Friday, 4 March 2016

Political Correctness

I recently read an excellent comment on Donald Trump. To paraphrase, "This isn't a hostile takeover, this is the future the Republicans have chosen for themselves." Obviously a lot of people in positions of significant power in the Republican party feel differently, but the reality is that Trump is more of a logical extension of what they've been doing for a few decades than a new direction.

So last night I was thinking about what it was that made Donald Trump so objectionable to the Republican leadership. Really, there is just one thing: he isn't politically correct.

Now, ordinarily, not being politically correct is something you think that left-wing people get mad at right-wing people for, but in that moment, it occurred to me that "political correctness" is an entirely right-wing phenomenon. It is discussed, defined and enforced by the right-wing on itself, with a rhetorical attempt to blame the left-wing.

When I talk about people with disabilities, I call them "people with disabilities" because they are people with disabilities. When I talk about Aboriginal Canadians I call them "Aboriginal Canadians" because they are Aboriginal Canadians. When I talk about a trans woman I use "she" rather than "he" because she is a woman, not a man. I am not being politically correct, I am just using accurate words to say what I mean.

But for a lot of people out there saying "she" instead of "he" to refer to a woman who was incorrectly gendered as a man by most people for a large part of her life is something you do to avoid getting into trouble. It's something you do despite the fact that if it were up to you you'd put your personal preference for what word to use above your respect and compassion for other people. It's something you do to avoid seeming as insensitive as you are.

So I'm not politically correct, I'm just correct. Donald Trump is not politically correct, he's just incorrect. Marco Rubio is politically correct. Rather than saying that Obama is trying to change America, he'd probably rather just wonder aloud how it was white people let a black man become the president. He doesn't because he sees it as politically inappropriate to do so. Political correctness. It's a phenomenon created by and enforced by the people who complain about.

1 comment:

  1. political correctness is actually the idea of using language or behaviors that are in step with you political movement. recently it has come to be dog whistle language for "i can't be an obnoxious asshat to anyone i want anymore"

    so trump actually IS politically correct in the present day republican party.

    he's just very crude about it.