It is naïve to think that political correctness is simply a matter of being scolded for saying something unacceptable to liberals. It has become much more than that. Political correctness is a deliberate tool used by the Left to intimidate conservatives and people of faith into silence, with the goal of making our classic and time-tested opinions illegitimate.
Political Correctness is a strategy, a weapon of social warfare, a bullying, against those unwilling to reshape and renounce their traditional belief system and bow to the dictates of the leftaucracy dead-set on total domination of our lives and culture. It enforces censorship and activates demonization, threatening those unwilling to submit and apologize with loss of job, livelihood, social acceptability, company sales, friends, reputation and status. It is the liberal version of Islamic blasphemy laws, ruthlessly excising anyone who questions or strays from the leftwing cultural and social dogmas. It is the most un-American development in our lifetime.
In many ways it is worse than the McCarthyism practiced in the early 50s. Senator Joseph McCarthy, who sat on the Senate Committee of Government Operations, targeted relatively few, mostly from Hollywood and Theatre, whereas liberal political correctness is targeting over 60 percent, tens of millions, of Americans. And whereas McCarthy was generally correct regarding the communist leanings and activities of his targets, liberal political-correctness czars are off-the-wall incorrect when accusing regular and patriotic Americans of racism, misogyny, xenophobia or whatever other “ism” they choose to develop. Joe McCarthy’s hearings lasted a mere couple of years, while the scourge and punishment of political correctness is into its 20th year.
Today’s New McCarthyites exist and labor on the Left and are engaged in the thoroughly un-American activity of censoring speech, curtailing and ostracizing religious freedom, and doing whatever they can to deconstruct traditional family life and taint the values of our parents, our Founders, and our grandparents as evil. By deriding everything we hold dear as unacceptable, and making us pay the price of holding onto our cherished beliefs, they hope to transform America, and American family and religious life, into a Sweden/Brussels fantasy or a completely secular and unwholesome political entity. They wish to replace America, while we stand by and watch it happen.
But, the good news is that we are not helpless.
Even enunciating, as we do, that marriage is defined by the union of man and woman only, as has been understood throughout history and until recently the law of our country, brings an indictment of being a “bigot” and “extremist” by those using political correctness to forever stigmatize and outcast those who disagree with their ever-expanding parameter of disallowable opinion. What is normal belief today will become tomorrow’s politically incorrect and forbidden opinion and be used by future inquisitors to defame and destroy those they want out of the way. And, what is radical and detestable today will be sanctified and normalized tomorrow, and you better subscribe if you want society’s opportunities or an ability to make a living.
When thinking of the modus operandi of political correctness, one is reminded of the Spanish Inquisition against non-believers. Today’s liberals have replaced the clerics of old with their own Inquisitors of right and wrong and have substituted the concept of sin with their own set of rigid “sinful” dictates. Anything that does not sanctify every form of public sexual (mis)conduct, or strives for wholesomeness, or even patriotism, is punishable. As with the Inquisitors 500 years ago, the politically-correct police assume you are guilty until you prove otherwise … even demanding that you denounce friends and family who hold views different than the Church of Political Correctness.
By virtue of being a conservative, a person of faith, a Southerner, a heartland American, or a white Evangelical Christian you are automatically assumed to be a racist, etc., and the politically-correct vultures are ready to pick your bones before you say anything, so that once you do, they can twist your words negatively to mean something you never intended or even envisioned.
We hear from liberals that when President Trump and his followers speak of making America Great Again we mean Make America White Again. This is a malicious falsehood. It is specious and malevolent. What we mean, as does Mr. Trump, is that America should once again be prosperous; that the middle class be revived and that good, manufacturing jobs be available so families can live with dignity; that family life and wholesomeness be once again exalted; that America be crime-free; that Americans be protected from terrorism and inhere a sense of confidence; and that our elected leaders, a President, love America instead of constantly castigating her.
No one I know wants an America where our African-American brothers and sisters are denied an iota of civil rights. We look back on the 50s fondly not because of segregation ,God forbid, but because it represented a time of American prosperity and confidence, American ingenuity, patriotism, safety, and religious freedom, a robust, working middle class that could dream and achieve, and a country that placed God above all else.
When liberals make these accusations it exposes the bigotry they carry, and have long carried, inside their bosom. Too many of the coastal elites have been taught to believe the worst about regular white Americans. They see racism in us because they have been raised and schooled on a diet of bigotry against fellow Americans as somehow un-educated, or religious and intolerant “rednecks.” They persist in these misguided beliefs regarding their countrymen because they don’t know their countrymen; they don’t live around them; they attend different schools and colleges; and because there’s no draft, they do not serve with them in the military. They assume the worst, but that’s their sin, their prejudice.
We need not prove ourselves to them; they need to get off their pedestal and strip their hearts of the false narratives around which they chatter. Only people harboring bigotry against fellow Americans, and a distrust and detachment from America itself, could take the common-sense phrase of America First and somehow turn that into a xenophobic, Nazi-like assertion. Precisely because they’ve been on their perch these last 50 years indicting heartland Americans and Evangelical Christians they’ve not undergone the introspection they should regarding their attitude towards the people they continue to criticize. They are unaware and do not give credit to the millions of across-the-board acts of charity and kindness routinely performed by religious and conservative heartland Americans. We’ve undergone 50 years of introspection; now it’s their turn.
There is no doubt that the enforcers of political correctness continue to do so as a way of constantly bragging about their moral superiority, that they are better than the rest of us, and get a thrill out of making others bend to their will. It gives them a sense of power and self-righteousness. And, frankly, so long as we jump to their demands, we reinforce their power. Let’s stop caving in to them.
Rabbi Aryeh Spero is author of “Push Back,” president of Caucus for America, and author of “Why Israel Matters to You.”