PC No More

A line has been drawn through the middle of our country. On one side of it stands a candidate who has, in large part, attained his position by eschewing political correctness. Some have cited this as a fault. But perhaps we’re rushing to judgment. Perhaps he has a valid point. Perhaps his is a lead we ought to follow. When we, the seeing, allow ourselves to be led by the blind, it does give us one overwhelming advantage: We know exactly when and where to provide a well-chosen shove from behind in relation to any convenient cliffs we might find at our disposal.

So allow me to be led. Allow me to set aside my own political correctness, if only for the span of a few paragraphs.

We have been urged to grant the benefit of the doubt and believe that the candidate in question — despite public records which certainly appear to prove to the contrary — is not a racist. He is, likewise, not a misogynist. Or an anti-semite. He is not a jingoistic xenophobe. Nor does he harbor any sort of overt bigotry pertaining to anyone’s religious beliefs. Let us, for the sake of argument, grant that he is as pure as the driven snow, filled with a profound goodwill for his fellow man, a deep-rooted love of the human race as a whole, of homo sapiens in toto. Let us grant that. By all means.

What, then, can we say about such a man when, for the sake of political gain, he turns a blind eye to, refuses to condemn, remains silent and unmoved by, and accepts the support of racists, misogynists, anti-semites, jingoistic xenophobes, and bigots? What word would describe such a creature more perfectly than “hypocrite?” Actually, I can think of a word that fits even better: “Coward.” Because it occurs to me that this is a case in which action (or inaction, as the case may be) not only speaks louder than words, it defiles words, turns them on their heads, inverts their intended meanings, and perverts their very ringing in our ears. Such a man should hand out Q-Tips before making a speech. He is surely being disingenuous.

Speaking as someone whose foreskin was removed at the age of eight days, this man terrifies me. Not because I think he wants, personally, to turn me into a bar of soap, although it really wouldn’t surprise me. He frightens me because he would enable those who would like to turn me into a bar of soap to do so if, on the one hand, there were some tangible advantage to his doing so, or, on the other, he had so empowered such animals that trying to prevent them from doing so would represent a threat to himself. He is, evidently, happy to open all the cages so long as he has an inexhaustible supply of raw steak.

That’s what we can say about him. What can we say about those who support him? In the worst case, they’re racists, misogynists, anti-semites, jingoistic xenophobes, and bigots. In the best case, they’re too dim-witted to understand the extent to which they’re being bamboozled. And somewhere in the middle, where I suspect we find the vast majority of his supporters, are those who, like the man himself, think that the end justifies the means and that once they’ve made use of the genie, it will be an elementary matter to coax him back into the bottle. History, however, provides us with many cautionary tales to the contrary. And if my unwillingness to couch my sentiments in politically correct language ruffles a few, some, or a great many feathers, I care not one whit. Because I feel personally threatened. I’ll be damned if I’m going to allow anyone’s prejudices, stupidity, or naivety turn me into a bar of soap without first sending me into a lather.