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That phrase should be defined in the dictionary as "the shutting down and regimentation of the human mind", because it is largely a device used by political hacks to control people and prevent them from thinking "impure" thoughts, as if that's possible. It isn't, and if it ever does come about, that would be truly frightening. It would result in a Stepford Thousand Year Reich robot culture that would make Jonestown look like Disneyland.
Like most bad ideas, political correctness isn't all bad. It starts out as benign, even helpful. For example, the most politically incorrect word in America is the n-word. It's so politically incorrect that I won't even use the real word. Instead, I use a euphemism, which is silly, because I am imparting the same exact meaning as if I used the real word. Still, I won't use the word , because it's offensive and racist given America's past history of slavery. That much political correctness is perfectly fine. We don't want to go around offending and degrading people.
But then we take political correctnesss too far. We start complaining about things like the names of baseball teams, such as the Cleveland Indians. An Indian refers to a "native American". I'm still trying to figure out how that is offensive. It sounds a lot more like we're honoring native Americans than casting aspersions on them by calling the Cleveland team the "Indians", and in fact, the Cleveland Indians WERE named after a native American ballplayer named Louis Sockalexis. That's an honor, but lots of folks have been "politically corrected" into believing it's somehow inappropriate. I don't get it. If it's improper for some reason to name a baseball team after a group of people, why isn't anyone upset about the stereotypically-named New York Yankees ?
Once political correctness takes hold, it spins out of control. We've been trying to figure out what to call black people for my entire lifetime. First, it was Negroes. Then it was African-Americans. Then it was blacks. The same thing happened with the Indians, who used to be called, ta-da, "Indians". Now, we call them Native Americans (which is no different), but we still call cowboys "cowboys". Why ? Shouldn't we be calling them 'Western Americans" or something ? And as long as we still feel the compulsion to needlessly classify and divide people by race in our 21st century melting pot, can we please figure out for once and for all a racial designation for the group we call Latino/Hispanic/Spanish/Mexican/Puerto Rican/Cuban/etc. ? The U.S. Census still refers to them as "some other race", "Hispanic or Latino", or "Not Hispanic or Latino". The rest of us are white, black, Asian, Native American, or Native Hawaiian.
A political agenda invariably comes into play with political correctness, in an attempt to change one thing into something else.
Instead of "illegal immigrants", they call them "undocumented workers", whatever the heck that is supposed to mean. It sounds like someone who lost their card key at work, instead of someone who entered this country illegally.
Instead of "abortion", it is softened to a "woman's right to choose", as if the woman is merely choosing Charmin over Cottonelle. Who could be against that ? Never mind the human life that was snuffed out before it even had a chance for a life, and don't even mention the fact that 40% of the lives snuffed out are Negro/African American/black. That isn't genocide, it's a "woman controlling her own body". Hands off those babies, you men. Your children are...none..of...your...business !?!?!?
A certain political persuasion gets very upset when Islamic terrorism is called "Islamic terrorism" for some reason, but they haven't come up with a good euphemism for that one yet. I'm counting the days until this certain political persuasion (liberals don't like it when I call them "liberals") figures out that Islamic terrorists could be viewed as "right-wing terrorists", due to their religious beliefs and ultra conservative social views. Maybe they have already realized this, but the fact that the Islamic terrorists are also a "minority" creates a direct contradiction in the politically correct liberal, I mean, "progressive", mind. In politically correct circles, minorities must be protected from the "majority" (read: white people) at all costs. Evidently, white people are the root of all evil, though I can't see how they are any more or less evil than anyone else. I must not have been properly "educated".
Speaking of right-wing terrorism, a commenter took me to task in my last post because I referred to Adolph Hitler as having a left-wing ideology. The commenter said Hitler was a right-wing capitalist. I present the following Hitler quote in rebuttal - "We are Socialists, we are enemies of the capitalistic economic system for the exploitation of the economically weak, with it's unfair salaries, with it's unseemly evaluation of a human being according to wealth and property instead of responsibility and performance and we are all determined to destroy this system under all conditions".
I submit that the "politically correct" view of Hitler as a right-winger is extremely flawed, to say the least. The above quote would put Hitler in the Occupy movement., not the Tea Party movement.
The leading wave of political correctness seems to emanate from California or New York these days (no coincidence). Here are some "loaded words" that New York City wanted to ban from standardized school tests - Divorce. Dinosaurs. Birthdays. Religion. Halloween. Christmas. Television. The NYC Dept. Of Education explained that it wanted to avoid words where "the topic is controversial among the adult population". This is political correctness gone wild. Are we reaching a state where our delicate sensibilities are so easily offended ? If so, maybe they should just give us all happy pills in order to keep our fragile psyches from having to face anything that might cause distress....or maybe that is already happening. Americans consume the vast majority of the world's prescription drugs (narcotics). Karl Marx once famously said "religion is the opiate of the masses". Now that religion is politically incorrect (in certain circles), is it somehow better that actual opiates are the opiate of the masses ?
Control. Regiment. Repeat. The keys to placing a people in submission. This brings to mind another Hitler quote - "How fortunate for governments that the people they administer don't think". I'll say. How else does one explain Nazi Germany ?
"Political correctness doesn't change us, it shuts us up" - Glenn Beck
"Political correctness can be a form of linguistic fascism, and it sends shivers down the spine of my generation who went to war against fascism" - P.D. James