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What is Politically Correct?

After spending the week trying to understand Trump’s victory, I’m almost ready to accept the things I cannot change, to show the courage to change the things I can and find the wisdom to know the difference. Oh, and to stop wanting to strangle Bernie supporters who didn’t vote for Clinton and are now marching in the streets against Trump. Come on people. My moving past Trumageddon and finding things I can change is going to be directed at making sure the same shit-storm, the same extreme-right-wing-agenda-by-stealth doesn’t happen to us in Australia too. But first, I have one last looking back at the wreckage discussion I want to have with you all. I want to talk about political correctness.

I have a toddler. When she is being naughty, and I’m making an effort to do something about it, rather than to just let her be naughty because it’s easier, I find the motivation to discipline her from the voice in my head urging me not to raise a little-shit child who would, if left undisciplined, turn into a crappy adult. I’m pretty sure all parents, like me, do their best to teach children not to be naughty, not to throw stones at the cats, not to hit their cousin, not to throw their food on the floor, to cry and whinge when they don’t get their own way. As she gets older, I will be pushing the ‘don’t be naughty, do what you’re told’ message even further my making an effort to instil in her a sense of right and wrong. Bringing up a child to be good, to show respect to others, empathy, never cheating or lying, being honest, and basically, following my atheist-version-of-the-closest-thing-to-religious-morality – living life by the Golden Rule: do unto others as you would have them do to you, is considered, worldwide, a fundamental part of being a parent. Some might call this ‘raising children properly’, or ‘being raised right’. But no matter how you refer to the cultural practice of setting fairly base-level standards of behaviour for children, we can all agree on why we do it. Because humans have to live together, we are social beings, and living together means learning how to treat each other for the good of our own lives, and for everyone else’s.

Now, tell me how behaving properly is different from being politically correct? As far as I can tell, political correctness is being polite, not discriminating against people who aren’t like you, giving people a fair chance, standing up for the disadvantaged, listening to others, showing respect and acting like a good person. When we bring up our children to be good, aren’t we bringing them up to be politically correct?

So this is where I get really confused. How did the Trump-circus successfully turn political correctness into a bad thing? How did all these people who were brought up to be good, and presumably work to bring their children up to be good, decide that they had to fight against political correctness, and fight for the right to be nasty, disrespectful, rude little brats?

I lost count of the number of times I heard a Trump supporter congratulating Trump for ‘saying what he thinks’. If a little 5 year old boys taunts a 5 year old girl, telling her she is fat and ugly, I would hope he would be disciplined and told that his behaviour is unacceptable. If a 10 year old girl told her Mexican-born school-mate that her family were rapists and that they were all going to be thrown out of the country, and good riddance, I would like to think the girl’s parents and school teachers would get very angry. And if a 15 year old boy grabbed a girl’s vagina, and then boasted about it to his mates, is this something his parents would be proud of hearing?

My point is, we bring our children up to be politically correct adults, but in this weird and whacky post-Trump society, somehow all the values encompassed by the phrase, the values we’re all brought up to expect, are flipped on their head and the anti-political correctness movement instead values the opposite. They value people who don’t think before they speak, who never apologise, who say revolting and abhorrent things all the time and when called out on it, dig deeper and get more and more aggressive. They value lying constantly, and then lying about the lying. They value ‘saying it like it is’, which apparently means removing any filter between what you think and what you say, no matter how vile your thoughts are.

Do Trump supporters hope to bring their children up to be like Trump? Has humanity changed the rules on what it means to be an acceptable member of society? And has Trump’s win given permission for grown-up adults to throw away the values they were brought up with – to instead celebrate bad behaviour through electing it as President? If this is what has happened, can I suggest it’s time America took a good long hard look at itself, maybe spent some time out in their bedroom and think about reinstating afternoon naps for those who have forgotten how to behave liked adults? In the meantime, I’m more determined than ever to bring my child up to be politically correct, and she’ll be a much better, and happier, adult because of it.

