STAFF NEWS & ANALYSIS
The Truth About Political Correctness
By Staff News & Analysis - February 16, 2010

This candidacy will self-destruct in five seconds… Texas Republican gubernatorial candidate Debra Medina imploded on the Glenn Beck (pictured left) radio program … when she said she didn't have an opinion on whether the US government was behind the 9/11 attacks. Medina, who has literally come out of nowhere to quickly become a legitimate candidate in the Republican primary, first laughed when Beck said he had received emails from listeners saying she was a "9/11 truther." "That's the first time I've heard of that accusation," she said, not exactly denying the charge. So Beck asked her straight up: "Do you believe the government was in any way involved in the bringing down of the World Trade Centers on 9/11?" Easy answer, right? Nope. "I think some very good questions have been raised in that regard," Medina replied. "There are some very good arguments, and I think the American people have not seen all of the evidence there, so I have not taken a position on that." That answer caused a stir in the studio. Beck quickly followed up by asking her if she would disavow any of her staff if they were "9/11 truthers." "Well, you know, that's a federal issue. We're very focused on issues in Texas, on Texas state government," she said. "I'm certainly not into mind control or thought policing people. We've got a very diverse team in this state and that's because Texans are standing shoulder to shoulder to support and defend the Constitution. I frankly don't have time, you know, to go through and do psychological testing on people and know every thought or detail that they have." – Christian Science Monitor

Dominant Social Theme: Crackpots come in all colors and sizes.

Free-Market Analysis: The Glenn Beck program has provided us with an instructive lesson on the nature of modern political correctness. This article will use Beck's behavior, as related above, as a jumping-off point to analyze the term within a 21st century context – at a time when the term, in fact, is a little less popular than it used to be. Perhaps the leftwing of Anglo-American axis is less powerful than it used to be, and thus inspires less animosity, or perhaps other media concerns have become more compelling. But the point we want to make is most pertinent, we think, and much larger than points that have been made about political correctness in the recent past.

This is indeed a term that became very popular in the later 20th century and yet was in a sense indefinable except as a collection of mores that seemed vaguely leftwing. Of course back in the early 20th century political correctness was indeed a socialist and even communist preoccupation. One WISHED to be political correct to fit into those organizations. The pejorative odor came later. We looked up political correctness in Wikipedia just to see how it was defined. Here's what we found:

Political correctness (adjectivally, politically correct; both forms commonly abbreviated to PC) is a term denoting language, ideas, policies, and behavior seen as seeking to minimize social offense in gender, racial, cultural, sexual orientation, handicap, and age-related contexts. In current usage, the terms are almost exclusively pejorative, connoting "intolerant" and "intolerance" whilst the usage politically incorrect, denotes an implicitly positive self-description. Examples include the conservative Politically Incorrect Guides published by the Regnery editorial house and the television talk show Politically Incorrect. Thus, "politically incorrect" connotes language, ideas, and behavior, unconstrained by orthodoxy and the fear of giving offense.

In Marxist-Leninist and Trotskyist vocabulary, correct was the common term denoting the "appropriate party line" and the ideologic/ "correct line". Likewise in the People's Republic of China, as part of Mao's declarations on the correct handling of "non-antagonistic contradictions". MIT professor of literature Ruth Perry traces the term from Mao Zedong's Little Red Book (1964).

The New Left later re-appropriated the term political correctness as satirical self-criticism; per Debra Shultz: "Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, the New Left, feminists, and progressives . . . used their term politically correct ironically, as a guard against their own orthodoxy in social change efforts". Hence, it is a popular English usage in the underground comic book Merton of the Movement, by Bobby London, while ideologically sound, an alternative term, followed a like lexical path, appearing in Bart Dickon's satirical comic strips. Moreover, Ellen Willis says: " . . . in the early '80s, when feminists used the term political correctness, it was used to refer sarcastically to the anti-pornography movement's efforts to define a ‘feminist sexuality'."

