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Howard Zinn did, however, say “We could go to McDonalds. But that wouldn’t be politically correct.” YPSL meeting, Ann Arbor, September 1966. Reported back to everybody at Liberation News Service in Washington by Marshall Bloom. Mailed out in the daily PedEx immediately.

I don’t know whether this use of PedEx is the inspiration for the excellent, though rightwing, Frederick Smith’s fine airline’s name. (FedEx was founded five years later, by which time LNS was dead. Ray Mungo’s books, however, had made the verb “PedEx,” meaning to grind out a lot of boring, but necessary and valuable, work, widely known.

It is, however, the origin of a transitional usage of “politically correct,” i.e. in a tone of ironic disdain for the Communists and Trotskyists who had used it seriously for a couple of generations.

There followed a healthy period in which liberals, e.g. the ACLU, fought bureaucrats, typically university bureaucrats, over illiberal interferences with students’ rights in the name of the supposed rights of soi disant victims.

There were at that time some honest conservatives in the United States, and they joined New Left types, civil libertarians, and of course the aggrieved victims of the bureaucrats, in the Good Fight.

Then it all started to go downhill. To be compassionate, some of the rightwingers who came out of the woodwork, claiming that their “the left” were enforcing political correctness on everyone, were simply too stupid to know what they were doing.

There were, however, people on the right who were intelligent enough to know what’s what, but nevertheless seized the opportunity to conflate New Left with Stalinist CP, socialist with Communist, and so on and so forth.

The Columbia University bunch we all sneered at as “vulgar Marxists” managed to seize control of Liberation News Service, and moved it from Washington to New York.

After 1968 Nixon’s Contelpro gang came into action, and some of the muddying of waters was done by them on the taxpayers’ tab.

And so it goes…

Granny Luvs Ya.

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