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42 comments

  1. Patricia creswick

    Agree, I too have wondered how being polite and respectful, ie “politically correct” has become a perjoritive term, in the same way as being a “do gooder” , (in my thinking, doing the best you can for others, or in other words, doing no harm), now is apparently a bad thing. Very puzzling!

  2. Jack Straw

    Trump is like a bad Sheriff who’s has taken over the town in an old wild western movie.America is lost and it badly needs a hero to take on Trump and expose who he truly is.

  3. Keitha Granville

    I am holding out a slim hope that when Trump can’t get his way, do what he wants, he”ll throw a tantrum and break things in the Oval Office and then stomp off saying he doesn’t want to play any more. Wouldn’t that be nice !

  4. helvityni

    What about Australia, we have plenty of our own trumps here, Dutton, Christensen, Abbott, Morrison, add to that the Hanson family, Ms Michaelia, Barnaby,and you have a cast for an Australian made horror movie….

  5. mark delmege

    I hope you aim higher than being merely PC

  6. Jack Straw

    helvittni: re Michaelia if you watch the movie Serial Mum with Kathleen Turner her character reminds me very much of Michaelia Cash.It’s a very funny film.

  7. diannaart

    I find the Wiki How-to pages very helpful from how to change a tap washer through to:

    “Politically correct” is a bit of a misnomer—it isn’t about being right, it’s about being respectful and considerate.

    http://www.wikihow.com/Be-Politically-Correct

    So political correctness is not a halt on free speech it is a term for being courteous.

    I rather imagine that teaching children to be considerate is far more fraught now with the Trumps, shock-jocks and ‘rights without responsibilities’ crowd.

    Mark Delmege hopes Victoria (I assume) aims higher than being “merely PC”. What aim could be high than being respectful and considerate?

    Mark, I need some help here, could you please expand upon your comments?

    Thank you.

  8. helvityni

    I always liked Kathleen, a very versatile actress, for sure she could turn herself into Michaelia with ease, and with that raspy voice of hers even into Pauline…( isn’t Hanson’s voice gravelly or grating?)

  9. guest

    It is very difficult to work out what “politically correct” actually means. It is used all the time in the Murdoch press, along with such words and phrases as “elite” and “freedom of speech”. It becomes even more confusing when one tries to work out why “politically correct” is for the Murdochians “politically incorrect”.

    It seems to me some of Murdoch’s favourite words are in fact like fire retardant blankets to be thrown over an argument or debate in order to create confusion in the minds of the opponents. For Murdoch devotees it is shorthand for “enemy thought bubbles” and requires that the devoted readers refuse to think about it; keep to the echo chamber way of thinking.

    So ingrained is this way of thinking that it is used all the time in Murdoch scribbling. Hardly an opinion piece appears in a Murdoch press publication without at least a smattering of such words. In fact, so common that opinion pieces are almost entirely interchangeable between the scribblers. That way, the readers know they are at the right place among friends and sharing the same ideology. It is a very EXCLUSIVE club.

  10. Winston Smythe

    All you Academics will achieve today is that you will go around in circles trying to trip up one another.You shut down the debate on Pauline Hanson 20 years ago.Now she and Trump are back with a vengeance.Shut down debate and demean others at your peril.If you play the superiority card you have lost the debate.

  11. Victoria Rollison

    Winston, are you saying an expectation that people have certain standards of behaviour is akin to ‘shutting down debate’? Are we not as a society able to debate without lowering standards of behaviour? Can you not see that’s a problem?

