BY: Greg Halvorson
There is much talk, and much to say, about what ails America, but one problem, certainly, is political correctness, which along with “tolerance” has become entrenched in daily life. Tolerance and its cousin diversity have become hegemonic in society, a dominant narrative which undermines dialogue with respect to truth. It’s one thing to be civil and to strive for compassion, and quite another to deem it offensive to judge behavior, regardless of whether that judgment is sound.
Eric Holder called us “a nation of cowards,” and as much as it pains me, I agree (don’t tell anyone!). His use of “coward” is telling because not only is it politically incorrect, but it describes what politically correct citizens become. We are cowards, both in our discussion of race, as he specified, and our discussion of life… When it comes to truth, we shrink from dialogue, cowering beneath “tolerance” as a personal badge.
Take immigration. How is it that loudly opposing a culture-changing influx of people who brazenly challenge our sovereignty is offensive? Political correctness is how. The unwillingness to aggressively pursue scofflaws is cowardly. In today’s feel-good culture, there exists a bigot-card for defined “victim classes” — the brown and black people, the homosexual, and the Muslim. Illegal immigration is hurting this country, and it’s an insult to taxpayers; yet year after year, illegal Mexicans crowd jails, upset the teaching process, and increase the cost of medical services. A sane society would act, but “tolerance” precludes sanity, making action untenable. I use “Mexicans” here because the truth of the matter is that they are the problem — not Peruvians, Bolivians, Austrians, or Scots. Truth should not take a back-seat to guilt, nor to empathy, and the reason this “sounds” offensive is an indication of the oppressive power of P.C.
Political correctness erodes “wrong-and-right.” I, as a native-born Caucasian, am increasingly disgusted with bilingual signage. I speak English and expect those who commerce in America to learn our native tongue. Why are taxpayers shouldering the accommodation of Spanish speakers so they “feel at ease,” when clearly it’s right to promote our native language? The argument that some “legals” speak Spanish is flawed, because legal status isn’t relevant to bilingualism. Immigrants who learn English live better, earn more, and are better-educated than those who don’t. Forcing them to learn English is the right thing to do, for them and the culture, but instead we accommodate and enable divisiveness. Celebrating “diversity” on one hand, we fail to see on the other that people with fewer options may ultimately commit crime, aim lower, and burden society. The question, then, is what do we want: people who assimilate into a shared and vibrant culture by overcoming lingual challenge, or people who remain mired in the past and are ill-prepared to thrive?
We’re choosing the latter. Not being politically correct, I oppose this — not because I’m a hateful bigot, but because, rationally, I want them to succeed. The politically incorrect, non-diverse course of action is to make it difficult to be here. It saves, in the long run, money and frustration. But political correctness thinks short-term.
It’s politically incorrect to voice one’s opinion, as well, if that opinion is “offensive,” a redundant cry in liberal quarters. We loathe being challenged, hate being informed that what opinions we hold — Islam is a “religion of peace”; CO2 is a polluting gas — may result from lies. In lieu of debate, ignorance is preferred over rational assessment and having, potentially, to alter one’s opinion. People gravitate toward like-thinking others, and those who challenge, who threaten the Club, are subject to pressure which ultimately stifles alternative points of view.
Even as I breathe, I fail to comprehend how citizens angered that 40 million infants have been aborted by Planned Parenthood can be labeled “extreme” and against “women’s rights.” How conservatives who point out that inner-city welfare programs undermine prosperity are somehow “racists.” The Truth, it seems, is hard to swallow, so shattering that rather than embracing it and working toward solutions, we insist on ignoring the “elephant in the room.” “Go along to get along” is another way of putting it, but the problem with “going along to get along” is that it’s dangerous.
If the data behind global warming is misleading and manipulated — which I believe it to be — then suppression of alternative data is evil. If calling abortion “reproductive freedom” ends the argument for devaluing babies, then that, too, is evil. If practicing the “soft bigotry of low expectations” in black communities is fine just as long as unions can extort tax dollars, then what is the cry “for the children” but evil?
Evil thrives under political correctness. Notice how even the mention of the word — trotting it out in mixed company — creates a backlash against its use. It doesn’t “feel good,” it makes people think, it calls into question inherent morality. The irony of political correctness is that while it aims for “acceptance” of every subset of humankind (save conservative males), it engenders decay. Because it fails to define right and wrong, and to confront, or even to acknowledge moral hazard, it erodes society while professing to save it.
This is obvious to clear thinkers, less obvious to drones
. In deference to the latter (H/T Mark Levin), we mistakenly censor ourselves in social settings. Barack Obama was raised by Marxists, speaks fondly of Marxists, and worshiped in Marxist pews. Andy Stern, former head of the Service Employees International Union, is a frequent White House visitor
. William Ayers, a terrorist with Obama ties, is as well. These men are Marxists, true believers — yet to label the president such, to utter “Obama is a Marxist,” is to open oneself to ridicule. People would rather dismiss than hear truth, would rather live a lie and suffer its consequences than puncture their self-affirming façade.
This attitude extends to religion. Fail to give a pass to Muslims, and the Moonbat Brigade, led by Jonathan Alter, Eugene Robinson and E.J. Dionne, will label you an Islamophobe addled by bigotry. Change the subject, in other words! Inherent in free speech, protected (for now) by the First Amendment, is debate; yet liberals prefer, and insist on, “toleration.” No matter that Islam is a political force. No matter that the goal of Islamists is a global Caliphate (world domination) and that Sharia, their instrument, is demonstrably evil. How many “progressives” know the fate of Saudi women, that they’re prohibited from voting, speaking out, or even walking alone, and that violators are flogged?
Where’s Gloria Steinem? Where are the feminists who rail against Mama Grizzlies? How many liberals, because it makes them uncomfortable, aid the stoning of “whores,” honor-killings, and clitoral mutilation, bringing these realities closer to their reality?
It may be news to the Left, but bumper stickers notwithstanding, you cannot “coexist” with those who seek to kill you, and you cannot “tolerate the intolerant” without abetting danger.
Fort Hood exemplifies this myopia. The military’s posture toward Major Hasan, who the FBI knew was dangerous, led to thirteen graves, slaughtered G.I.s, borne not of terror but “man-caused disaster,” a thousand miles from Manhattan. Rather than offend Hasan, the military allowed him to kill while aggressively making sure it didn’t “leap to conclusions.” The only leapers, it seemed, were those who plunged from towers, publicly dying, on a bright September morn.
Unfortunately, those images no longer resonate. People can choose to trust what they see and to forcefully resist the accommodation of evil, or they can choose danger. Dietrich Bonhoeffer once said, “Silence in the face of evil is itself evil. God will not find us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.”
Bonhoeffer was part of the German Resistance. In April of 1943, he was taken into custody. Two years later, in 1945, he was hanged.
Greg Halvorson is the founder of Soldiers Without Boots and hosts Freedom Warrior Radio on Blog Talk Radio.