Wondering if just maybe political correctness isn’t so horrific after all we’ve seen so far in 2016. Do we have Trump to thank for opening our eyes to the feeling that there are worse things in the world than being “PC”? Could it even be that sometimes political correctness is just another way of saying “politeness”?
“If the alternative to political correctness is Trumpism, then most people of good will are likely to pick the former,” writes Ilya Somin in the Washington Post (Volokh Conspiracy blog). Somin equates the “zero-sum identity politics” of the “PC far left” with Trump’s “zero-sum identity politics for whites.” I agree with Somin and other rightist libertarians to the extent that some universities have failed in their mission and opened themselves to ridicule by favoring “safe spaces” over free speech rights. Nevertheless, the spectacle of Trump with nuclear codes is a far clearer and more present danger.
American culture has its strengths, but decorum, civility, and politeness are not always among them. Even so, we do not have to race all the way to the bottom this November.