There is a certain place for political correctness.
*Whoa: double take here*
Didn't I just infer that political correctness is a terrible, terrible thing that must be avoided? The title of this entry says so, right there a few lines above what you're reading now! "Political Correctness is Not OK".
Well, the issue of political correctness is not a black-and-white one. You don't even know what political correctness is, do you? Everyone complains about it, but what is it?
It's a slippery concept to define: I see two basic types of political correctness.
There is a place for respect of others that a certain type of political correctness attempts to create. One kind of political correctness is motivated by a desire for an openness in politics and a political system that can be free for all citizens, no matter what their background, status, or ethnicity may be.
I am a fan of moderation, but I am not a fan of moderation for its own sake; just as I am not a fan of extremism for its own sake.
John McCain spent five years in hell: a Vietnamese prison camp called the "Hanoi Hilton" where he was brutually tortured.
Barack Obama is black. He has faced racial bias and prejudice against him just because of his appearence and his background for his entire life.
A second kind of political correctness wants us to refrain from attacking either candidate.
"You can't possibly criticize Sen. McCain because of his impeccable service to our country."
"You can't possibly criticize Sen. Obama because of all the obstacles he has overcome in life."
Guess what? It's our job to criticize these people! They're running for President of the United States of America!
Why aren't questioning these people? Or for that matter, we should question the people who are questioning the candidates.
It's taboo to question Sen. McCain's health. However, he would be the oldest person we've ever sworn in as a first-term President.
How ridiculous the United States is becoming: if can't criticize John McCain for his age because he's old, when can we criticize for his age?
This criticism hasn't stopped Sen. McCain from criticizing Sen. Obama for his age, for his "youth and inexperience".
Also, Sen. McCain has a plethora of health problems, such as a serious form of recurrent melanoma, and he refuses to give unlimited access to his medical records.
But it's unfair to criticize the Republican candidate for health problems he developed while in defense of his country.
No, it's not unfair. American citizens want to know if his health problems are going to prevent him from being an effective President. It doesn't matter how he developed them.
And yes, I'm also going to address Sen. Obama.
I can criticize him as much as I want to. If he's equal to Sen. McCain, then I have the right to give him equal criticism.
If we have been truly fighting for equality, then why do we continue to treat people inequally? First, we saw this with Sen. Clinton: she said it was unfair to judge her on the basis of her gender, but she used her connections with female supporters to win votes. The same holds true for Sen. Obama and African-American voters. Furthermore, the same is also true for Sen. McCain and older voters.
You know what? People vote other people into office who are like them. Read Mark Williams' blog: http://markopher.blogspot.com/
Because he's right. Not much of our political process is centered around the issues. (See entry "Politics".)
America is a diverse country of diverse interests and its not unusual for different groups of Americans to play their own interests against one another. In fact, it's par for the course. Political correctness, in its most malignant forms, is not designed to build a political dialogue that respects all people; it is designed to prevent a serious political dialogue from forming in the first place. The great thing about our country is that we don't want to upset anyone. 95% of our Representatives are re-elected; yet only 23% of Americans approve of the job that our Congress is doing (Fox News-Opinion Dynamics, 9/8-9/08; PollingReport.com). I believe that it's time we start getting upset at someone and do something for a change.