On Monday we discussed in class whether it is possible for truth to be an element in politics. Disagreements ensued over what the definition of a liar is, and whether someone can be considered a liar if they believe what they are saying whole-heartedly, and are just manipulating truths to meet their aims. I’ve thought a lot about this since class, and began wondering about the role political correctness plays in this lack of truth.
Being politically correct, to the degree that we are now expected to be, is a fairly recent phenomenon. People have to watch their words about whatever they say, and have to be overly careful when making any sort of comment about anyone of a different race, religion, or background from you. Even in writing this blog post, I am feeling the need ingrained within me to maintain political correctness, and will make sure not to use any possibly offensive examples to reiterate my point. As a personal example, I have even noticed that the way my Father criticizes Obama is very different from how he normally criticizes Democratic candidates. He is a staunch Republican, and will usually be quite harsh about the Democratic candidate, but he has definitely toned down his distaste in the case of Obama, which I think is probably because he doesn’t want his political views to be confused for racism. In class we mentioned truths that are never spoken of, such as truths about the diversity level at Rhodes.
With all this being said, has political correctness, instead of being a tool to help bring greater toleration, become something that just forces people, Politian’s especially, to hide the truth? I think so. There is nothing wrong with encouraging people not to use stereotypical or insulting classifications about certain groups in society, but its gotten to a ridiculous point where those issues can’t be discussed as freely. People may shut their mouths, but that doesn’t mean their views have changed. Politian’s have had to learn to be much more highly calculated on what they say and don’t say than ever before, because this is an age where accusations run rampant.