By Mike Cronin
The latest kerfuffle in the culture wars has put Dirty Harry in the camp of Donald Trump. In the latest issue of Esquire magazine and in other recent comments, actor Clint Eastwood laments political correctness and the attention given to some of Mr. Trump’s brasher statements. (He did not officially endorse Trump.)
One need not support Mr. Trump, (or any other candidate) to find political correctness troubling. The First Amendment to the Constitution charges the government to protect our right to speak freely. This is an intolerable condition to control freaks who just know that their ways and opinions are right and everybody’s lives would be better if we just obeyed them. Political correctness seeks to accomplish by peer pressure and social sanctions what cannot be legally done by government: the limiting of personal expression.
Last week’s post was bout the spotty availability of formal training in logic and critical thinking in America’s educational institutions. The purposeful omission of such fundamentals from curricula smacks of an elite trying to restrict entry to their ranks. Now add political correctness to the mix.
According to Merriam-Webster online, political correctness is “conforming to a belief that language and practices which could offend political sensibilities (as in matters of sex or race) should be eliminated.”
Bottom line: giving offense should be eliminated. We can’t have dissent. Do not speak freely. Protect everyone else’s feeling, but don’t have any non-conforming thoughts of your own.
Don’t look at the value of the dollar. Don’t examine public education. Don’t question the dysfunction of maintaining an immigration enforcement enterprise while rewarding illegal immigration. Don’t peer into the doings of your city, county, state, or federal government. Don’t read the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, or the Bill of Rights. Don’t ask probing questions.
Do not give offense. Don’t see the hypocrisy and irony of being offensive in the name of eliminating offensiveness, being racist in the name of eliminating racism, and churning out myriad petty laws in the name of reducing crime.
Do not think for yourself. Don’t find the insanity in trying to stimulate the economy by taxing real wealth out of it then pumping funny money back in. Don’t be self-reliant; rely on your elected rulers to use the power of government to steal from your more productive friends and neighbors and give some of the loot back to you.
Go with the crowd. Run the machines. Consume. Watch the latest reality show/sitcom/talent contest/news crisis on cable/satellite/internet. Go find some Poke-mon.