  12. Exoplanet

    After 1991, its use as a pejorative phrase became widespread amongst conservatives in the US.[5] It became a key term encapsulating conservative concerns about the left in culture and political debate more broadly, as well as in academia. Two articles on the topic in late 1990 in Forbes and Newsweek both used the term “thought police” in their headlines, exemplifying the tone of the new usage, but it was Dinesh D’Souza’s Illiberal Education: The Politics of Race and Sex on Campus (1991) which “captured the press’s imagination.”[5][clarification needed] Similar critical terminology was used by D’Souza for a range of policies in academia around victimization, supporting multiculturalism through affirmative action, sanctions against anti-minority hate speech, and revising curricula (sometimes referred to as “canon busting”).[5][49][not in citation given] These trends were at least in part a response to multiculturalism and the rise of identity politics, with movements such as feminism, gay rights movements and ethnic minority movements. That response received funding from conservative foundations and think tanks such as the John M. Olin Foundation, which funded several books such as D’Souza’s.[4][17]

    Herbert Kohl, in 1992, commented that a number of neoconservatives who promoted the use of the term “politically correct” in the early 1990s were former Communist Party members, and, as a result, familiar with the Marxist use of the phrase. He argued that in doing so, they intended “to insinuate that egalitarian democratic ideas are actually authoritarian, orthodox and Communist-influenced, when they oppose the right of people to be racist, sexist, and homophobic.”[3]

    This section of the Wiki article on ‘Political Correctness” is well worth reading and explains a great deal.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Political_correctness#1980s_and_1990s

  13. Winston Smythe

    Victoria:The Left/media shut her down and ridiculed her instead of trying to educate her and her followers in some way.So you lost all those people And Howard manipulated the situation beautifully.Now she is back now worse than ever.And she is only going to listen to her cronies because she is now a hardliner. I can say it now that she is an ignorant woman.

    Though like what’s just happen in the US. You have lost the narrative with all those disillusioned fools.We are now living in a black and white world when once we could have captured these people in gentler times.I think Australia was in the cutting edge in 1990s in some way. Since Howard we have regressed to be as conflicted as America because we have followed the US in extreme type Capitalism Neo liberalism and privatisation.

    That should have been the the main fight then as Hanson was no real threat back then. Now she is.The well educated left were too sidetracked trying to kill her of off because of their superiority complex than looking at the big picture as to what the real threats were.Though I guess true wisdom comes with experience and age. And this cannot be taught at University.

    The moral of the story never ridicule the ignorant and under educated.Just because you are formally educated.

  14. Michael Taylor

    Winston, it was Howard who shut her down almost 20 years ago. It was the media who gave her oxygen this time round. And it was Turnbull who opened the door for her to get a foothold in the Senate.

    We have published many articles here that serve to educate by dissecting her lies about minority groups. Obviously she doesn’t read them but some of her supporters do. Unfortunately, they have given no indication that they are willing to be educated. Instead, they hound us for ‘Pauline bashing’. Truth disturbs them, so they prefer to ignore it.

  15. Winston Smythe

    Michael Though the Left media went feral back then.

  16. Möbius Ecko

    Notice how it’s always bought back to the Left and Labor. Saw this in spades on the Drum the other night where the obligatory right wing mouth always bought any criticism of Liberal governments, not matter how valid, back to a Labor failure.

    I would like to know what Left media went feral back then? Social media wasn’t as prevalent, barely in its infancy, and the MSM was as heavily right wing influenced and controlled as it is today.

  17. Winston Smythe

    Möbius Ecko She was hounded by protesters and ridiculed by the media ,

  18. Arthur Tarry

    I agree with ‘guest’ about it being difficult to understand what the term politiclally correct actually means. It probably means different things for different people. In my neighbourhood it seems to mean calling a spade a spade and not pussyfooting around or being afraid to say what you like. I often hear people express racist, bigoted and other intolerant remarks on the basis that they are not being politically correct. I think this type of language and behaviour suggests a real decline in the understanding and use of common courtesies in our community, something that is readily apparent to me when I move around my community. If people must pepper their language with expletives, if they express vile comments about indigenous people, and use gross stereotypes to talk about immigrants/refugees or outrageously denigrate the LGTS community, etc, on the basis of not being politically correct then they are just plain rude, crude and unattractive, in my opinion. And uninformed and lacking social skills.

