Politically Incorrect, Literally

Oct 30, 2015

by Herb Silverman

In Orwellian fashion, some political candidates proclaim they are not “politically correct” because it’s a politically correct ploy to gain political support. And that strategy seems to be working in the Republican Party.

Ben Carson received a boost for his presidential campaign when he denounced ObamaCare and political correctness at the 2013 National Prayer breakfast. However, he failed to note that attending the prayer breakfast is politically correct. How many candidates would have the courage to decline an appearance at a prayer breakfast because they don’t believe in the power of prayer? Carson gained more support after saying at the Values Voter Summit this year that ObamaCare is “the worst thing that has happened in this nation since slavery,” adding proudly that his presidential campaign will not be politically correct.

Not to be outdone, ever, Donald Trump told a crowd of South Carolina business leaders, “I’m so tired of this politically correct crap,” and then surged in political polls.

Perhaps someone should ask candidates at the next Republican debate, “Are you politically correct?” Their attempts to outdo one another in establishing politically incorrect credentials would be fun to watch.

Politics aside, what does “politically correct” mean? It could mean opposition to language and behavior that upsets certain groups, or even attempts to prevent offending them. To be fair and balanced, I criticize politically correct liberals and conservatives who do this: liberals who give a pass to human rights violations in Muslim countries because it’s part of Muslim culture, or who try to block a conservative from speaking on college campuses; conservatives who stop liberals from speaking in certain forums, or claim discrimination against Christians if they don’t receive special rights not granted to those with other faiths or none.


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3 comments on “Politically Incorrect, Literally

  • Back in the 1980s at Sussex University I well remember the predecessor of Political Correctness, it was called being ‘ideologically sound’ and it Came to mean ‘someone espousing vaguely left wing sentiments that they didn’t really believe in, in order to be successful’. Political correctness has moved on from being about respecting people to mean much the same thing. By my definition Herb is spot on. By playing to his political audience Ben Carson (not as my brain keeps trying to convince me Bill Carson who knew where the treasure was in The Good The Bad and The Ugly) and Donald T are both being Politically Correct.

    In an underground magazine I was part of producing later at teacher training college we did a definitions section and ‘the ideological sound’ came out as the mass mumbled agreement heard in a lecture hall in response to a question when to disagree might be seen as racist, sexist or in some other sense discriminatory.

    If Mr Carson wants to be politically incorrect he should come out as an atheist, or tell me in which graveyard I can find Arch Stanton’s grave



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