Lance Scranton: Politically correct speech needs to change
Election season kicked off this week with the Iowa caucuses and we will now endure ten months of people, pundits, and personalities telling us who we should vote for and why we shouldn’t vote for the other. But it is increasingly difficult to talk about the real issues when we feel compelled to follow a politically correct guide to talking about our society and culture.
Politicians tend to spend most of their time talking about themselves for two reasons: they don’t want to trip over their own words when describing some societal issue, and they really do like talking about themselves.
Tip-toeing around the edges of common sense gets really easy when your prime motivation in life is to avoid offending anyone. Politicians spend a good amount of time trying to appear inclusive resulting in most of their words saying pretty much nothing. How do you define an issue or problem when you can get attacked for just about anything you say by some group that will find something wrong with something you said?
Comedy used to be so much fun because comedians could say what was really on the minds of others or poke fun at the actions of others. But, even comedy is falling prey to the clenched teeth of the perpetually offended. Comedy has become even more base and gross because nobody wants to talk about others or be accused of disenfranchising some particular group so what’s funny is the inane or the group that is out of favor with the current culture (capitalists, parents, rich, religious).
We all have to be so “woke” (alert) these days that we’re scared to say what’s really on our mind. Free speech used to be a value we protected; we might not like what someone said, but we allowed it to be said and then filtered it through our common sense detector. But even listening is getting more and more difficult to expect from people because it’s hard to listen when our main focus is on what might possibly be said that will be offensive.
Certainly, we have come a long way as a culture and we understand the sensitivity of those who are truly disenfranchised or disabled and in need of protection and understanding, but it’s all been turned on its head by those who feel compelled to insert themselves into some protected or disadvantaged group to subvert responsibility, and compel others to walk on eggshells around them.
Imagine trying to solve a big problem and depending on never offending any one person or group? Sound impossible? Well, it is – and some of our politicians are proof, while others endure the slings and arrows to actually try and make a difference. I know who I’ll be voting for!
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Just like you, I live with the fear of wildfire. My southern Oregon town of Ashland nestles against the foothills of the Siskiyou Mountains, whose forests become tinder in our hot, dry summers.