    A similar paper to this one could be written about the use of the term ‘nanny state’, an equally mysterious concept.

  19. Winston Smythe

    Arthur Tarry; Tis the same as issues regarding Feminism.I guess you have to at least understand it before you reject some of those ideas. 18c should stay. People are just lazy thinkers and bad verbalist’s. Oscar Wilde never had a problem of getting his message across without intimidating anyone.

  20. Möbius Ecko

    Yes she was Winston Smythe, and chased legally by Abbott using a secret government slush fund, something he has never been made to account for.

    But it wasn’t just by Left media. And back then as now the MSM was predominantly Right.

  21. Kaye Lee

    It is somewhat ironic talking about how poor Pauline and her supporters are offended by the natural opposition that rises up against her odious policies in the same breath as talking about rescinding 18c.

    I do agree that belittling people will never help to change their mind but I am at a loss as to how to deal with Hanson and her supporters. They say things that are factually wrong but when you try to correct them you are condemned for being an intellectual. You try to engage with them to understand their concerns but they aren’t interested in solutions and will never find any because they are blaming the wrong people for their woes.

    Do we call out racism and climate change denial or let it slide for fear of offending?

    Since when did having a degree become a reason for scorn?

  22. mark delmege

    Dianaart – being respectful and considerate is good, I’m not knocking it.

  23. wam

    Victoria, political correctness is all those points but only as they apply to the person (or organisation) to whom you are speaking, at the time.
    Think of howard as an honest hard working politically correct man. Did he have any problems with his politically correct government decisions that often were, in the main, total pragmatic lies.
    Do you think he still has no problems refusing to recognise any part he played in the stolen generation??
    Political correctness has no real place in children until they get to school and under the influence of adults over whom you have little control. Then you must listen, read, watch the kids carefully.

    Nearly 50 years ago we agonised over whether truth and honesty would disadvantage our children when ‘selfishness’ seemed the norm – do we control or explain our personal prejudices – racism – sexism within ourselves. Concluding that we were lucky there was no TV, we were lucky to be employed we were lucky to be happy – and that major word HAPPY was the key.
    We stayed happy – the kids went everywhere with us (often falling asleep under the bridge table) they stayed happy – they are still happy – the grandchildren are happy and we are inordinately lucky. For the first 15 years of my children’s life we had community Aboriginal high school students, whose home was too far to visit, living friday till sunday. Colour was never a worry because they could see how smart, bright, clever, inventive they were and with such an influence they are without the hangover trappings, we still have being so deeply indoctrinated against Aborigines.
    ps keitha
    pence, is as bad as morrison, both of whom makes trump sound sensible and truthful.
    If I was young ‘gold’ might be the future with predictions like $10000. Yet others saying sell no need for gold?
    Take your pick Victoria but HAPPY is the only consistent certainty for children.

  24. Jan Arens

    “since when did having a degree become a reason for scorn?” It’s probably not the degree per se or even the fact that someone is educated or well informed. The implied/attempted insults “elite”, “intellectual”, “we are sick to death of experts” is simply a tool to set oneself apart from opposing views, either a view one chooses not to acknowledge through wilful ignorance of facts, or simply struggling to comprehend the subject matter. I am OK with the latter but not the former. Those who hold strong views without making an effort to understand the facts can be accused of being lazy, I tend not to see them that benignly. Cut and paste bloggers and slackass journalists latch on the tweet and twitter factoids propagating and amplifying counterproductive messages. Very often the post-truthers can be exposed with embarrassingly simple checks. I wonder if it is a lowering of the threshold of embarrassment of demonstrable ignorance that is trapping more people on mount stupid of the Dunning-Kruger curve. That plateau of ignorance now no longer reserved for the more brazen narcissists.

    Keep up the good work Kaye, I read a lot of your work to try and maintain my sanity.

