Political correctness to be the death of us all

Published 5:05 pm Friday, May 14, 2021

By Ray Mosby

“In a time of deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.”— George Orwell

ROLLING FORK—For a number of years before it became avant garde in some sectors to do so, I used to go around saying quite often that “political correctness is going to be the death of us all.”

This, of course, was before some abominable human coined the terms “wokeness” and “cancel culture,” both of which now are simply ubiquitous, despite the fact the apparent meanings of both words are so vague and amorphous as to have one, but then again really not, at the same time.

As best I can tell, “wokeness” is the demon seed of a number of liberal professors at elite colleges and universities that was then watered and fertilized to growth by a number of private companies desperately afraid that they might lose a customer or two if they did not embrace it—a heritage that has made it immediately and obligatorily a plank in the Democratic platform.

“Cancel culture” is a direct, and I suppose inevitable offshoot of that “wokeness” and like one of its predecessors in the latest war upon the English language, “fake news,” means all things and not a single damn thing, at the same time, hence making it a perfect catch-all response to any voiced criticism of any pronouncement by any conservative figure in the country, thereby in turn making it immediately an obligatory element of the Republican political strategy. (They don’t have platforms anymore, apparently.)

Consequently, both are but politically weaponized and bastardized ill-conceived offspring of that old familiar troll under the bridge, political correctness. George Orwell, who perhaps best before and since understood the parasite/host relationship between politics and language, would have recognized each for what it is and issued one more warning we lesser humans following him could ignore.

All of which brings us quite nicely I think, to the last inside-the-beltway political kabuki dance between the Republican Party, and Liz Cheney, painfully staunch conservative, daughter of once GOP royalty, congresswoman from Wyoming and chairman of the House Congressional Caucus.

Today’s Republican Party, which apparently will tolerate wholesale abandonment of what used to be its required bona fides of opinion—fiscal responsibility, free trade, a robust military and its use, and the ever-shifting goal line of “family values”—is in the process of demonstrating that it absolutely, categorically  will not put up with one newly added element of its catechism—telling the truth in general, and particularly, telling the truth against what’s come to be known as “the Big Lie.”

Cheney, who had earlier defiled the GOP oracle at Mar Lago by voting to impeach him for instigating the white-supremacist insurrection at the Capitol on Jan. 6, has since also consistently slapped hands every time he and his zombie army have tried to convince their fellow men and women that they did not see or hear exactly what they saw and heard on that other American day of infamy. When former President Trump released a statement last Monday proclaiming “the Fraudulent Presidential Election of 2020 will be,  from this day forth, known as THE BIG LIE!” (literally turning the truth upon its head), Cheney promptly responded, “The 2020 presidential election was not stolen. Anyone who claims it was is spreading THE BIG LIE, turning their back on the rule of law, and poisoning our democratic system.”

The woman had the unmitigated temerity to not just disregard, but trash the new GOP prime directive and 11th commandment: “Thou shalt not tell  the truth when it comes to the Big Lie.”

And then she sinned even more heinously, telling a conservative think tank meeting in Georgia to which Trump was pointedly uninvited—“We can’t embrace the notion the election is stolen. It’s a poison in the bloodstream of our democracy. We can’t whitewash what happened on Jan. 6 or perpetuate Trump’s big lie. It’s a threat to democracy. What he did on Jan. 6 is a line that cannot be crossed.”

And that, of course, meant she had to go. That is why the House Republicans are going to vote to remove Cheney from her party leadership position and effectively banish her into the Republican portion of the political wilderness. The good Mr. Orwell would hardly be surprised, as he knew, “the most effective way to destroy people is to deny and obliterate their own understanding of their own history.” The GOP is becoming quite predictable within its reflexivity.

Thus, this, the political sentence handed down this week for the crime of standing up for the Constitution and its rule of law and telling the truth to a bunch of people who shy away from it, cover their eyes from it with the fervor of a vampire from the sunlight.

You know, once upon a time in this country, society and its  various subsets determined if its members must be sanctioned based upon what they did and did not do, not upon what they did or did not think and say.

But truth and lies and the now often blurred lines between them are forcing us to take new inventory of that in which we place value, so maybe I’ll just wind this up by suggesting one more time that political correctness is going to be the death of us all.

Ray Mosby is editor and publisher of the Deer Creek Pilot in Rolling Fork.