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

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Political Correctness—Revisited Yet Again

I guess I was ahead of the curve (e.g., see here, here, here, and here), or maybe just part of it, but it looks like a significant majority of all Americans is fed up with the new political correctness. Joy Pullmann reports:
Eighty percent of Americans say “political correctness is a problem in our country,” according to newly released data from a nationally representative poll drawing upon 8,000 survey respondents, 30 one-hour interviews, and six focus group. Some of this data, compiled with help from YouGov, has been newly released in a report called “Hidden Tribes.”

Objections to political correctness are even stronger among racial minorities and those who have never attended college. High-income college graduates, especially those with advanced degrees, are the Americans most likely to think political correctness is not a problem. These are also the group most likely to label themselves atheists or agnostics, and identify as politically liberal.

Contrary to a common cultural narrative, the poll finds large majorities of Americans of all ages, income levels, and racial backgrounds oppose political correctness, even while 82 percent also think “hate speech” is a problem. This may suggest Americans believe thought and speech censorship is not the best way to address rude and discriminatory behavior.
In a post way back in April, 2016, I described "Posturing Progressivism." In it, I wrote about a surprisingly honest piece in left-leaning
For those who are unfamiliar with it, is a website that presents news, commentary, and entertainment from a decided liberal-left perspective. It celebrates political correctness as the gospel, is humorless when anyone violates its worldview, even in jest, has a generally condescending attitude toward any neanderthal who disagrees with the Bernie Sanders crowd, and is otherwise activist in nature.

It was therefore somewhat surprising when Emmett Rensin published a serious piece at Vox that decried "... a smug style in American liberalism.” Rensin writes:
“It [liberalism] is a way of conducting politics, predicated on the belief that American life is not divided by moral difference or policy divergence — not really — but by the failure of half the country to know what’s good for them ...”

“Nothing is more confounding to the smug style than the fact that the average Republican is better educated and has a higher IQ than the average Democrat. That for every overpowered study finding superior liberal open-mindedness and intellect and knowledge, there is one to suggest that Republicans have the better of these qualities.”
It is exactly the "smug style in American liberalism” that drives 80 percent of the public to have reservations about political correctness and the manner in which is is now applied in the American culture. Pullmann notes that a mere 8 percent of the American public can be characterized as “progressive activists.” They're a noisy group, for sure, but their pronouncements don't resonate across the broader body politic as well as they'd like to believe. She writes:
“Progressive activists are the only group that strongly backs political correctness: Only 30 percent see it as a problem,” wrote Harvard University lecturer Yascha Mounk in an overview of the poll results at The Atlantic.

Compared with the rest of the (nationally representative) polling sample, progressive activists are much more likely to be rich, highly educated—and white. They are nearly twice as likely as the average to make more than $100,000 a year. They are nearly three times as likely to have a postgraduate degree. And while 12 percent of the overall sample in the study is African American, only 3 percent of progressive activists are. With the exception of the small tribe of devoted conservatives, progressive activists are the most racially homogeneous group in the country ...

It has been well-established that a U.S. college degree doesn’t add any economic value to graduates, on average ... [But it] is a gatekeeper to a certain cultural club.

That cultural club’s exclusivity is extremely apparent to the people who don’t consider themselves part of it. That would be a supermajority of Americans. If the 2016 election didn’t do this — and it obviously didn’t — realizing this is important to the long-term political success of the Democratic Party, which increasingly behaves as if the cultural norms of the 8 percent of “progressive activist” Americans should be shoved down the rest of the country’s throat.
PC has become all about:
  • Shoving ridiculous (near insane) ideas like "micro-aggressions" or "racist dog whistles" down the throats of the broader majority.
  • Suggesting that "white privilege" is something that invalidates the opinion of any white person.
  • Arguing that women are inherently more honest than men and are therefore to be believed unequivocally when they hurl unsubstantiated sexual allegations.
  • Policing speech to the extent that some people are frightened to express their ideas if those ideas violate prevailing leftist PC thinking.
  • Modifying history if it doesn't conform to modern-day PC think.
  • Dismissing those who do not adopt the PC agenda of many progressives as less intelligent, less deserving, and less of a person.
PC has become elitist in the ugliest characterization of that term. That's why in their crowd-sourced wisdom, 80 percent of Americans reject all or part of it.



There was a time when many people were cowed by leftist PC think. That's changing rapidly and might best be exemplified by this tweet, offered in the aftermath of the Kavanaugh cesspool:
There was a time, not so long ago, when many GOP politicians wouldn't have had the guts to respond the way Senator Cassidy did. It's a very good sign that a tipping point has been reached.