My boys have been arguing a lot lately. I know it's not unusual for kids to argue, but their fighting has taken an unusual turn and I don't like it. It seems that nowadays, most of the arguing is done because someone "did" something to someone else. And the offended person is angry, not just because of what happened. No, they're angry because they assume that whatever happened was on purpose. They actually believe that their brother intentionally tried to hurt, annoy, anger them without a reason. Now, admittedly, sometimes that's the case. But I hate the instant conclusion that someone as close as a brother would deliberately do something mean. Sometimes things really are just an accident.
I blame all this on political correctness. I really do. See, political correctness assumes that if you do or say something politically incorrect, you did it on purpose. You're trying to hurt someone. Why would anyone want to live their lives assuming others are trying to hurt them? What's the fun of having a chip on your shoulder? I don't get it, but apparently there are so many people out there with the chip-on-the-shoulder motif that we've had to institute political correctness in order to deal with it. We've had to curtail and watch what we say and do lest we offend anyone and then the world will think we did it on purpose.
Obviously political correctness is not the perfect answer. But lately I think we're coming to see that it's actually a dangerous answer. In the first place, it seems to breed entitlement issues. If everyone thinks everyone else is out to deliberately hurt them, then they're always crying for restitution when someone says something unkind. I'm not a fan of unkindness, but hey, it happens. It's not always intentional. Move on. But instead we have people starting up lawsuits because someone said something mean to them. And then other people start lawsuits because their feelings were hurt in a much greater way than the people in the first lawsuit, so surely they should get something too. We've actually raised an entire generation (or two) to believe that people owe us something because they (in most cases) accidentally insulted us.
Political correctness is also dangerous because it smothers truth. Sometimes things need to be said. Issues need to be handled. But no one will say anything because they are afraid of, at the least, being perceived as insensitive. At the worst, they will be perceived as an ignorant lout who should pay for the "emotional damage" they inflicted on others. Now, I realize there are ignorant louts out there. There are people who are warped enough to want to inflict emotional damage. But I believe they are the exception, not the rule.
Political correctness breeds entitlement issues. It smothers truth. But we've learned in the last week that it also costs lives. The Ft. Hood killer (PC versions would say he's the "shooter" or the "alleged shooter". He killed people. Other people saw him do it. He's a killer.) is a follower of Isl*m. He spouted wild-eyed rhetoric apparently throughout his career. He gave a presentation that sympathized with suicide bombers. He encouraged the military to remove m*slims from military action in the Middle East on the basis of being conscientious objectors. He even warned that having m*slims in our military fighting m*slims would cause "adverse" events. Now there's an example of political correctness for you. Perhaps we would have listened had he actually said "we'll kill you" as opposed to hinting of adverse events. Oh, wait. He got a little more blunt than that. In his presentation praising suicide bombers he said, "we love death more than you love life." That's right. He said "we".
So if he said all these things and was open about his feelings, why was he still in the military? Worse yet, why was he a psychiatrist who was helping our military personnel? Why would we want someone like this messing around in our soldiers' minds? The answer is we wouldn't. However, no one wanted to blow the whistle on him. Why? They didn't want to get sued. They didn't want to be accused of discrimination.
We ended up with an entire group that buried their heads in the sand, lest they offend someone who wanted to kill us. This is not the brightest military policy I've ever seen. It could well be the stupidest. What other army in the world would take in people related to or close to their enemies and have them serve? Not only that, but we seem to actually try to reach out to these people and put them in positions of danger to us because we want to show how "diverse" we are. What we're actually doing is showing how stupid we are. What we actually did was allow political correctness to kill thirteen people and wound thirty others.
It's time for us all to grow up. Yes, there are people out there that actually want to hurt us. If they're spouting extremist rhetoric, take the hint and deal with it. Let's quit trying to play nice because they're not going to return the favor. There's no amount of apologies or money that will change the mind of extremists. They're out to hurt us. They're out to kill us. Let's forget trying to keep from hurting their feelings and deal with the threat.
Political correctness will never be enough to pacify them. It could well be enough to destroy us.