Political correctness or pompous condemnation?

Joseph Kukral, Op/Ed Editor

Considering the preponderant use of social platforms as well as the acute sensitivity of millenials, one must address the alarming, yet consternating issue of political correctness.

Once considered a self-deprecation amongst liberals for their admitted finicky tendency to reprimand others, political correctness has evolved into something far more corrosive to public discourse. Specifically, it has morphed into something misunderstood and misused by those who cannot differentiate between free speech and what may be considered inappropriate, unfair and even illegal.

In fact, those individuals who ruthlessly shame others for speech that most would not find offensive, but personally believe is unacceptable, are applying an inadequate remedy to a broader issue that has indeed been exacerbated by social media and the recent tribalism that characterizes our political landscape. And that broader issue is the growing proclivity of Americans to willingly disrespect and target others without remorse, especially behind the guise of their social media avatars. Such is the case with the rising horrors of cyberbullying and, as a possible result, the increasing rates of suicide among young Americans. These circumstances are certainly unprecedented, and are catalyzed by the advent of technology. However, the desire of pure leftists to rid any place or forum of anything slightly offensive or unsavory is subversive to our rights as Americans, namely our right to free speech.

For example, a controversial comment made by Laura Ingraham several months back during her evening Fox News program ignited the outrage of liberals nationwide. In a stern voice, Ingraham said, “Massive demographic changes have been foisted upon the American people. And they’re changes that none of us ever voted for and most of us don’t like.” From the standpoint of principle, some Americans may disagree with this statement while a small subsection of liberals, especially leftist college students, may find it so offensive that they demand that Ingraham be silenced. This here is the Rubicon that politically correct liberals are threatening to cross. Once they decide that some speech ought to be silenced, what criteria thereafter should determine whether individuals are allowed to exercise their First Amendment right? Effectively, this becomes a tool to silence political opponents, and in that realm, we weaken the very foundations of our democracy — something liberals should desire to strengthen.

College liberals boast of their self-righteousness concerning political questions; however, those who act as if they are emotional hemophiliacs tend to weaponize this righteousness, reprimanding others for the slightest infraction or non-serious offense, and often do so to only serve their own hubris. Their scrutiny and outrage ought to be applied to the agendas and actions of those who are engaging in the more serious effort to undermine the rights and tangible securities of unjustly treated Americans. Rather than expending effort to persecute comedians such as Jerry Seinfeld for something unsavory said in their stand-up, college liberals ought to focus on serious and important matters such as petitioning government officials, organizing voters to end the war on drugs or combatting climate change — real issues that compromise the security of Americans.

At times, college liberals are beholden to nothing but to police and morally compromise those around them, and are convinced of their entitlement that not a single soul should offend them, lest all hell will break loose. Realistically, this is not a sustainable environment in a democracy, wherein liberty is upended, and those who cannot abide the free speech of others designate safe zones as if they can live in a bubble. Free speech is a staple of the American experience, and for it to be forfeited at the hands of the PC police is disgraceful.