I had to laugh and shake my head in amazement when I read a comment a month or so ago written by a popular Civil War blogger in which the blogger claimed that the phrase "politically correct" was "intellectually bankrupt."
That an educated person could write that with a straight face is jaw-dropping amazing, though given the climate in academia, I suppose it really shouldn't be. Generally speaking, those who poo-poo the notion of PC typically fall into one of the following categories:
- The News Media
- Politicians & Bureaucrats
PC is about either soothing one's "guilty" conscience, or transferring that guilt to some other ostensibly guilty party. In the first case, it relieves one of their own personal guilt while in the latter, in transferring that guilt, gives power (at least in the transferor's mind), to the party embracing PC. The "transgressor" (violator of politically correct standards) "owes" someone or some party something due to their "guilt." This is what drives so much of current historiography in the United States - as respected (and honest) historians like Eugene Genovese and David McCullough have pointed out.
With all this in mind, Pat Buchanan wrote what I thought was an interesting piece recently which concludes we're all, pretty much, "the heirs of marauders, pirates, conquerors, colonizers, colonialists, and imperialists. And such knowledge is why so many have guilty consciences and seek to salve them by repudiating Columbus."
Read that piece here.
*By the way, I'm married to a descendant of indigenous peoples. She's cool with Columbus Day.