Not being politically correct and being bigoted are two separate things, something that the Left in this country does not understand, much to their detriment and to the detriment of the country. For years the Left has antagonized and ridiculed all that is traditional Americana as somehow being racist or sexist. And now unfortunately we have a backlash, a backlash that is sometimes truly racist and sexist. After years of resisting explicit identity politics, the Right is beginning to embrace it, now to their detriment and that of the country.
The Thought-Nazis in the educational establishment teach many young Americans to be ashamed of their roots, of the founding fathers, of liberty and the good that this country was built upon. That does not mean that we ignore the bad. We should teach the horrors of slavery, racism and segregation, but that is not a reason to throw out the proverbial baby with the bathwater. After all, we do not look back at Socrates, Aristotle and Plato and think, “They really were not that great. Their work was overshadowed by a cloud of slavery and rape.” We accept that these men and their works are part of the bedrock of Western Civilization. They were greats among greats. We also know that the human experience has evolved our thinking and now condemns slavery and rape but we cannot negate the positive and dismiss the contributions of Ancient Greece that are as relevant today as they ever were. Past wrongs are made right. The same goes for slavery, segregation and sexism in America. These may shame us, but not our roots. We have much to be proud of and to build upon.
Unfortunately that is not what American students are now taught. Our founding fathers and their great documents and principles are subtly but consistently disdained as causes of evils, instead of the teaching of the truth: that our founding era was a moment in history when great men convened and delivered the ideals of liberty, their eternal gift to us and to our world. And yes, these men were imperfect individuals living in imperfect times, as we are, as we do. Slavery, racism and sexism did not exist because of the ideals of freedom and limited government that inspired the American Revolution. They existed in spite of those ideals, and since then those enshrined rights have guided us by their unfailing light to correct old wrongs.
PC culture often runs counter to human nature: men are taught to be ashamed of masculine instincts and whites are taught that they should feel guilty for the transgressions of their forefathers and forget the great things that they accomplished, not as white men, but as Americans. This political correctness run amok has two very negative consequences:
– It empowers and gives voice to the real racists and sexists. They can point their fingers and say, “See, it really is all about race or sex.”
– It teaches Americans to forget the important liberties that their country was built upon, which are integral to the fight for equal liberties for all Americans, regardless of race, religion or gender. How many Americans are even aware of their essential constitutional rights? From the recent political dialogue it seems few know or care. This should concern not only the Right with its interest in limited government, but also the Left with its interest in civil rights.
Former presidential candidate and current Senator Bernie Sanders is correct when it comes to political correctness: identity politics only serve to divide. Donald Trump won despite his and some of his supporters’ rhetoric because for most Americans identity politics and political correctness were not the main issues. They only served as arrogant irritants. If the Left in America really is concerned about bigotry and about winning political office in a meaningful way, they will drop the PC act. It would be healthy for their cause and healthy for the political dialogue of the nation.