The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Punch Back

Over the past few years, the political correctness crowd has begun an Orwellian parse of our language. They have defined forbidden speech—words and phrases that are simply unacceptable (in their view)—and if uttered, brand the speaker as a racist, a misogynist, a climate "denier," a troglodyte. But recently, a new form of parsing has begun to emerge. The political correctness crowd now defines "offensive language" in real time—that is, any phrase that troubles them, that is not nuanced enough for their taste, that is direct or ideologically impure—is deemed immediately "offensive."

The latest but by no means only example is the phrase "anchor baby," referring to a fairly common practice of both rich and poor foreign visitors and/or illegal immigrants, who come to the United States when a woman is 8+ months pregnant, then have the child at a US hospital, and by virtue of the 14th Amendment, have that child defined as a US citizen.

Let me be clear—there is nothing wrong with the 14th Amendment. However, the cynical use of our laws to create an American citizen who later can be used to "anchor" the immigration of his or her parents and extended family is wrong. Legislation can and should be passed to eliminate this loophole.

But back to forbidden language. Yesterday, GOP Presidential candidate Jeb Bush, was challenged on the use of the term "anchor baby" which was arbitrarily defined as offensive by the reporter asking the question. Fortunately, Bush showed some spine, and rather than being defensive, fought back, noting that the phrase is descriptive, it is not offensive, and that those who create anchor babies are gaming our laws.

Over the coming presidential campaign, the trained hamsters of the media, charter members of the political correctness crowd, will play the "offensiveness" card repeatedly, and I suspect, only against those whose ideology they disagree with (i.e., the GOP). They'll deem any language that might shed light on the realities of our current circumstances as "offensive" in an attempt to put the speaker on the defensive. For example, suggesting that family structures in the inner city are in need of repair might be deemed racist or suggesting that government spending should be reduced might be deemed elitist. Those charges will be thrown into the face of a GOP candidate with the clear intent of putting them on the defensive.

Readers of this column know that I am no fan of Donald Trump. He is an egotistical blowhard who focuses on broad demagogic themes, not workable policy  But The Donald has taught the GOP field an important lesson in dealing with political correctness attacks. When the political correctness card is played—and it will be played—don't be defensive, fight back. Note the inherent idiocy of the PC attack and deconstruct the attack to show its weakness. Don't be afraid to offend a few, if that offense will enlighten many.

A losing strategy is playing the game with rules that are dictated by your opponent. Even worse, a losing strategy is playing the game with rules that are constantly changed by your opponent. To paraphrase Glen Reynolds, when the political correctness crowd punches, punch back twice as hard.