The concept of “political correctness,” or PC, goes back more than a half century. Over time PC has changed America for the worse. It was invented not to expand discussions but to prevent them through peer pressure and intimidation.
The origins and continuing implications of PC were part of a high-profile panel discussion at the 2017 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) held in a Maryland suburb of Washington, D.C., over this past weekend.
This fascinating panel met on the main stage at CPAC and featured moderator Jan Riordan of the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, along with a panel consisting of Fox News contributor and Conservative Review columnist Tom Borelli, U.S. Rep. Francis Rooney (R-Fla.), College Republican National Committee chairman Alex Smith, and Capital Research Center president Scott Walter. It was a wide-ranging discussion, delving into the history of political correctness, its impact in culture and business, the dumbing down of education, and what the future may hold.
Scott Walter kicked off the discussion by defining political correctness. Not surprisingly, Walter, whose organization, Capital Research Center, specializes in unmasking organizations of the Left and their funders, gave a succinct explanation:
The real origin of the term goes back to the first half of the twentieth century and the hard Left where they made no bones about it — there is no objective truth, all that matters is what serves the party, so truth will change from day to day. This is what you see in [George] Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four, where things go down the memory hole. Then it began seeping into the broader Left in this country and it was probably around the 1980s I think when conservatives began to make fun of political correctness because it was already becoming so ridiculous. But I have friends who, at graduate school in Cornell in the 1980s and at meetings there would be: ‘Oh we can’t say that. It wouldn’t be politically correct.’ Now it has become a vicious orthodoxy that is enforced with bullying, so that whatever the political agenda of today is, if you violate it, wham!
In fact it was 1950s large-C Communists who created that phrase — part of the enforcement mechanism for maintaining strict adherence to doctrinaire communism among their membership. That rigid, uniform obedience to Communist ideology is what allows the Communists to stay on message and is what has made their messaging so effective. If you repeat a lie long enough, and get many people repeating it, sooner or later it begins to gain acceptance as legitimate — no matter how outlandish.
Just consider transgender bathrooms. A few short years ago, such an idea would have been laughable, had anyone even considered it. But last year Obama’s Justice and Education Departments jointly issued a “Dear Colleague Letter on Transgender Students” imposing bathroom use based on “an individual’s internal sense of gender” on schools nationwide. Thankfully, President Trump recently reversed that official guidance.
Fox News Channel’s Tucker Carlson debated Zac Petkanas, a senior advisor to the Democratic National Committee who heads DNC’s “Trump War Room.” Petkanas called President Trump a “monster” for reversing Obama’s action. Carlson pressed his guest to offer one example of a scientist who would publicly claim that one’s sex is determined by what a person says it is, regardless of their biology. Petkanas claimed he could name thousands — but never did — and insisted that, like global warming, it was “settled science.” He accused Carlson of embracing “right-wing pseudo-science.” Carlson then asked him if he could change his race too just by saying so and upped the ante by offering him $1,000 if he could produce one, just one, scientist “who says you can determine your sex just by saying so.”
Watch the Carlson versus Petkanas video here:
Liberalism really is a mental disorder.
Congressman Rooney was asked how political correctness impacts his work in Congress. He said there were “so many egregious instances … Imagine this. In recent years, the government decided that you couldn’t say the word ‘Islam’ and ‘terrorist’ in government manuals, including the government counter-terrorism manual. You can’t say ‘Islam’ and ‘Islamic terrorism’ in the government manual!”
Alex Smith said there were “too many [instances of PC] to count on college campuses today…” She mentioned the maddening case of Dr. Condoleezza Rice being disinvited from speaking at the Rutgers University commencement last year, and how students then entered university administration buildings “and destroyed property to make their point.” She noted that on college campuses nationwide there is “the real lack of intellectual diversity, while the Left trumpets all kinds of other diversity.”
Tom Borelli described how PC infects the business world, saying that many business leaders, like Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz, are progressives, and use their companies to advance PC ideas, while other companies are intimidated by shareholder activists and boycotts or threats of boycotts. The most recent example he cited was Nordstrom’s decision to drop Ivanka Trump’s footwear line. While Nordstrom denied it, this was believed to be in response to the #GrabYourWallet campaign, which asked people to boycott any company carrying Trump products, refrain from doing business with the Trump family, or boycott businesses whose owners supported Trump’s candidacy. He also mentioned how when Under Armor’s president publicly stated that President Trump would be good for business, Under Armor’s stock was downgraded, an action “hugely important for the investment community.” (Editor’s note: Tina Trent touched upon #GrabYourWallet in a recent Bombthrowers article.)
This is the extent to which the lunacy of political correctness has infected our society today. And it is a very dangerous lunacy. It requires rigid adherence to ideas that go against common sense, decency, and everything we know to be true. Anyone who makes the mistake of questioning the insane PC orthodoxy is targeted for vilification as “racist,” “sexist,” “homophobic,” or “fill-in-the-blank-phobic.” It is a tactic designed specifically to enforce conformity and destroy opponents, following Lenin’s admonition to “write in a language which sows among the masses hate, revulsion, and scorn toward those who disagree with us.” It is a mark of totalitarian thinking that is in fact the sixth stage, polarization, in The Ten Stages of Genocide.
In the Soviet Union, defying political orthodoxy was grounds for execution. In the book, Black on Red: My 44 Years Inside the Soviet Union, author Robert Robinson recounted his life in the Soviet Union under Stalin. He said that clothing was so poorly manufactured that pant legs differed in length, shoe pairs never matched sizes, and nothing fit properly. It was so bad that a public campaign was launched that made wearing ill-fitting clothes a badge of patriotism. Not only was it dangerous to complain about it, but if you were found to be wearing clothes without defects, you were accused of being disloyal to the regime. In communist states it is dangerous even to think about questioning the prevailing orthodoxy. As the saying goes, “Think before you think.”
Our nation, on college campuses and elsewhere, is rapidly approaching that point. It is one of the many reasons why candidate Donald Trump electrified crowds. He refused to bow to the Left’s totalitarian PC orthodoxy. In fact he shifted the paradigm, restoring PC to the butt of jokes it deserves to be. That is yet another reason college campuses and the Left nationwide have gone on a lunatic crusade to destroy President Trump and anyone willing to admit they voted for him. They have advanced by manipulating language to bend culture to their despotic will. President Trump now threatens their dominance.
This was an excellent forum on a critical topic, and this column cannot do it justice.
So I urge you to watch the entire thing, right here: