March 28, 2012 in World
Saturday afternoon, one of my tax clients began to talk politics with me. Even though I haven’t voted in years, I occasionally enjoy hearing what other people think about the political process, so I decided to engage the conversation.
At first glance, it seemed this gentleman wasn’t sure what he thought.
He liked our current Democratic president.
He commented that, “all the politicians in jail are Democrats and that has to tell you something.” He implied that it meant Democrats are the crooks. Or, maybe he meant that the Republicans control the courts.
When he left, we shook hands, and each commented on enjoying the conversation. It had been friendly and pleasant.
However, I had no idea what he really thought about politics.
After some thought, I realized my client probably had specific opinions that he was afraid to share with me. Instead of clearly talking about them, he had fallen into the socially acceptable behavior that most of us fall into when we discuss politics.
Political correctness came into vogue in the 1970s and 1980s. It is behaving in such a way so as to minimize social offense.
This behavior has serious consequences.
It causes us to presume that one person can offend another. In truth, an individual takes offense by choice. He or she may blame another’s actions for this offense. However, the offended always has power over his or her response to the action.
It causes us not to say what we mean. This ambiguity confuses the listener and contributes to misunderstandings. We end up talking in code so that our words take on multiple shades of meaning.
It causes us to hide who we really are. This prevents other people from loving us fully because they don’t know us fully. Instead of revealing our true selves, we shape shift into what we thinks someone else wants us to be.
When we behave according to the moors of political correction, we leave conversations feeling empty. We may have successfully exchanged words without debating or disagreement. However, each person knows it was a futile and unrewarding experience because neither person spoke from the heart.
No one had the opportunity to walk away from the situation with clarity because difficult topics were not discussed.
That is exactly how I felt Saturday when my client left. We could have discussed controversial topics in a kind and gentle manner. Instead, we talked while saying nothing.
Was my client a Republican or a Democrat?
Did he really like our current president or was he being sarcastic?
Did he believe the Democrats in prison were crooks or victims?
I had no idea.
Even when I had attempted to get him to say more, he was evasive.
He was being politically correct.
I can’t blame him.
In spite of its consequences, political correctness has become society’s default response.
I’ll explore why this is so in tomorrow article. In addition, I’ll explain what this has to do with going through the portal, I topic I wrote about the previous two days.