Thursday, June 17, 2004

Does Political Correctness Exist?

The liberal-leftist tendency is to deny the existence of PC, just as the tendency of mafiosi is to deny the existence of the mafia. As Sammy the Bull might have said, 'Mafia? What mafia? I'm just a businessman trying to do right by his family.' When David Brock, for example, refers to PC it is always with sneer quotes. (See his The Republican Noise Machine: Right-Wing Media and How It [sic!] Corrupts Democracy (Crown, 2004), pp. 102, 112, 144 et passim). The suggestion is that there is no such thing as political correctness.

But here is a piece of evidence from my esteemed chess opponent, ideological sparring partner, and self-proclaimed liberal John Gallagher, an economist who works for the State of Arizona. He informs me that he cannot use 'illegal alien' while on the job; he must use 'undocumented worker' if he wants to avoid trouble.

That is to say: he cannot use an accurate descriptive phrase, but must use an inaccurate phrase. It doesn't take a logician to see that 'illegal alien' and 'undocumented worker' are not coextensive. Obviously, some of the illegals who come North are not workers at all, but thieves who come for the swag that they cannot find South of the Rio Grande. Others are terrorists or terrorists-in-training. On the other hand, there are plenty of workers who are not illegal aliens but people who lack the proper licenses and documents to ply their trades legally.

Imagine a disease one of the symptoms of which is that its victims routinely deny that they suffer from it. Political correctness is such a disease. It is a disease that makes plain talk and clear thought well-nigh impossible, including plain talk and clear thought about its own existence and nature.

Now John, why do you want to call yourself a liberal and be associated with idiocy like this?