Political correctness is a literary technique used to remove offensive language. The offense is removed by using happy, positive, and optimistic words and phrases to replace those which have become negatively perceived – “handicapable” versus “handicapped, for instance. The effect is that it then removes personal responsibility and inhibition from ones actions. A responsibility deficit that you could say kills.
How does political correctness influence personal responsibility and remove inhibition? If inhibitory emotions are removed from the definition of ones actions, then the person is free to become uninhibited. They would no longer be subjected to emotions of guilt, embarrassment, or remorse. To illustrate how the wording can alter the emotion of a phrase, look at abortion and welfare. Abortion, simply put, is the killing of embryonic human life, whereas “women’s reproductive rights” is nebulous in meaning and eliminates the association of guilt by removing the negative connotation of the word kill. Welfare can be the receipt of a benefit, which implies you are indebted to another’s kindness. “Low income,” as a replacement, decouples the notion of benefit to the recipient and alleviates the burden of indebtedness. Thus, the emotion of shame for not being able to contribute and the desire to repay someone else’s kindness is removed.
So, what makes political correctness a killer? Look at the following example: low socioeconomic status is often associated with poorer health, not only due to lack of health care access, but also poor choices. In NY, a nonprofit that connects low-income people with local produce was created to aid children at risk of diabetes and other disease due to poor nutritional choice. The program has doctors prescribing vegetables because, as one case illustrates, there was an association between the poor nutrition and disease. The case child was typical, living on a diet of fast food and other junk daily, without consuming any fruits or vegetables.
This case can serve as an example of how a politically correct environment is detrimental. On the one hand, the government promotes the EBT card in the name of helping those at the fringes. On the other, the politically correct treatment of the welfare recipient reduces the inhibitory emotions of shame and guilt that may prevent the abuse of the welfare program. The EBT card is promoted as a debit card without the stigma of the paper food stamps. By not referring to the system as welfare, the politically correct terminology leads the recipient to believe they are receiving an income to which they are entitled rather than a benefit for which they should be grateful. The lack of guilt frees that individual from assuming a responsibility to pull themselves up by the boot straps in order to repay those that assisted – the taxpayer. Not to mention, the anonymity of the system also allows one to shirk responsibility because the oversight is not by those who know and interact daily with the person in need. The cascade of abuse and irresponsibility is also engrained by the lack of credible enforcement. While the government is increasingly willing to regulate the lives of the self reliant law abiding citizenry, politicians find themselves handcuffed by political correctness when it comes to intervening on behalf of the “low income” recipients. They can’t find the political will to regulate the recipients to make better choices.
This is the point at which the political correctness becomes life threatening. As the concept of personal responsibility is absorbed by politically correct dogma, we can see the effect that abuses of the food stamp program has on the lives of the children it is supposed to assist. The children have poor health and are plagued by multiple ailments that can result in premature death.
We do-gooders in the general public are also to blame. We clamor that those less fortunate need to be taken care of. Instead of taking care of the less fortunate through our individual resources in the communities that we live – that would be the churches and local charities – we bought into the political correctness and delegated that task to the government. Hillary Clinton once opined that it takes a village. Those words are true, but not her meaning. We, the community, should take back the role of aiding our less fortunate, and not leave that to the government. They are the village idiot!
That’s where I stand. If I haven’t offended you, then I haven’t tried hard enough.