Political correctness started as a term to mock those who made pronouncements which were excessively in line with some modern concept of what is considered “correct” behaviour. It was like someone was taking that little voice inside us that says, “hmmm, maybe I shouldn’t say or do this or that”, and putting it on a loudspeaker and a high definition screen. It was as if people took it upon themselves to be the conscience of the whole nation.
Now political correctness has become aspirational. The problem with political correctness is that there is no end, it is contagious and discussing it reduces those who engage in the discussion to indefensible positions. Inevitably one ends up becoming politically correct oneself.
In the past we had the ten commandments. That made it easy. If you did not kill, rob or lie, or sleep with your neighbour’s wife (literally or in the imagination) then you were OK. In fact no one could tell what you were thinking so some of them did not count at all!
Then religion sort of died and was replaced by more ambiguous sets of rules. Certain common words were eliminated from our speech, being replaced by euphemisms. Then the euphemisms had to be eliminated and so on. Certain behaviours were condemned, and rightly so, but in the spectrum of behaviours that we all exhibit, surely something we did or said was of the same hue, the same shade or the similar tone to something unacceptable. We became unwilling to draw any lines and concede that any behaviour was pure. After all, green is a lot like blue, and isn’t blue a little like purple in some lights? And purple must be bad, mustn’t it? And surely that means red is implicated to.
The poorest victim was humour. Humour has always been about juxtaposing the unacceptable with the mundane, so humour has for years been the outlet, the mirror, the means by which we could see clearly all our unacceptable attitudes and views in a bright light. Humour was the means by which we discovered our faults in a way that our minds could accept. That’s gone now. The politically correct have no humour and would be unable to laugh at themselves because it would undermine their sense of purpose, their justification for being.
The next victim is the actual law of the land. Some people are now enacting laws to mould the thoughts of the general population. Then we will all be politically correct… OR ELSE!