Nobody really seems to like the idea of political correctness a whole lot. Yet it can still be argued that the term even today defines what can and cannot be argued within the "mainstream" of the Anglo-American media (and European media as well, of course). Here are issues that we would argue ARE politically correct. Beck touched on one of them in the Medina interview: US government culpability for 9/11 is NOT up for discussion. Adding to the list, we would offer the following (just for starters): That …

  • Al Qaeda IS a valid international terrorist force;
  • Israel is NOT an aggressive and even hostile theocracy;
  • the Anglo-American axis is NOT an aggressive force for war in the world;
  • the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan WERE justified;
  • national defense and national security CANNOT be a part time civil responsibility;
  • the environment IS degrading;
  • public education cannot EVER be eliminated;
  • regulation WORKS;
  • government is OBVIOUSLY necessary;
  • public service is ALWAYS important;
  • the world is TERRIBLY overpopulated;
  • the world is on the BRINK of running out of food and water;
  • public/private central banking CANNOT be eliminated;
  • paying taxes is NEVER, finally, a waste of money;
  • no CORE service provided by Western governments could be done better and more efficiently in a competitive and private manner.
We've listed the above areas of "political correctness" only to prove what regular readers of the Bell already have guessed: that our impression of political correctness (in the 21st century anyway) has to do with being careful not to contradict the dominant social themes of the power elite! Until only a month or two ago, we would have added global warming to the list, but as has been amply documented, global warming is one elite promotion that seems to be dying a lingering and public death.

To return to the lead of this article, there are plenty of PUBLIC red lines that media and government proposes, and in his Medina segment, Glenn Beck was very clear about one of them – you don't question whether the American government was involved in 9/11 if you want to run for public office. What is also clear is that after Beck conducted this interview, the backlash began. Medina has apparently surged in the Texas polls and Beck himself has been excoriated for "ambushing" Medina and asking her questions about an issue irrelevant to Texas politics.

And then there is this found in the feedback queue in response to a CBSNews.com story on the Medina Beck controversy, "Debra Medina Says Comments on Glenn Beck Show about More than 9/11:"

By Judiladybug February 12, 2010 4:28 AM EST … A VERY interesting development happened right after Debra Medina's interview with Glenn Beck. Friends from Austin, Houston, Dallas & Fort Worth began getting robo calls from not only Perry but Hutch. They started within an hour or so after the Glenn Beck radio show, guess what enlightening news they had to share? That Debra Medina was not a worthy candidate because she is a 9/11 Truther. Wow!! Isn't that interesting. How was Mr. Perry's team so ready to start a massive robo blitz with this new Truther news so quick? Looks like someone is getting scared, and that he had a little help from a friend. Some coincidences are just too coincidental to be brushed aside. I am not any more of a Truther than Ms. Medina, but I have friends that feel that certain things don't add up with the 9-11 facts and questions OB's birth certificate. Everyone has a right, not an obligation to question everything going on in our country.

Throughout the 20th century, and into the 21st, power elite promotions were so powerful, threatening and effective, that people – businesses, too, and, of course, government – carefully self censored, even when they could not explain how and why they came to their self-censoring determinations. This was the ultimate triumph of elite promotional memes – they exercised an iron-clad hold over people's imaginations and internal life. Yet of course it would be the Bell's argument that all of that may be changing now as the Internet-driven conversation continues to rapidly expand.

After Thoughts

The ongoing implosion of the global warming meme is perhaps a sign of what is to come. And so is the Medina interview on the Glenn Beck radio program. We've predicted that even the 9/11 meme would eventually come under fire, along with the endless and devious justifications for various Western national security and government military industrial complexes. The idea that only big government, spending trillions on domestic spying and overseas military campaigns, can properly defend Western citizens against terror attacks is the most well funded and well promoted elite promotion of the 21st century. But even this dominant social theme may be destined for the fate of global warming. Just give it time. And Beck, too.

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