Political Correctness and Common Decency -Tyler Smith

The current Presidential election campaign has shined a spotlight on the rise of “political correctness.” The emergence of the PC-movement has been most apparent in some of America’s finest colleges and universities. In 2013 the University of California made a bold move by publishing a speech guide outlining certain phrases or opinions that should be avoided, as they may be unwelcome by others. This is an extreme yet still disturbing case of left wing encroachment on the First Amendment protection of the freedom of speech. Resistance to this trend has been vocal but inconsistent in the delivery of its message. Two different styles of rhetoric emerge to combat political correctness. One is the justified Conservative defense of free speech on its societal merit. The other defends the freedom of speech only as a tool for the personal expression of unsavory ideas. The difference between the two is fundamental, but is almost universally overlooked by the PC-Police and unfortunately even by the observing public. The end result of that lack of distinction is a moderate public that accepts otherwise intolerable restrictions of free expression after being repulsed by the overtly repugnant style of rhetoric made famous by Donald Trump.

I consider myself an avid defender of the freedom of expression, even the expression of ideas which I find repulsive. This position is not uncommon among Conservatives, but in recent times the integrity of the message has become diluted by its much more unsavory cousin. Too often the virtuous defense of universal free expression becomes the rebellious compulsion to personally express inflammatory opinions which contribute nothing to the repudiation of free speech. Donald Trump’s provocative style, and even more so the often bigoted opinions of his supporters, do nothing to dismantle the tyranny of political correctness. I doubt Mr. Trump is truly a racist, but he is no doubt the candidate of racists, a quality the Left is eager to exploit. The difference between what most Trump supporters stand for, and what true Conservatives stand for, is clear as day. Conservatives will defend the right of anyone to express themselves as they see fit because we believe there is no better way to assure the free exchange of ideas. Trump pseudo-conservatives defend that same right so that they may continue to freely flout standards of common decency.

The Radical Left feeds on the Trump movement, as he personifies the model by which they would caricature the entire Conservative identity. Whats even worse, the moderate left is driven further away from reason by the repugnance of Trump and his supporters. It is difficult even for a thoughtful person to encourage free expression when the only ideas expressed are found repulsive. Political correctness is “Leftisms” tool to censure opposition, but defenders of PC more often truly believe it to be the means to an end: the creation of a more tolerant society. The UC’s speech guide lists a host of so called “micro-aggressions” which should be avoided as the expression of such ideas may be unwelcome by others. True enough, many of the microaggressions listed seem to be gross violations of common decency, surely worthy of that recommendation of avoidance. But some seemingly neutral opinions, such as “I think the most qualified person should get the job” are also listed with a recommendation of avoidance. The PC-Police make no distinction between expressions that violate commonly observed standards of conduct, and ideas which do not conform to their Progressive agenda. Though censure in any form is intolerable, Conservatives cannot afford to embrace the style of rhetoric which seemingly justifies the censure. It must be rejected not out of belief such ideas cannot be spoken, but out of both commitment to true freedom of speech and a respect for human decency

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