“Don’t say what you’re thinking.”
“It doesn’t matter how you feel.”
“Honesty is not always the best policy.”
It sounds terrible, doesn’t it? And yet modern society has created an entire value system based on these axioms. It’s called political correctness.
At the same time, however, there seems to be a freakish disconnect between the cultural extremes of political correctness and libertinism. On the one hand, the list of socially unacceptable words, phrases, and ideas keeps growing longer; on the other hand, regard for verbal filtering plummets in virtual free-fall.
At first blush, we might explain this away as an obvious consequence of competing ideologies and worldviews. Certainly, the popularity of Donald Trump and Ted Cruz can be understood as a natural reaction to the vacuous rhetoric of our elected officials, and to the farcical condemnation of benign comments and legitimate opinions as “hate speech” by the chattering classes. When a prominent university attempts to censor of words like mothering, fathering, and American as “microaggressions,” the inevitable consequence will be an equal and opposite reaction from the other side of the ideological divide.
But what is truly baffling are the offenses committed by proponents of political correctness themselves.