Political Correctness: Everchanging Correctness

cartoon of people censoring others

sourced from financial times

Political correctness has ironically become sort of a taboo word in and of itself when it comes to American society. This is due to the Media claiming that things such as supporting a specific actor or writer is now hate speech in and of itself. People are being told they should not even support the police anymore. Some people see it as necessary to avoid harm, While others feel it limits discussion and free throught. 

One major question to ask is whether or not political correctness is something as a society we want. According to npr.org, “Fifty-two percent of Americans, including a majority of independents, said they are against the country becoming more politically correct and are upset that there are too many things people can’t say anymore.”.While America might be divided on a lot of issues, political correctness is of the upmost importance especially because given those statistics the majority is losing. 

Political correctness is defined as “the avoidance, often considered as taken to extremes, of forms of expression or action that are perceived to exclude, marginalize, or insult groups of people who are socially disadvantaged or discriminated against”. Those who want to expand political correctness are afraid that we are insulting minority groups when we are not politically correct. This is understandable to an extent. For example no one wants to have pure hate talk be going on. The problem however that people see with political correctness is that they feel it goes to the extreme and infringes on their first amendment right. Without the first amendment we would not be able to speak our minds freely and our very speech would be regulated. Any regulation on speech should be taken with extreme amounts of caution even if those words could potentially hurt someone. One example of regulated political correctness is described by thenationalpulse.com, wherein it talks about how in th case Matal vs. Tam, it was found that political correctness even that which is held by the government in situations such as the disparagement clause. Justice Alito wrote in his opinion of the case that “We now hold that this provision violates the Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment. It offends the bedrock first amendment principle: Speech may not be banned on the ground that it expresses ideas that are unconstitutional”. 

Political correctness as a way of stopping expression has unforeseen consequences, the biggest of which is that it stops discussion. Brant Miller, Blythewood citizen, said, “I think political correctness is dangerous. I think it is a threat to the continued development of the human race. Because the way that we develop our society, our culture, our knowledge of the world is through discussion. Through intelligent discussion by telling people about all kinds of different things. Political correctness restricts what you can and can’t say.” 

While the idea of limiting speech may not seem like a bad idea , it ultimately shuts down people’s opinion. What this does is cause conformity to things. Conforming is never a good thing. When you have outside forces restricting speech, it restricts the flow of ideas causing much larger problems in American culture. 

That said what is politically correct can change over time. Jason Thornhill, Blythewood citizen states,  “So my opinion on political correctness first of all, it’s become so much of a difficult subject that it is so hard to stay up to date with what is politically correct and what’s not. Which means that what is politically correct 2 months ago is not politically correct. Because it’s changing, it’s hard to stay up to date with it and it also seems it can easily go from being politically correct to not being politically correct or back again.” One thing to keep in mind is when you have an ever changing system and an ever increasing number of things that people can not say, it means not only is communication limited but it is not supported by the majority of people. If things switch back and forth it shows that it is a topic of discussion and not something that should be controlled. Regulating Hate speech is one thing, but topics of discussion deserve to be heard even if they are unpopular.