  25. Winston Smythe

    Kaye
    Do we call out racism and climate change denial or let it slide for fear of offending? Ans Yes ? No

    Since when did having a degree become a reason for scorn?Ans It;s Not

    I don;t think anyone said having a degree is a reason to feel scorned..Academics must realise that they can’t always just talk to their peers . Their is a whole world full of intelligent people out there who have no formal education and of course there are plenty of dummies out there also.

    All I am saying is don’t talk down to under educated.

  26. LOVO

    “…..and print”.

  27. Harquebus

    Here is an article that states that, in Germany they can take your kids for not teaching them political correctness.

    “In Germany, a married couple, Peter and Melanie M., were prosecuted in a criminal trial for creating a Facebook group that criticized the government’s migration policy.”
    “As a last resort, the court can take the child out of the parent’s care entirely.”
    https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/9311/europe-free-speech

    A quote from another article from the same website.
    “This is the moment where hate speech laws become a greater threat to democracy and freedom of speech than the hate speech itself.”

    Cheers.

  28. Kyran

    There’s a quip, attributed to Mahatma Gandhi, that seems appropriate. As best as I can find out, the story goes like this.
    Gandhi travelled to England in the early 1930’s. As he was disembarking, British journalists were asking him lots of questions. One was “What do you think of Western Civilization?”. Apparently, Gandhi’s response was “What do I think of Western Civilization? I think it would be a very good idea.”
    It seems appropriate to note that, ‘in this weird and whacky post-Trump society’, the word of the year (from Oxford Dictionary) is ‘post-truth’.
    “Defined by the dictionary as an adjective “relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief”, editors said that use of the term “post-truth” had increased by around 2,000% in 2016 compared to last year. The spike in usage, it said, is “in the context of the EU referendum in the United Kingdom and the presidential election in the United States”.”
    Based on the loathing of political correctness, and the reverence for ‘freedom of speech’ (which, as best as I can figure, is the right to talk absolute nonsense with impunity and if you are queried for facts, the questioner is challenging your freedom to speak).
    Seems only fair to ‘cut and paste’ a few of Oscar Wilde’s observations.
    1. I think that God, in creating man, somewhat overestimated his ability.

    2. The world is a stage, but the play is badly cast.

    3. Always forgive your enemies; nothing annoys them so much.

    4. It is absurd to divide people into good and bad. People are either charming or tedious.

    5. The only thing to do with good advice is pass it on. It is never any use to oneself.

    6. Some cause happiness wherever they go; others whenever they go.

    7. What is a cynic? A man who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing.

    8. A little sincerity is a dangerous thing, and a great deal of it is absolutely fatal.

    9. When I was young I thought that money was the most important thing in life; now that I am old I know that it is.

    10. There are only two tragedies in life: one is not getting what one wants, and the other is getting it.

    11. Work is the curse of the drinking classes.

    12. Anyone who lives within their means suffers from a lack of imagination.

    13. True friends stab you in the front.

    14. All women become like their mothers. That is their tragedy. No man does. That’s his.

    15. Fashion is a form of ugliness so intolerable that we have to alter it every six months.

    16. There is only one thing in life worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about.

    17. Genius is born—not paid.

    18. Morality is simply the attitude we adopt towards people whom we personally dislike.

    19. How can a woman be expected to be happy with a man who insists on treating her as if she were a perfectly normal human being?

