Marolt: Making a case for political correctness | AspenTimes.com

Marolt: Making a case for political correctness

Roger Marolt
Cluster Phobic

Roger Marolt

Why has political correctness become a bad thing? Or, to the point, how did it ever become political correctness? I think it used to be called "manners."

At any rate, I will use the label "it" instead of "political correctness" or "manners" so as not to offend anyone.

The problem with political correctness, obviously, began when someone made "it" political. Contrary to popular belief, this was not bleeding heart liberals.

While it is true that this extremist branch of mostly over-intellectualized Democrats might have been going way out of their ways to not offend others by addressing women as "Miss" and using gender-neutral pronouns, they certainly weren't doing it to be cruel. The same could probably be said about using festive greetings like "Happy Holidays" instead of "Santa Clause is coming town."

No, politicizing these random acts of trying not to offend others came from grumpy people with zero tolerance for anyone who does not conform to their narrow worldview. It has become a political movement to take away our Constitutional right to be nice and to neutralize our biblical directive to treat others the way we would like to be treated (with dignity and respect, for those of you keeping score at home).

Just watch now, somebody will assuredly try to argue that nowhere in the U.S. Constitution is it mentioned that we have the inalienable right to be nice. I will counter that argument by saying that, if the right to be kind was not assumed by our Founding Fathers to be implicitly embedded in the Constitution, then the entire work is seriously flawed and we, as Americans, are dutifully bound to scrap it and start again from scratch.

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It was either this or that bullies needed a way to make fun of polite people. It is a lot like their successful movement in ancient times to relabel the smart kids in school as "nerds." It is all about taking somebody's virtue and redressing it as a vice in order to justify hanging them from the flagpole by a belt loop or stuffing them into a gym locker.

When it comes right down to it, the anti-political correctness movement is manners-shaming. It is a convenience for self-important people who simply don't have the time or patience to be considerate.

As a point of clarification, we do need to agree that not all things lumped into "political correctness" by some have anything to do with manners. Some things are just plain "wrong" no matter how you categorize them.

For example, somebody brags that he "grabbed a woman by the p—-y." Using the word "p—-y" is politically incorrect and rude per this discussion. Grabbing a woman against her will in this manner is sexual assault.

Sadly, we have to make this distinction so that people can't then make the argument that, as another example, refraining from using the N-word is only a matter of good manners.

On the other hand, we can see that taking a knee during the playing of the national anthem is actually nothing more than a rude gesture in the opinion of some Americans. It is not against the law, it does not go against anything written or implied in the Constitution; it is not, as some claim, disrespectful to any race, creed, gender, or those who have served our country in the military. My guess is that it offends the same proportion of soldiers as it does the general population. Is that being too politically correct?

So, how about this: Instead of burning perfectly good Nike T-shirts in public, hoping to incite a civil war in the process in retaliation for a shoe manufacturing company supporting what they believe is a person's right to protest in a peaceful, non-threatening manner, why don't those who are offended by the act simply call it what it is?

A professional football player taking a knee during the playing of the Star Spangled Banner is, at worst, a politically incorrect action, or bad manners — much like a baseball player adjusting his cup at this time or fans using it as an opportunity to duck into the restroom before the kickoff.

I think our country can find some common ground in this. If all those who claim to be against political correctness can look at something that other people are doing to annoy them and bring themselves to recognize it as being politically incorrect rather than a crime punishable by expulsion from the country, then we will all be on the same page. Once we are there, we can change political correct back to manners and agree that we should all be more polite and use them.

Roger Marolt apologizes to all offended by his words today. Email at roger@maroltllp.com.