The right-wing fear of anything even remotely politically correct has taken an extreme turn lately. With candidates Like Donald “Der Fuhrer” Trump, who has called for a total ban on all Muslims entering the country for any reason until we have somehow sorted out the problems of terrorism and terrorists, the rest of America is beginning to think that maybe the extreme rhetoric of the Republican Party and its representatives could use a little toning down. Even our allies in the Middle East are a little upset at these comments, and a Saudi Prince has even called for Donald Trump to withdraw from the Presidential race.
Maybe it is because of such inflammatory rhetoric that the right-wing hates anything that asks them to think before they speak or to moderate that speech. To this end on Friday, Rudy Giuliani made the statements to the effect that people are afraid to come forward and inform on terrorists in the country because they will be thought of as prejudiced. Now, it is true that the neighbors of the San Bernardino shooting didn’t report the strange behavior of the neighbors, but it wasn’t because they were afraid of being called prejudiced. They were afraid they might have been racially profiling their Muslim neighbors.
I will admit that is a fine line, and still based in the “Politically Correct” culture that many liberals adhere to. Personally, I do not like any group trying to enforce their moral code or personal mores on me, especially when it comes to what I can and can’t say, but a lot of this is just being overblown as usual. I am a firm advocate for the First Amendment and free speech, even for speech I have serious disagreements with. I don’t think we combat it by deciding that people can’t say this or that because it offends someone. You help end or ridicule it by pointing that speech out to everyone else for being what it is, foolish and often misguided.
The whole thing comes down to respect. Zealots, whether they be religious in nature or of the “politically correct” crowd, always end up forgetting this simple fact. When you are spending your time telling others what they must do and then threaten them with severe consequences if they don’t conform to your dogma, you have completely abandoned any pretense of respect for the other people involved.
Of course, we all know that zealots do not respect anyone else, and that is why so many on the right-wing have taken up this crusade against “politically correct” speech. They want to be able to say anything they want, whether it is racist, sexist, homophobic, or Islamophobic without anyone being able to criticize them for it. That isn’t the purpose of freedom of speech, though many think it is. When you say offensive things to groups of fellow Americans for gain and profit, the rest of America needs to stand up and call you out for such idiocy. However you also have to understand that some things may just offend you personally, in which case, grow a thicker skin and suck it up. They really are just words.
That is a terribly thin line, though and often hard to navigate. The reason for free speech is important, and we can’t allow people to curtail it for their own purposes. The people need to be able to speak freely to criticize their government, their officials, and even their society when it starts to break down. The language used when this speech takes place may not be pleasant to hear, but it is absolutely necessary. That is why it is a central part of the First Amendment of the Constitution.