If I am imprudent enough (or brave enough) to speak the truth as I see it and “to speak my speech plainly” I might run great risks to my reputation and my social or financial life. When I have criticized, for example, the policies of President Obama on his economic policy or his veiled hostility to the Christian religion or his blatant “disingenuousness”, I have been accused, with excessive vehemence, of Racism! I was told that if a Caucasian had spoken thusly I would not have said a word. When I have criticized the behaviors and agenda of the Gay community, such as the insulting, disrespectful behaviors toward social communities dedicated to traditional values or when I have voiced negatives toward the self destructive lifestyles rampant in the Gay groups I know, I am accused of being “homophobic.” I am told that if my assessment involved “straight” people, I would be silent. There is not the slightest “wiggle room” that I might be honest or fair. What is unthinkable is to waver from the Party Line.
I am patronizingly told, with the phony mask of “tolerance” thrust into my face, to keep my observations and opinions quiet. I am also told to cover my criticisms with the mantle of a twisted kind of “compassion” which means I must accept those dimensions of the Radical left even if they violate my personal values and meaning. A previous Episcopalian Bishop of Atlanta, Bennett Simms once made the insightful remark that “compassion does not mean endorsement.” Rumor had it that the good Bishop recanted his stance under pressure but the inherent wisdom of the observation stands. A Protestant minister of Florida, Rev. James Kennedy, bravely preached that “tolerance is the last virtue of a degenerate society.” But speaking out against clearly destructive trends invites certain forms of retribution. The unspoken instruction is Join the Crowd or Else!! Such behavior, in root, is really denying absolute truth. When “they” deny absolute truth, I believe with Pope Benedict XVI (classy intellectual company), they mistake politics for eschatology which mistake, by a utopian approach, leads to the gulag. There is no utopia. Life is a struggle and all of us are flawed regardless of our remarkable growth and starry eyed optimism. While Faith tells us to work for an ever better world, Perfection is not to be had in this world. The American Left is headed for the Totalitarian foe we vanquished, at incredible cost, in the 20th century. Not to learn history is to repeat its failures. An aspect of integrity is not to distort its Truth.
So, I must accede to Political Correctness if I wish to be “accepted.” And, of course, horror of all horrors, the ultimate punishment for the obstinate, like me, is “shunning.” Bernie Goldberg, the “shunned” CBS reporter reports publicly that when once he dared to tell the truth in reporting, not only was he fired but the Great Ones of liberal CBS would not even talk to him. This included the eminent Dan Rather. Such emotional decapitation is omnipresent—even, regretfully, within so-called religious circles. With the Left, wherever one finds it, punishment is leveled against the Person as well as the message.
The obvious distinction, within the grasp of any eight grader, that criticisms of human behavior do not necessarily mean attacks on personhood seems to elude these pundits who sport degrees from highly touted universities and famous schools of thought. Intellectual Fascism is rampant even where one would not expect it. Formerly, it was understood that the university level was a haven where one could freely articulate Ideas which might be “different” or out of the prevailing mode. The free exchange of varying ideas was stimulating, expansive and a delicious piece of human experience. Perhaps, it is the modern tendency of academics to place the “Professor” high above the great unwashed who don’t know really what is good for them. Elite thinking apparently shuts out the opinions of political dissenters as incorrect and irrelevant if not irrational.
Yet who among us has not at some time been struck by the incisive insights of the “street” where common sense often surfaces? The construction worker, the cop and the bartender know that most (if not all) terrorist attacks were done in the Name of Allah by Muslim extremists. They all know wonderful, decent and hard working Muslims who would have no part in killing innocents and attacking our values. But they also know that to protect us from sworn enemies, it Is necessary for law enforcement agencies to use all legal enforcement tools available, including specific profiling. But the modern social code is to squash all kinds of investigation lest we become “islamaphobes.” What is so difficult about the distinction? Cognitively, it is child’s play. The suspicion is that we are dealing not with honesty but with thought control, deep seated bias or craven fear.
When one compares the obsequious apologetic stance of American high government officials over the allegedly accidental burning of the Qur’an by several American soldiers with the ho-hum attitude over the ferocious massacre of Christians in Moslem countries, one wonders what is the lodestone which directs loud protest? What kind of pressure is being exerted if the reported rumor is true that out-of-step media outlets of radio, television and print are being squeezed out of existence because they espouse unpopular (from the point of view of government) positions?
A 30 year old unmarried woman petitions Congress for $3000 to support her sexual habits. When her unbelievable chutzpah and arrogance (evidently previously choreographed) are challenged with admittedly inappropriate, vulgar street language on radio, the Left goes ballistic! The criticism unfortunately dropped to the Left level, the Left of Maher or Ed Shultz, which can insult women of conservative thought with the vilest of street language. In their case, no one protests. More irony! The one who lives a wanton unchaste life is praised and defended. “High Places” apologize for her embarrassment. The one who struggles to live righteously is freely insulted. No apology. The approved ones always get a “pass.” Apparently, again, we are allowed only the articulation which is stamped as “correct.” The careers and lives of those who dissent from the Party Line are jeopardized. No wonder we are fearful of expressing our real thinking. What an irony! The Left lectures us about incivility and intolerance but shouts obscenities and vulgarities with impunity. The Political “correction” is now working to squeeze out of the Public Square those who dare to disagree with the Revelations of the Administration.
It begins to look as if the focus is not really about contraceptives or obesity but rather about freedom. The precious Liberty for which so many of our American forefathers suffered, sacrificed and died is, in fact, in jeopardy. The heroes of my youth, the young Marines of Iwo Jima, the dirtied up, terrified GIs of the Italian campaign, the kids who stormed across Omaha beach, and present day Iraq, ---why did they do it? They suffered that we can enjoy the sweetness of liberty - which, now, is about to be destroyed by political visionaries?
The squelching is about not my sexual practices (whatever that may be) or my penchant for any eating dimension I might have, but about my freedom to differ from the “accepted” party line. One’s sexual life is of one’s own choice as is the eating a Big Mac. Adolph is coming back without his mustache and “heil.” Of course, it is much more subtle than that. He is coming in the guise of the smiling, backslapping, smooth talking Organizer with whom you had best agree or you will pay dearly. He will let you keep your little Bibles and rosaries but you had better keep them within the walls of your church or synagogue. Don’t you dare exhibit them in the Public Square. He wants you to be spiritually emasculated so that he can control not like Big Brother but rather Big Daddy.
Wear your religious skull cap publicly, finger your Rosary on the street, read your Bible on the subway but (consistently) you are in violation! If, heaven forbid, you should make the sign of the Cross in a restaurant before dining, the Storm troopers of our beloved leader could call out the I.C.E. and the FBI. Yeah! I am pushing the envelope a bit but my Jewish genes squirm when things begin to smell like Dachau. Or maybe I am just waking up to the modern realities. Freedom of Speech guaranteed? May God protect us from the “Tolerance” and “civility” which are engulfing us.