    20. A gentleman is one who never hurts anyone’s feelings unintentionally.

    21. My own business always bores me to death; I prefer other people’s.

    22. The old believe everything, the middle-aged suspect everything, the young know everything.

    23. I like men who have a future and women who have a past.

    24. There are two ways of disliking poetry; one way is to dislike it, the other is to read Pope.

    25. Quotation is a serviceable substitute for wit.

    Having been stuck in the car for the day, various RN broadcasts have become merged in my recollection. One of the shows (Geraldine Doogue, I think), made reference to an enormous shift in politics from the ‘politics of trust’ to the ‘politics of mistrust’. A curious concept.
    Historically, politicians (yep, the whole bloody lot of them), are not trusted. At the moment, 12% of the population consider them trustworthy. The focus of the conversation was not on whether politicians rely on being trusted, but on how they obfuscate by trying to dictate who we should or shouldn’t trust in our own communities. Whether it be your religion, your skin colour, your gender, your sexuality, your wealth, your lack of wealth. The list of people they tell us we shouldn’t trust emphasises their worthlessness in any discussion of trust.
    My younger lad this afternoon told me a friend of his passed away last week. He was clearly troubled and it took some time for me (git that I am) to realize his friend, a 17 year old, had committed suicide.
    It helped me to realize that our government needs to be doing something more than discussing their need for freedom of speech, their hatred of political correctness, their need to get us to mistrust ‘the others’.
    They need to do their fecking job.
    To ‘lift’ a few words from Mr Wilde, they hate being talked about when they can’t answer a question, and they hate being talked about when their answer in nonsensical. And that is all they have got.
    Thank you, Ms Rollison, and commenter’s. Especially Winston Smythe. I do so enjoy Oscar’s quotes. Any chance you have read ‘De Profundis’? Take care

  29. Matters Not

    Kyram, an interesting ‘list’. The first in particular caused me to ‘think’. (Just for reference:)

    I think that God, in creating man, somewhat overestimated his ability.

    Perhaps, that in ‘man’ creating ‘God(s)’, he/she is or was abrogating personal responsibility. Or at least attempting to do just that?

    You know: the Devil made me do it .

  30. Kyran

    You just reminded me, Matters Not. There was a comedian in America, decades back, called ‘Flip Wilson’. One of his ‘characters’ was ‘Geraldine Jones’.
    “Poorly educated, she was nevertheless confident; she did not change her behavior to suit anyone. Several of Geraldine’s sayings entered U.S. popular culture as catchphrases, especially
    “When you’re hot, you’re hot; when you’re not, you’re not,”
    “The Devil made me do it,”
    Are all of our transgressions on decency so easily excused by dictates from ‘imaginary’ omnipotent powers, whose omnipotence doesn’t enable them to address the very transgressions they detest?
    Your inversion of the god V man theorem (chicken and egg?) is interesting. May your god go with you. Take care

  31. Winston Smythe

    Kyran I like the Mahatma Gandhi quote and Oscar Wilde’s no1 quote

    and I love the other great backhanded Philosopher Goucho Marks. quote below

    “Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies”.

    Which sounds a bit like David Icke’s
    trouble observation mantra “Problem Action Solution”

  32. Denis Hay

    I too agree that Trumps behavior is pathetically bad, but the alternative, Clinton is equally bad with her lies and war mongering views. Her relationships with some of the world worse despots. Her significant involvement in the destruction of Libia and her desire to destroy Syria. It is hard to say who would be worse for the World.

  33. Kaye Lee

    I am astonished that all of a sudden people have noticed that the West sells arms to the Middle East and they have decided to blame all that on Hillary.

    Canada has become the world’s second-largest exporter of arms to the Middle East, behind the United States.

    The last time Jane’s surveyed arms exports, Canada was in sixth place on Middle East exports, but the country leapfrogged Britain, France, Germany and Russia into second place, with US$2.7 billion in sales in 2015

    “The combined value of Saudi Arabia and the [United Arab Emirates’] defence imports is more than all of Western Europe’s defence imports combined,” Jane’s senior analyst Ben Moores said in a statement on Tuesday.

    “The U.S., Canada, France and the U.K. are the main exporters of defence equipment to the Middle East and beneficiaries of this spending boom.”

    Worldwide, the defense trade reached a record high of US$65 billion in 2015, Jane’s reports. Canada remained the sixth-largest arms exporter, the same rank as in 2015 and up from 10th place in 2013 and 2014.

    “The global defence trade market has never seen an increase as large as the one we saw between 2014 and 2015,” Moores said.

