Perhaps nowhere is there a greater divide between the left and right than in their regard for political correctness. The left views political correctness as a necessity for social evolution as protecting the feelings of the perpetually-offended is a top priority.
Those on the right, however, largely reject political correctness not out of a mean-spiritedness, but as a practical matter.
Political correctness endangers us all. It restricts the quality of our discussions and over time, restricts the quality of our thoughts. It is a cancerous notion that erodes political and social progress and stifles the enactment of good ideas.
Case-in-point: less than a week before the Orlando terrorist attack, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) was instructed in how to best combat violent extremism. Their solution? Avoid offending anybody by embracing political correctness.
On June 9th, the Homeland Security Advisory Council (HSAC) submitted their Countering Violent Extremism report to DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson. This report offered a detailed analysis of how to better-combat violent extremism through the use of more politically-correct language that is not offensive to Muslims (yet).
For example, it urged not using words like “jihad,” “sharia” and “takfir.” The subcommittee furthered stressed the need for reaching-out to “gender diverse” Americans and to “avoid stigmatizing specific communities.”
The DHS report calls for DHS agents to “Reject religiously-charged terminology and problematic positioning by using plain meaning American English” such as “jihad” or “sharia.”
In essence, the report urges not considering the motivations behind Islamic terrorist attacks- a behavior that condemns the DHS to ignore warning signs and forces them to play “catch up” in the aftermath of attacks.
“Under no circumstance should we be using language that will alienate or be disrespectful of fellow Americans,” the report reiterates.
“We must speak with honor and respect about all communities within the United States. We should give dignity to the many histories and diversities within our nation and advocate for a consistent whole of government approach that utilizes agreed terms and words. Tone and word choice matter,” the report hammers home.
The subcommittee also recommends teaching children the “proper” form of Newspeak by encouraging a partnership with the Department of Education to teach children online etiquette.
“Develop a curriculum in partnership with the Department of Education and education experts and non-profits to disseminate to schools, teaching children appropriate online etiquette to mitigate online hate,” the subcommittee report recommends.
While “mitigating online hate” is a laudable goal, the report did not detail any actionable suggestions that would help law enforcement agents identify potential national security threats.
Instead, the report seems to serve as little more than a lengthy urging for the implementation of political correctness and the willful blindness and censorship that so often accompanies it.