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A Trap Awaits the Politically Correct

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Why political correctness could enslave us

(6th edition - Dec 2010) by A.O. Kime
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Having become a new instrument of 'control' over society, the commonly-used phrase ‘politically correct’ was coined sometime during the 1960s when a few groups began to discourage the usage of insensitive terms in favor of better-sounding ones. The idea was to elicit a standard (of sorts) for a more polite way to address certain things publicly. The 'political' part is largely a misnomer however, seldom concerning political affairs then or now. But with carefully chosen words being a matter of diplomacy - politically related - the term was apparently borrowed from the diplomatic corps. The media then adopted the suggestions and, by example, spread the word.

Although a noble, worthy and well-intentioned movement in the beginning, it wasn't long before it ignominiously evolved.

Politically correctness is now utilized for many purposes and its usage is growing… and this has dangerous implications. Sapped for all it's worth now, it is fast becoming an instrument to fulfill agendas. Preceded by their anti-smoking hoopla (mind-conditioning), the state's attacks on tobacco is a prime example. The message, in essence, was that it's not 'politically correct' (publically acceptable) to smoke. The point is, this apparatus - not the public - is deciding what is publically acceptable and what isn't.

Entirely true to its name though - and surely where the term came from - political correctness has been around for centuries within the diplomatic corps. To be a diplomat is to know how to tactfully say what needs to be said. Just as important is what not to say. After all, certain words said at the wrong time - or said in the wrong manner - can start wars. Over the centuries official diplomacy became practically a science whereby, as an example, a certain term used by a diplomat can reflect a level of interest, agreement or level of opposition. In short, diplomats have their own language... except, it's not the only 'language within a language'.

Advocating certain terms for media use, while discouraging others, is the other 'language within a language' in an attempt to influence the public. It's called 'political correctness' and has taken on as many shapes and forms as can a kaleidoscope. It is now influencing practically everything... it isn't just about 'being nice' anymore.

As a result of the initial successes in influencing the public in the 60s, the propagandistic potential of political correctness was quickly recognized and began covering a number of areas. Its modus operandi is simple enough, amounting to just spreading the word as to what is the 'proper' terminology, conduct and habits and implying it should be adopted by the public. Except... the public was (and still is) left in the dark as to who decides what is 'proper' and what isn't. While innocent and well-intentioned to begin with, like all social policies 'political correctness' was destined to become contorted and corrupt. As a result, agendas kidnapped 'proper' and make it their poster boy.

Whatever agenda it might be serving today, their wishes seem routinely granted by the media. Persons unknown are browbeating the media who, in turn, browbeats the public. It's America's pecking order.

While tactfulness is a good idea since we all should be diplomats, being browbeaten into compliance doesn't belong in the menagerie of adulthood. In order to 'get along' most folks were (are) diplomatic anyway. Now however, it's a matter of taking advantage of the fact the public is amenable to suggestions since it's become evident America's sheep far outnumber the shepherds. As the situation once was - with so many versions of politeness and tactfulness floating around - conformity was thought necessary. God forbid if someone insane was referred to as 'nuts' by Texans or 'loony' by Californians.

So now, in effect, one is pressured into using terms that are 'pre-approved'. While nobody really cares or can control what is said off camera or microphone, apparently someone does care what is said publicly. And, with the media and professionalism being what it is, it is largely controllable. Only the Internet is beyond it's reach.

Common decency

Common decency was once just something we initiated on our own... because we wanted to. Invariably, it's the prudent course of action… after all, nobody gets anywhere unless they're respectful of others. But, the day political correctness began trying to represent social graces - as if solely in charge and the final authority - it opened the door for maliciousness in all shapes and forms. It created a danger to liberties and the threat is growing.