    The Jane’s report comes amid ongoing controversy about the federal Liberal (Canadian) government’s decision to proceed with a $15-billion defense contract with Saudi Arabia signed by the previous Conservative government in February 2014.

    The $15-billion contract for a fleet of armoured vehicles is expected to create 3,000 jobs at General Dynamics Land Systems in southern Ontario. The deal will add at least $1 billion to Canada’s arms exports numbers over the next decade.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2016/06/15/canada-arms-exports-middle-east-saudi-arabia_n_10481662.html

  34. Ray

    Kaye Lee: West sells arms to the Middle East. How is this relevant to What is Politically Correct?

  35. mark delmege

    I think the point is that Saudi Arabia is a major backer of terrorist groups (IS al qaeda etc) that serve as proxies for US foreign policy and that a massive arms sale approval followed Saudi donation to the Clinton Foundation. The list of US Saudi joint operations is quite long and over many decades. I read somewhere ( I might even have posted a link here) that Saudi backed jihadists had killed something like 1,000,000 people in that time. Thats a great little relationship, a win-win between oil profits and arms sales. Now if I remember correctly the 9/11 highjackers were mostly from Saudi Arabia and the US Govt enabled the bin Laden family to exit the US in haste immediately following that fateful day. I could go on but I tend to agree with Ray – what has that sort of reprehensible behaviour got to do with PC as discussed here.

  36. Ricardo29

    I find the term ‘defence industries’ interesting because, of course very few of these armaments are for defence, they are for aggression and attack. Is use of the term ‘defence indistries, one of those semantic obfuscations used by Big Brother in 1984, less is more etc.? These are the same obfuscations so many of the current crop of ministers use, Morrison comes to mind. These obfuscations are actually lies and I really appreciate the AIM writers who are calling them what they are. On Canada arms sales, I wonder if the election of Trudeau will make a difference?

  37. Kaye Lee

    Ricardo,

    Though polls show that only one-fifth of Canadians back the arms deal — and roughly half oppose it — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said in April that honouring the Saudi arms deal is a matter of principle.

    “The principle at play here is that Canada’s word needs to mean something in the international community,” Trudeau said at the time.

    Apparently the same didn’t hold true to their order for fighter jets which he happily cancelled, but that’s the difference between spending money and getting money.

    And I agree, I have gone off topic. I apologise.

  38. Jack Straw

    Richardo: It’s the similar wording for Gambling now called Gaming.Children play games. Adults gamble.Lets call a spade an axe.

  39. Annie B

    First – thanks Victoria for a great article. Raising your child to be ‘politically correct’ .. is admirable, but as you further noted, it has to do with good manners, respect, kindness, which I take from your own words, as to how you would raise your toddler … being : “good, to show respect to others, empathy, never cheating or lying, being honest, and basically, following my atheist-version-of-the-closest-thing-to-religious-morality – living life by the Golden Rule: do unto others as you would have them do to you, is considered, worldwide, a fundamental part of being a parent. “ … That is actually saying it as it is – speech, uttered plainly with nothing left to be wondered at. We part company however, on labelling all that, as the same as being ‘politically correct’.

    The words ‘politically correct’ is almost an oxymoron. Never mind if the words are adverbs, adjectives or whatever … political / politically / politic / politician – emanate from the same thing. political – pertaining to a polity, civil affairs, or government;” from Latin politicus “of citizens or the state” (see politic (adj.)) + -al (1). Meaning “taking sides in party politics” (usually pejorative) … “

    … and putting that together with ‘correct’, is in fact rather – er – wrong ?

    Nothing political is essentially ‘correct’ i.e. [also] right, accurate, true, veracious, exact, precise, unerring, faithful, strict, faultless, flawless, error-free, perfect, word-perfect, scrupulous, meticulous … etc. It is difficult to use any of these descriptions in applying them to any political persuasion, or politician in the world today.

