Monday, September 22, 2008

PO'd by PC: Political Correctness is Not OK

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:

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; I believe that it's time we start getting upset at someone and do something for a change.


Mark K Williams said...

Woah, thanks for the shout-out, haha.

You sure you want to link a crazy left-wing extremist like me? It could be dangerous. With all my hateful ideas like pacifism.

One day if you run for political office they might link you to me, William Ayers style. Could be a lot of trouble.

Teleprompter said...

Mark, if I live in a country where I can't run for office because I like listening to you, then I live in the wrong country. If I lived in a country where I couldn't run for office because I like listening to Matt, then I'd also be living in the wrong country. We Americans can't be afraid to share our opinions, no matter how unpopular or "extreme" they may be considered. America is supposed to be a tolerant nation, where other peoples' ideas are listened to. I know it's unrealistic for me to expect this all the time, with my knowledge of our past history, that opinions of all people would be tolerated equally. But I believe that this could happen because I do love this country and what it purportedly stands for; just not always the people who run it and influence it or the way it is run.

Also, if the things you stand for are crazy, then I am also crazy. I do not always agree with you, but I do agree with a good deal of what you say. Not wanting to kill other people and using reason are not extremist things to me. It's ridiculously ironic in this country that if you hate Muslims or other minorities you'll be called intolerant, but never be lableled as an extremist. But if you abhor violence, then you are called an extremist. It makes no sense. If intolerance is not called extreme, then I would rather be called extreme. Whatever the truth is, I will follow it, whatever may happen to me in the process. You are a great person, and I would never be ashamed to be associated with you; rather, I would embrace it.

Mark K Williams said...

Thanks a lot Alex. I am certainly not ashamed of my own views. I let people know what I think without pause.

I am glad I live in this time period. If i lived during world war one or during the McCarthy era, I might be thrown in jail.

I certainly don't think my views are crazy. I believe my views are the results of logical moral reasoning. Murder is wrong, so then to killing someone just because they belong to a country that your nation believes is evil is also wrong. Racism is wrong, the color of a person skin has no bearing on their abilities. These things seem obvious to me.

Teleprompter said...

No problem, Mark. I think it's a national embarrassment when we can't even follow our own principles and allow Americans to exercise their constitutional freedom of speech, such as in the circumstances you listed.

I don't think your views are crazy, either. I'm not in agreement with everything you say, but I can see where you've come to your conclusions.

I believe that no one has a monopoly on moral reasoning; but logic is much more objective. Logic cannot possibly allow for all diversity of opinion. I am not in opposition to diversity of opinion: I am in opposition to everyone claiming logic as a basis for their own opinions. There are certain conditions that must be fulfilled for a position to be a valid, logical one. And not every argument can satisfy these conditions.

But I believe that your opinions are logical.