Comedians are cancelling gigs at colleges because they have to censor their jokes. Professors have to give their students trigger warnings or avoid potentially offensive topics entirely. And average ordinary Americans are afraid to be honest because of the social repercussions they may face. A person’s career can be ruined if they say something that in today’s society labels them as a racist or a sexist. Scariest of all, 51% of college students favor rules to regulate a person’s speech.
This over-the-top PC culture has somewhat ironically given way to greater censorship. People scrub and sanitize their words to an Orwellian degree in order to avoid offending someone. And this is where the real crux of the problem comes in. “Political correctness is America’s newest form of intolerance, and it’s especially pernicious because is comes disguised as tolerance.”
There is a term in politics known as The Overton Window. It was coined fairly recently in the 90s by a guy named Joseph Overton. The basic idea is that at any given moment, there is a window, an array of ideas and topics that are socially acceptable to talk about. Anything that falls outside of this window is considered taboo. Take gay marriage as an example. Thirty years ago, the idea of legalizing gay marriage would have seemed absurd, extreme, even radical—it fell outside The Overton Window. Today it’s legal in every state. [This shift did not occur by mere happenstance, but rather by the continued effort of people pushing and pushing until they finally got what they were after.]
The real idea behind The Overton Window is that over time and through concerted efforts, people should be able to move the window, just like they did with the issue of gay marriage. But what political correctness does is constrain this window and aim to keep if fixed. It creates a spectrum of what is considered appropriate and then demonizes anyone who falls outside of it. But real progress and change comes when we step outside of what is comfortable and try something new. We cannot expect to keep growing and innovating while trapping ourselves in a box filled with frivolous rules for placating every single person on the planet—it just isn’t possible.
Now I’m not saying that there shouldn’t be social repercussions for racists or sexists, but what I am saying is that we shouldn’t be so quick to jump the gun, and more tempered in in our response. Jumping down the throats of every person who has an idea that offends us is the way to McCarthyism, not social justice. And what these SJWs or Bigoteers fail to realize is that their actions are having a very clear and direct rubber-banding affect.(donald trump clip)
Those of you still watching probably agree that political correctness has gone too far. And if that’s the case, then I have some good news for you: It’s not going any further. This is not a growing movement of people, but an obnoxiously loud minority that has simply gotten louder. And the louder it’s gotten, the more intolerable it’s become. Reasonable people, people who want to have conversations, not shouting matches, people like you and I are no longer willing to be shouted down, no longer willing to put up with the outrageous claims made by the PC police. As Ricky Gervais eloquently tweeted, “It’s heartwarming to see the healthy resistance to this recent culture of people telling us they are offended & expecting us to give a fuck.”