    So – the words ‘politically correct’ is a misnomer. But it is bandied about these days, to denote just about anything that pleases or displeases. It has no basis and is just a popular spruik like so many other ‘new’ concepts in the use of the English language ( and other languages ) these days.

    If I were younger, I could say ( and be understood ) that I think Victorias’ article is ‘sick’ … or ‘wicked’ … which sounds awful, but would mean to the younger generation that they should read it, as it is good – fantastic – great etc. There are hundreds of examples of the misuse of words to denote situations, in todays’ world. But – I don’t need to tell anyone that. You all know it, and it happens. Is it laziness, a wish to be smart-arses, or something titillating – like a new fad hair-do ?

    We should all return to basic and correct language – tell it like it is, but without racist overtones, sexism, insult, xenophobic hints, or abuse ( “basic” oh – there’s another one in misuse today – usually used as a low grade insult these days ).

    In other words, be kind, courteous and gracious as much as possible to others. If that could happen, ( it is disappearing fast down the dunny, sorry – lavatory ) … “political correctedness” would die a natural. There’d be no need to wonder at its’ meaning or whether we or anyone else has overstepped any lines.

    Irrelevant, un-necessary and slimy. .. Can only hope the world gets rid of the phrase – sooner than later… A slim hope only, though.

  40. mark delmege

    Annie B…like that.

  41. OrchidJar

    If it was simply as Victoria believes, a device, a methodology, for raising polite children, then this would be a non issue.
    Sadly, it is not.
    And if I can just repeat something i recently wrote on another comment somewhere here, regarding its use and the obvious political results.

    Back to the Rust Belt we go – people, and lots of them, grew increasingly frustrated at having their entirely legitimate opinions on a range of topics: gays, immigration, gender, re-framed into examples of homophobia, sexism, racism etc. They were deeply insulted by others, the left, telling them that their thoughts and opinions were illegitimate, and worse still, dangerous expressions of a vile character, and so responded favorably to Trump’s breezy rhetoric of ‘say what you want’, ‘exercise your free speech’.

    Political Correctness, whatever its initial meaning and application, has now morphed into what is perhaps the greatest expression of the left’s growing and very disturbing authoritarianism.
    I’d go further: it is a rhetorical device, a very specific political strategy, used to regulate all argument, discussion, and debate, and define all opposing opinion as either bigoted, illegitimate, or inappropriate, that is either racist, sexist, Islamophobic, patriarchal etc.

    Its purpose is to neuter open discussion and the free exchange of ideas and is the greatest threat to free speech that I can see today.

    l despise it immensely.

  42. Annie B

    Orchid Jar

    I honestly do not think, the application of this ‘political correctedness’ is a tool of the left only. Sure – they use it, but so do many others, of other persuasions in politics – and across the board in the general public ( see social media etc. ).

    I don’t believe I have read your comments incorrectly ( but stand to be corrected if I have ). Your point of view to which you are absolutely entitled, is particularly explained in the first sentence of the 3rd paragraph there, ref ” the ‘lefts’ growing and very disturbing authoritarianism.” The ‘left’ as it is today, is in no position to be truly authoritarian about anything. …. those throwing ‘authority’ around are the likes of ( here in Australia ) Dutton, Morrison et al … and the weakest of leaders – Malcolm Turnbull, follows like a lamb.

    Being a ‘leftie’ myself, am I committing the sin of being ‘political incorrect’ … in drawing your attention to this, or am I exercising the right of free speech. ? … I rather think the latter applies. .. A loose handed example, admittedly – but I hope you get my point.

    Agree with you however when you say ” I despise it immensely”. It is useless, it is garbage, and I hope passes into the forever forgotten in the very near future. … problem is, it is used by not only political factions for emphasis and promotion of their ideologies ( mostly neo-cons btw ), but by the MSM, on-line commentary / social media and particularly, the general public at large who at least think about its implications, when speaking out, which is stultifying to say the least.

    A very bad, and very stupid concept, is the ‘politically correct’ mantra. ….

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