Monday, February 1, 2016


I have observed the public backlash of late over political correctness that seems to have been set off by Donald Trump and his devotees.  Although political correctness is rooted in good will toward others, apparently even a good thing—when taken to extreme—can get a bad rap.

No doubt some interest groups have been taking political correctness to extreme.  I know a feminist, for example, who wanted to change the name of Dallas’ football team to the Dallas “Cow-persons.”  It seemed to me that was overreaching just a bit, the same as when politically correct individuals get wrought up over whether or not to call a server in a restaurant a waiter or waitress a "waitperson."

One of my current doctors (of which I have several at my age) told me part of my problem was I was “deconditioned.”  She could have simply reminded me that I am now old and fat.  Though I appreciate the kindness, the facts would not have offended me.

In defense of public correctness, there is still much to be said for it.  What’s wrong with all of us being polite to one another?  With growing acceptance of the concept of political correctness, I believe many worthwhile things have evolved.  In conversation in recent years, I have observed a notable decline in racial epithets.  Unsavory and insulting references to persons of a different gender no longer seem to be so much in use, even by the good old boys.  Even derogatory references to those of a different sexual orientation seem to have become less popular. 

If we can continue a rational use of the concept of political correctness, in the sense of just being respectful of one another’s differences, we will be better for it as a people.  Being united has been the strength of America.  To insult our fellow citizens is not the way to stay united.  Political correctness is something we should continue to observe, and we should remind many of our current candidates for office to do the same.

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