In the 90’s the concept and treatment of “politically correct” was introduced to Americans and American media, where if you thought about anything long enough everyone is a victim. It seemed so ludicrous, the forced limitation asked of us through purity weighing each other’s actions and words.
At the time, my friends and I had great fun spoofing “political correctness” – Is purposely farting in an elevator with a Lithuanian politically incorrect, and is it racist against Lithuanians? – but there was always a tinge of sadness and anticipation for when “political correctness” would get out of control and become the standard by which all social interaction was screened. And at a future point, no one would use the term “politically correct” any longer because Americans would be properly trained to muzzle themselves for fear of social vilification. Instead of pointing out – through purity shaming – that something said or done was “politically incorrect” and just why it’s “politically incorrect,” all that needed to be said is “I’m offended.”
“Politically correct” is phased out, replaced by “I’m offended.”
Jump ahead to 2019 heading into 2020. Already irretrievably infected with this pathogen of “I’m offended,” the COVID-19 pandemic overwhelmed everything – people, politics, media, economy, common sense, tolerance, acceptance, understanding, empathy, and freedom – and through forced mandates, riots and protests, and orchestrated political divisiveness, the true horror of three decades of social conditioning came to the fore and was unavoidable. No longer was “politically correct” and “I’m offended” necessary. Via politicians, lawyers, and media, Americans were instructed as to what was a crime against goodness and politicians/lawyers/media deputized any fully-programmed American into the ranks of the “Purity Police.” No independent consideration to right or wrong was necessary. Americans were given carte blanche to ridicule and condemn other Americans as “racists,” “idiots,” and “haters” with all authority and all justification. And “Purity Shaming” became the barely-holstered enforcement weapon of the “Purity Police.”
Disturbingly, unrecognized by and unknown to the “Purity Police,” they were the very purveyors of the racism, idiocy, and hate they sought to dogmatically obliterate. The hypocrisy and irony should have been obvious to all Americans because freedom, liberty, and acceptance of all is the core of what it means to be an American. It should have been obvious to all Americans. But it wasn’t.
And so here we are: Political correctness out of control, “I’m offended” no longer needing to be envoked, and Americans readied and deputized to ostracize other Americans. We are no longer a people united, we’re a people divided. Suspicion and retaliation are the norm, and no one believes science, media, or politicians any longer, because no one knows enough to question dubious authority. We’re told what to feel and do what we’re told. Americans are now divided into two camps:
“Us” and “Not Us.”
So if you’re looking for that seemingly nebulous answer for “How did we get so far off the rails?”, look no further than the progression from “every child gets the same trophy” to “how dare you question THE SCIENCE.” We’re living the diseased consequences of political correctness.
Edit: I’ve received a Purity Citation in the mail just now. “Of course purposely farting in an elevator with a Lithuanian is racist!” The offense is backdated to May 16, 1995. Looks like political incorrectness has no statute of limitations.