Being politically correct isn’t about opinion or freedom: it’s about respect. As the 2016 presidential election draws closer, the ongoing battle against political correctness seems to be discussed as often as more pressing issues like gun control and government spending. The war against “PC” is one-sided, fought by the more conservative candidates, for reasons unknown, but most likely in the hopes of gaining respect from fellow bigots.
The battle against PC takes advantage of the first amendment by making comments that could be racist or sexist. The vilified liberal candidates are supposedly trying to make people think the same. In reality, being PC is the result of respecting who each person is as an individual. Being PC is not a move to make everything more black and white, but instead intends to add color through the promise of people living in harmony and understanding. Nice, huh?
Republican candidate Donald Trump is one of several conservative candidates who has successfully grabbed the attention of an American audience who is tired of feeling forced to play nice with people it dislikes for surface reasons, like skin color. Trump seems to be feeding off this group’s anger, and is heavily applying its dissatisfaction to his presidential race. Trump supporters are often quoted saying that they respect Trump for speaking his mind, and not listening to what is deemed respectful. The reality is that everyone keeping up with the 2016 race is watching Trump slowly dig himself into a hole, one slur at a time.
All in all, being politically correct isn’t about making people stop having opinions. The point is to encourage people to think before they speak. The idea of being PC is to inspire people to educate themselves on what is considered respectful and what is not. Being politically correct does not slow down or hurt anyone; the world is a better place if everyone can take time to be considerate to one another.
Skeptics who argue that other people trying to enforce political correctness are too easily offended are making victims of themselves, which is honestly just confusing for everyone. Let’s be real: no one is more offended than someone who hates political correctness.
Here is some advice for people who hate PC or feel personally attacked by PC: instead of being offended by the possibility of someone calling you out for saying something inappropriate, take the time to educate yourself on what you might have said or done wrong. Society works well when we can all play nice and respect people. Being politically correct is not a liberal ploy to brainwash people. It’s a cry for everyone to take notice of who is around them, and bask in the glory that is America’s diversity.
Caroline Ackerman studies journalism. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter @TheSagebrush.