PC in the US of A

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A lot of people have been voicing disdain for overt political correctness in the US recently. In fact, being PC hasn’t really been PC for a while now. But can being politically correct at all times eventually go too far? If so, what happens then? It’d probably be easiest to try and pick a specific example of an issue or a topic these days over which the PC police make a big fuss. I normally try not to make too many waves when it comes to hot-button issues – I’m not looking to be a demagogue or a rabble-rouser. Technically that in itself is being PC, but at the end of the day we all still have to concern ourselves with our public image.

PC Politics

Let’s look at how the US interacts with the rest of the world. Not to sound overly patriotic but, however you look at it, America is on pretty much everyone’s mind for one reason or another. Whether they like us or hate us, the rest of the world looks to us to play some sort of role. And how do we look at the rest of the world? Well, let’s think about it in the context of a business dealing with a client. The business provides a product or service and the client or customer consumes it and, from time to time, gives feedback and needs assistance. For the sake of this analogy let’s say we’re the business. What do we produce? Not a lot physical – we look to the east to make all of our products anymore. We’re more in the image business. We’re like an advertising firm for things like freedom, liberty, justice, and all of that nice stuff. We try and sell this product to our customers and convince them they need it, and sometimes they give us a bad review or need customer service.

PC
USA in the PC prison.

Where exactly am I going with all of this? Well, if someone buys a product and smashes it with a hammer then takes it back to the store, does customer service tell them, “You’re on your own, moron”? No. Customer service has to pander to them and tell them it isn’t their fault, apologize for the product being so flimsy that a hammer could break it, and maybe even give the customer a free replacement. Customer service has to be PC at all times to keep the customers happy. This is almost like the presidency, or any other public office for that matter. We try and sell “democracy” to a war-torn nation after deposing their dictator and when the customer damages the product we’re expected to come to the rescue with a free replacement even though it isn’t covered under the warranty. That’s PC, and that’s America basically being like the guy you get on the phone when you call the cable company to complain until you get free HBO.

Am I insulting the US? No way. I’m calling into question how we’ve let our society become. When we see an obvious issue in the world we can’t let ourselves trace it directly to the root anymore. Everything has to be overanalyzed and edited so it’s PC and no one gets offended, even if they’re violent, destructive, and flat out wrong. People on both sides of the political spectrum complain about PC America, and I’m not taking a side with anyone. I’m just saying that everyone’s right to free speech should be honored when it comes to problem solving. Some people are just wrong, be they the problem causers or would-be solvers, but the more we worry about how we talk about issues the less energy we’re putting into solving them.

In case you missed it:

This post kind of touches on two other topics I’ve written about in the past – customer service and being offended. If you’re thirsty for more insight check them out.