Political Correctness: Do We Have What It Takes To Reverse Course? By Fred Bindewald
Political correctness (PC) run amok – that's what our public discourse has come down to. It's diminishing our quality of life. We're seeing PC used as a weapon at all levels in our society. It is being viciously and unfairly used in attempts to shut down and/or hurt those who hold opposing views. Have we really come to accept this? Sure seems that way! Maybe it's not too late to change.
Every day, statements that people make are being grossly exaggerated, taken out of context, misinterpreted, and/or deemed offensive or otherwise unacceptable. More and more words and phrases are being declared off-limits by “leaders” we don't trust and certainly don't agree with. PC in its many forms has become a preferred tool with which the powerful elite manipulate and control public perception. Mass media, political sycophants, and gullible ideologues have enthusiastically joined in the game.
Specific examples are unnecessary here. If we're honest and paying attention, each of us can easily observe dozens of examples each week.
There are words that I won't use in public. You too, I bet. Why? It's not that we need to feel responsible when others are offended – that's their problem and they should grow up enough to deal more effectively with their own feelings and emotional reactions. Fact is, way too many people have become weak; they whine when bothered by the words of others, and they want to retaliate.
These are the people (how many in today's society resort to this?) who support and rely upon the “controllers” to play God and punish those who don't follow their rules of speech – in opposition to the constitutional, free speech principles that have historically helped our nation to flourish.
It doesn't help that our society has become more and more secular, leaving many with nowhere to turn (without spiritual knowledge and the power of prayer) for guidance when they “feel offended.” The power mongers among us are quick to recruit such people to help them in their efforts to destroy their political enemies. This typifies how anger often becomes amplified and dangerous in our society.
Consider this: From the very beginning of our republic's existence, the free flow of ideas has been a primary factor in our nation's overall success. However, in recent decades we have witnessed a not insignificant decline in the effectiveness of virtually all of our institutions – governmental, financial, educational, religious, etc.
When we can't freely say what we mean and mean what we say, we are crippled as a society. Meaningful debate becomes the exception rather than the rule. Mutual understanding, problem solving, and creative innovation all suffer. Major political and social issues remain unresolved. Institutions begin to fail miserably. Degradation of society into chaos and anarchy starts looking like a real possibility.
Many believe that once life becomes intolerable in these ways for a substantial portion of the country's population, revolution might be considered as an alternative. Although that seems a remote possibility, it should be noted that even the threat of revolution has (many times throughout history) resulted in a drastic shift to a totalitarian form of government. Most can agree that we don't want that. Should we risk even a slim chance of such a calamity by staying on the path we're on? When will it be too late to reverse course?
Weigh all of that against educating our citizenry (starting at an early age): 1) how to internalize the fact that continually blaming others for their discomfort will never resolve societal issues; 2) how to be responsible for their own feelings, without trying to suppress the expression of opinions by others; 3) how to make practical personal decisions unencumbered by their own emotions; 4) how to engage others in rational debate; and, 5) how to compromise on behalf of all concerned.
As responsible adults, even when we realize we all have flaws and that our main problem is ourselves (that is, how we react to what's happening around us, as well as within us), we can still find life to be exceedingly difficult at times. For many, this can become overwhelming without help.
Ultimately, a primary emphasis on the practical use of spiritual tools can pretty much guarantee that we (as a society) will make progress in ways we all desire. That emphasis can provide the help each of us needs on a day-to-day basis to better deal with life on life's terms. Whether or not (for an individual) this necessarily entails becoming associated with any religion is clearly up to that individual – per the Constitution.
How much can our society benefit if we choose such a course? Obviously, I believe the benefits can be great, but you can judge for yourself. One thing is for sure: The longer we continue to do nothing, the more pain and desperation we and our fellow Americans are going to experience.
My view is that healing can begin as soon as we decide to change our educational system in ways (see above) that are currently sorely lacking, and when most of us can agree that it's okay to encourage each other to take advantage of our natural spirituality.
“We're not human beings having a spiritual experience. We're spiritual beings having a human experience.” – Pierre Teilhard de Chardin
Fred Bindewald is a conservative retiree who values honest debate. He can be reached at email@example.com.