On Political Correctness: The Opposite of a Negative is Not Always a Positive – Erik Kondo



Let’s play a word association game.

  • Up – Down
  • Big – Little
  • Minus – Plus
  • Bad – Good
  • Negative – Positive

The opposite of something negative is always a positive, right? If you thought “yes”, then you are in NOT politically correct terms “a sh!th@ad”. See how easy it is call someone names?

There is a rising movement against Political Correctness. The general belief is that those who are not politically correct “tell it like it is” or are “straight shooters”. Followers of this movement feel that since Political Correctness is “bad”, then the opposite of Political Correctness must be “good”.

Political Correctness runs a spectrum from “too much” which is censorship of speech through to politeness and then on to “too little” which is characterized by stereotyping, name calling, vulgar speech, and more.

The opposite of “too much” is “too little”.  But just because too many restrictions may be “bad”, that doesn’t mean that too few restrictions are now “good”. Or if too few controls were ineffective, then too many are now effective. For some real world examples of this concept think about the endless debates on immigration, gun control, abortion, crime and policing, responses to terrorism, etc. Too much thinking on a subject may not work well, but that doesn’t mean that too little thinking is better.

The opposite of “lying” is telling the truth”. But the opposite of a lie is not always the truth. It can also be another lie.

Telling an average looking person that “he is gorgeous” is a lie. But that doesn’t mean the truth is that “he is ugly”. Just because someone speaks with too little political correctness doesn’t mean that he or she is telling the truth. The person could be rudely lying, or habitually engage in ignorant and vulgar speech. Thus, meeting the criteria for not being politically correct.

Being politically incorrect doesn’t automatically make you right. You can be politically incorrect and still be wrong. Or maybe you are just an assh@le and that’s how you talk to and about people.

Years ago, I spent a little time with a patient at Walter Reed Hospital. He had shot himself through his head in a failed suicide attempt. He survived. But he damaged the part of his brain that deals with verbal impulse control. He would say anything (and I mean anything) that came to his mind. He was the ultimate Not Politically Correct Person.

He was also, as a practical matter, a social outcast. He could not and would not be able to function successfully in society. He was not a beacon of truth in a sea of political correctness.

The fact is that most people are politically correct, most of the time. It is called basic politeness. Politeness works to avoid offending sensitive people and also “regular” people. In addition, it serves to save you from getting your head kicked in by not so sensitive people. For an example of this concept, go to your local biker bar and talk rudely to everyone there and observe the results.

Most people who speak out against political correctness are really against too much political correctness. They are against censorship. They are against not being able to speak the truth for fear of retribution. They are against the rules and regulations that hide the facts and deny reality in the name of not “offending”.

The problem is that many these people don’t know the difference between too much, too little, and an appropriate amount of political correctness. Therefore, to summarize:

  1. Too much political correctness is “bad”.
  2. Too little political correctness is also “bad”.
  3. But an appropriate amount of political correctness is “good”.

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