Donald Trump gives a speech

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Fellow rightwingers expect you to be politically correct. Here’s how. Overuse the putdown “you’re just being politically correct” against all enemies foreign and domestic. Use the argument-stopping, dismissive putdown against those questioning your ideology or correcting your racist and sexist slurs. For example, when someone reminds you that the 1% gets the lion’s share of the wealth, there’s no need for discussion; they’re just being politically correct, right? If you’re criticized for calling Arabs ragheads or women chicks you know what to say: Don’t take responsibility for insults deeply offensive to fellow human beings.

It’s not enough, of course, to put opponents down by calling them politically correct. You must be politically correct lest you offend your cohort by calling things by their right name.  Let’s look at examples from business and the military: You’re probably in one of these communities, or that’s where your sympathies lie. Here’s what’s politically correct if you’re a true, patriotic American in the rightwing echo chamber:

  • There’s no such thing as a greedy capitalist; there are only job-creators. (Any criticism of inequality is class warfare—smacks of Marxism.)
  • Playing the stock market isn’t gambling; it’s investing. The market never crashes; it undergoes needed corrections. [Careful! Don’t call it a bull market a mistake.]
  • That used car with a sordid history is a pre-owned vehicle.
  • That cramped, almost unusable house, is a cozy dollhouse or starter home. It’s not dilapidated; it simply needs TCL.
  • You don’t buy death insurance—it’s life insurance.
  • There are no estate taxes—just death taxes. (Who would want to victimize those inheriting sums over $5,000,000 by taxing their proceeds? Next thing you know, hedge fund managers will be taxed at the same rate as wage earners. Speaking of wage earners, liberals want to subject earnings exceeding $118,500 to Social Security Taxes: Surely this would quash incentive to make more money.)

Talk about the military with your usual swagger—especially if you’re a chicken hawk. But candy-coat unpleasant realities.

  • Learn from the past: There’s no more Department of War—It’s the Department of Defense.
  • Don’t refer to weapons dropped on Japanese civilians as atomic bombs. They were “Fat Man” and “Little Boy” (sound likes burgers at fast food restaurants.) And don’t refer to that B-29 that dropped the bombs as a weapon of mass destruction. Be respectful: It was named “Enola Gay” after the pilot’s mom.
  • It’s not politically correct to call the ultimate weapon of mass destruction a hydrogen bomb. The correct term—at least in the Air Force—is canned  sunshine.
  • There are no more MX missiles; they’re Peacekeepers. (Apparently, they’re equipped with one-megaton peaceheads.)
  • These, and that vast arsenal of other weaponry, don’t kill the innocent; there’s only collateral damage. (Nothing worse than a bad credit report.)
  • [My favorite] Don’t refer to the 1983 US attack on Granada as an invasion, let alone a war crime. The Pentagon calls it a “predawn vertical insertion” (an inviting prospect).

I invite readers to respond with their examples of rightwing PC.

Ron Hirschbein holds a Social Science Ph.D. from Syracuse. After devising curriculum in war & peace studies, he founded the California State University, Chico’s Peace Institute. He writes for various philosophy & popular culture series, and authored five academic studies taking creative, humanistic approaches to international relations. He also served as President of Concerned Philosophers for Peace – the largest national organization of philosophers concerned with the reasons for war and prospects for peace.


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