand and "feel" the harmfulness of PC as well as many whites do. And there are some "regional" collective effects of this kind, too. When Barack Obama visited Kenya and tried to sell the cult of homosexualism in that country, he saw that it was a basically impossible task.
Political correctness means thought control, wimpy resignation to liberal ideology, intellectual dishonesty and hypocrisy and must be resisted with all the might the mind and mouth can muster.
Just because a bunch of PC hypocrites in D.C. and the Silicon Valley has decided that the homosexual couples must be worshiped instead of the holy cows, doesn't mean that every black in Kenya is obliged to embrace the same ritual.
Whether Trump, if nominated, would defeat the Democratic Party nominee isn't clear at all. I tend to think that his support would be higher, and not lower, than what the surveys indicate because I think that people are more likely to hide their support for Trump – it's something that can bring you trouble today. (There are actually scholarly papers with the same claim.) But the elections are done by a secret ballot so the fear will go away. But it's also possible that Trump's opponent will win in a landslide. But maybe even in this case, Trump's candidacy may do a lot of work in weakening the PC-run-amok in the U.S.
Now, when Trump (or e.g. Carson) will win the presidency, will his fight against PC be enough for him to be a good president?
Well, first, I don't think that Trump is a one-dimensional, one-topic candidate. He has managed many things. During his life, he has interacted with many sorts of people from many different nations and backgrounds (and certainly with both sexes) and with people working in many different occupations. He has some idea about the domestic economic policies. And he has some ideas about foreign policies, too. It's very likely that the U.S.-Russian hostilities will be suspended once again if Trump is elected and I think it would be a great news. He would take a much more pragmatic attitude to foreign wars (he actually joined my call for China to solve the North Korean H-bomb problems!) as well as the dangers of illegal immigration etc.
Don't get me wrong. I do think that his language (and maybe also/just his voice?) often sounds too crude. Obama's speeches have always sounded more polished – closer to a work of a deep thinker. But I think that the Americans have had almost 8 years to learn that the polished speeches are not the real essence of the presidency, after all. And maybe Trump will get some great speechwriters, too. Trump's presidency would look very different but it could be greater than Obama's presidency, to put it modestly.
It seems totally sensible to me to think that PC has actually become the #1 disease that the U.S. is currently suffering from. If he could reduce it by some 70% during his tenure, it would be a sufficient achievement that would earn him a nice place in the history books.