Political correctness, a seemingly harmless undertaking advertised only as 'standards of decency', has overtones which could further enslave all mankind. After all, to be politically correct can be applied to almost any situation and could be enforced. While it's already politically incorrect to bad-mouth an official too aggressively, just as easily it could become illegal. Using the same logic which made it illegal to yell ‘fire’ in a crowed theater, the authorities could say political criticism might cause a ‘stampede’. It happened in Egypt... it is now against the law to 'incite hatred' against the regime. Or should it be called 'administration'?

Today, 'frankness' is essentially under house arrest and the house of frankness is shrinking. By almost everyone, criticism of Washington has become more selective and subdued. Treasonous acts - although ignored for more than a century - are invariably attributed to milder terms such as 'socialist agenda'. People are even reluctant to compare someone to Hitler. Anytime someone is compared to Hitler the howls of conformists are heard everywhere.

While it is historically true that intimidation and coercion have always comprised the arsenal of governments, one reason is because they are more pliable than law and can be easily manipulated. Subtle ways usually work just as well, they've found, and to fit the occasion adjustments can be made 'on the fly'. And, just like 'political correctness', the instruments of society are sure to have innocent-sounding names... terms like ‘public safety’, ‘freedom’, 'children', 'justice' or ‘apple pie'. Organizations love those terms. After World War II, there was a group in France calling themselves the ‘Committee of Public Safety’ but it was really a front for usurpers. Being associated with the Knights Templar in a web of deception and intrigue, they believed they had the right to rule the world.

Everyone wants to rule the world however but the name of their organization would never reflect it. Applied terms are practically meaningless anymore, seldom representing reality. It's all about the gullibility of the public.

Political heresy

While the ‘correctness’ part of political correctness makes it a friendlier sounding name, yet to ignore it is practically heresy. We've been made to feel it nearly a crime. Of a Middle Ages mentality - as if sponsored by religious fanaticism - it is protocol trying to firmly establish itself. As if scripted, history repeating itself, the protocol of political correctness could be backed up by law. The door is now open for that possibility.

While the selective use of terms has been around for ages - employed for various reasons including propaganda -  the latest utility (political correctness) was born when 'drunk' was replaced by 'alcoholic' in the 1960s closely followed by 'disabled' as the new term for 'crippled'. Also in the 60s, 'negro' was replaced by 'black'. Then in the 70s, 'obese' became the new term for 'fat' and 'indian' was replaced with 'American Indian'. While most of these new terms sound better, except 'obese' which sounds worse - as if weighing 500 pounds - why didn't the old-fashioned term ‘plump’ catch on? If given a choice, surely the public would have chosen 'plump' over 'obese'. While trivial, the point is ... the public wasn't given a choice. Whether government, science, do-gooders or special interests, someone else has taken control over propriety.

But even those without an agenda have a conspicuous downside. Whilst it’s politically correct to call a drug addict an 'addict' (external website), legalities dictate whether other substance abusers are to be considered an 'addict'. In our society, there is no such thing as 'alcohol addicts'... only 'alcoholics'. Such double standards - countless - resonate as hypocritical and thus creates a dysfunctional atmosphere. While we know substance abuse can often be attributed to a dysfunctional family, why also have a dysfunctional society?

By the example set by the media, it is also subtlety implied to never substitute a nicer term for ‘prostitutes’ because they never do. While one might get away with calling them ‘hookers’ which sounds less harsh... but God forbid if they called them 'happy hookers'. Why? Well, if such an innocent sounding term became popularized people might tend to think prostitution ought to be legal. For the same reason, cocaine users aren't to be called 'connoisseurs' nor should you to refer to drunk driving as a sport. Furthermore, in speaking of them one must either maintain a grim face or look horrified. If you smile you're dead meat.

Liar, liar, pants on fire

Politicians don't dare call each other liars anymore even if it’s true… and it often is. Even more strictly forbidden, they can’t use the word ‘treason’ anymore either if it's true... and it often is. Of course, if circumventing the American constitution was treated as treason (as it should be), half of Washington would be behind bars. One reason, the use of the term 'treason' (the betrayal of a trust) was banned, exiled... not to be uttered since the 19th century. A casualty of this political correctness, of course, is honesty.

