Political correctness isn#039;t consistent

Published 12:00 am Monday, September 23, 2002

This will become a perfect world when we can achieve complete tolerance and abolish all discrimination. This, ladies and gentlemen, is the gospel of fundamental political correctness. With tolerance and non-discrimination as fundamentals, political correctness is fundamentally wrong and bankrupt. Worship of political correctness has deified the idea of absolute tolerance; accordingly, it has demonized every type of discrimination.

The preachers of political correctness, found everywhere, have pontificated a dogma that dictates everything and everyone must be tolerated. We are denied not only our preferences and opinions, but also our values and standards as well as our convictions and commitments. A gang disturbs neighborhood peace, but we must tolerate their right to disturb the peace. When teachers ridicule the core beliefs to our children, we must tolerate new ideas. When other people profoundly offend our sense of decency, we must tolerate it or be arbitrarily labeled bigots. When children swear at their parents, we must not inhibit their self-expression.

We ought not to have been surprised, then, when public figures tolerate terrorism by denial that any Muslim takes jihad literally and claim that Islam is essentially and universally a religion of peace.

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The preachers of political correctness have sold a bill of goods that dictates nothing or no one must suffer discrimination. We are denied not only our suspicions and doubts, but also our fears and anxieties as well as our discretion and judgment. If we tell our children to avoid bad company, we discriminate against the company however bad it is.

The great irony of it all is that the politically correct tolerate everything and anything--except political incorrectness. They discriminate against nothing--except the politically incorrect. They talk, and sometimes even act, as if they themselves would tolerate illness and fatalities. Then they ask a physical to kill the germs. They talk, and sometimes even act, as if they themselves would not discriminate against injury and death. Then they distance themselves from harm.. If not naively inconsistent, they are venially hypocritical.

Political correctness is flawed at its conception. It is political when what society needs is morality. It is correct when we need something right. Some things -- a lot of things -- must not be tolerated. If we fail to discriminate against some things, we do so at our own risk.

Let's be politically realistic when we need to negotiate differences between people, but always be moral about it. Technical correctness has its value, but let's give preference to being right. Let's ensure we are morally right and worry less about being politically correct.

Dr. Wallace Alcorn’s commentaries appear in the Herald on Mondays