Political Correctness and Manners are Polar Opposites.
June 2014: Manners, those common every-day social graces, are more important to the survival of a civilized society than most people realize. Political Correctness, on the other hand, is a mechanization that denies truth.
-Rick DeStefanis, Notes and Other Odds and Ends, 2014
Our society is imploding because we cannot speak to one another in a respectful manner. We hide behind a facade of of political correctness while pummeling one another outside the ropes of that phony safe-zone. In this particular instance I speak of rational discussions involving politics, literature or whatever subject matter that may create a difference of opinion or conflict of ideas. I sit back and listen. Civil discourse is dead. We no longer seem to have the ability or the will to carry on rational discussions employing basic respect for one another as fellow citizens, or even as fellow human beings. We do not listen to one another. Our minds are closed. We no longer discuss. Hell, we don’t even stop at the level of hearty debate. Rather, we attack those with whom we differ with no logic and a vicious verbal venom with code words such as racist and justice, and that is often grounded in nothing more than “feelings.” It’s something called political correctness, and may God help the poor bastard who crosses that line.
We have no respect for alternative viewpoints outside our realm of righteousness, progressiveness, liberalism or whatever philosophical bent to which we subscribe. We as writers, authors, readers, people are hell bent to send those that differ with our “humble” opinions to eternal damnation in a flaming shower of indignant and vitriolic rhetoric.
That is not to say I don’t have strong opinions on most subjects, because I do. I will not, however, level the barrel of my verbal shotgun and blow you away if you do not subscribe to my way of thinking. I will not take some phony highroad of political correctness and attempt to label you. I will listen. If I find discussion possible, I will listen first, and I will inquire. I will try to understand, and discover in what fact a difference of thought is grounded. And when I find that fact, I will think about it before stating my viewpoint. And if I recognize that mine is irrevocably different in such a fundamental manner that there can be no common ground, I will give you the basic respect you deserve as a fellow citizen or human being.
I will not take the coward’s route and hide behind the anonymity of social media or attack you with the comfortable insulation of email. And please do not confuse this with political correctness, because that is on the opposite end of the spectrum that allows civil discourse. It completely eliminates it through intimidation. In the face of political correctness, and if you insist, I will allow you to shout me down. If you must, I will allow you to ridicule my idea or to proclaim me stupid and uninformed, but I will not attempt to stifle or take away your right of free speech. But someday when you find yourself shouted down, ridiculed or denied employment because of your opinion, understand that this is the world you created through your poor manners, or worse your adherence to the hypothetical Utopian concept known as political correctness.
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