In short, political correctness has the ability to water down the English language whereby only the weakest descriptive terms are politically correct. Strong terms are reserved for the counter-aligned 'bad guys'.

Aside from hindering the ability to safeguard the American Constitution, telling the truth today is only politically correct on the witness stand… otherwise it's not because almost everything said in a politically correct fashion requires a degree of lying. We are now, through socialized pressure, expected to lie… to whitewash everything. If we’re looking for reasons why kids use drugs… well, it is the greater reason. They’re trying to escape these bizarre realities... and the greater reason for so many drunks too.

So, who is exploiting political correctness? Well, besides the ‘establishment’ which comprises all levels of government, the media and big corporations (the infamous triad), it's various groups of shadowy often nameless people operating behind the scenes. Treated like the environmentalists who all but ruined ranching in the western states, it's not politically correct - in the opinion of the media - to ever name them. Not to be satisfied until all liberties are gone, the busybody 'do-gooders' are the worst offenders however. Due to their efforts, it is now politically correct to outlaw anything that might claim a victim... however few. Since in jeopardy now is the last remnants of excitement and fun, Americans look to Mexico as the last bastion of real liberties.

Majority rule

While groups have always tried to impose their will on society - even since the days of the Roman Empire - but political correctness is a powerful new contrivance at their disposal. As a propaganda tool, a popularized sentiment and consensus can be whipped up whereby majority rule can be imposed. It can happen through voter mandates as was the case with Arizona's proposition 203 in 2006. Yet, majority rule has proven itself an unreliable instrument of justice for centuries. Posing a continual threat to minority interests, majority rule has often (historically) been referred to as the 'tyranny of the majority'.

Recognized ages ago that public opinion is malleable - more pliable than a wet noodle often - it is no surprise why it is believed political correctness can fulfill any agenda. With the public left holding the bag as if it's their fault - having adopted something - it's much better than the old-fashioned propaganda techniques which doesn't fool anyone anymore. Old-fashioned conspiracies aren't really necessary anymore either... not after seeing political correctness can do the trick. Corporate advertisers certainly saw the benefits.

With the promoted idea that people need to pop a pill for everything - despite the long-term ill effects - it's the best sales technique the drug companies ever devised. Although their multi-million dollars ad campaigns merely imply political correctness, the implication pharmaceuticals are safe is bolstered by the willing media who carry the ads. And, the absence of government intervention implies a vote of confidence. By default, it is political correctness. Yet, manipulating bodily processes unnecessarily with chemical medications equates to an early grave.

While success in turning a promoted idea into 'conventional wisdom' can be attributed to good salesmanship, often the result of advocating what is 'cool' - a common business tactic - but political correctness (as a movement) not only advocates what is 'cool' but what is 'un-cool'. To take control of propriety is reminiscent of the middle ages.

We must protect frankness otherwise it will become a crime. Wolves, after all, only attack unattended sheep. As an indication a law is on the horizon would be when defiance of protocol would cost someone their job. Yet, for journalists and a growing number of other professionals, that time is already here. They are forced to walk the unforgiving tightrope of semantics and a misstep can ruin their professional career.

But that's not all... it is now politically correct to destroy professionals for a drunk driving conviction. Nurses, for example, will lose their RN license. So, what's the connection between the nurse's ability and an off-duty blunder? Well, there isn't any... it's just evidence political correctness has gotten out-of-hand.

While one's choice of synonyms, what is (or isn't) coolness and who's in charge of righteousness are some of the issues, it boils down to a fight for individualism and freedom. We shouldn’t let conformism enslave us... and it can.

A.O. Kime

"Society everywhere is in conspiracy against the manhood of every one of its members. Society is a joint-stock company, in which the members agree, for the better securing of his bread to each shareholder, to surrender the liberty and culture of the eater. The virtue in most request is conformity. Self-reliance is its aversion. It loves not realities and creators, but names and customs." --- Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

Last modified: 03/07/16