During a recent checkup, the doctor diagnosed Uncle Sam with an inflamed rhetoric and a bulging discourse.
“No worries, doc,” Sam replied. “It’s always been like that.”
And for the most part, he was right. In fact, most debate that took place during our nation’s infancy was far worse than what is happening today.
But now many people, especially politicians and media figures, are trying to improve the toxic rhetoric plaguing the nation.
Last week, CNN anchor John King apologized for a guest on his show who used the phrase, “in the crosshairs.” King informed the audience that “we are trying to get away from using that kind of language.” Fortunately, because it was on CNN, very few people heard it.
Another example came from House Speaker John Boehner. Instead of describing Obamacare as “job-killing,” he used the more civilized adjective, “job-destroying.”
These ridiculous and downright laughable instances are becoming more common. Since the shooting in Arizona three weeks ago, there has been a call for civility in our political dialogue. Defenders of the movement want so badly to blame language for Jared Loughner’s shooting spree.
Unfortunately for them, the evidence does not verify their claim. As far as we know, Loughner could have been provoked by people being nice to one another.
The issue is not with civility itself. The problem, especially in politics, is that it opposes human nature.
These are very heated times in American politics. Sometimes things will be said that wouldn’t be said around the dinner table. But trying to monitor the words that come out of someone’s mouth in such a heated debate is like putting a muzzle on the family dog when someone is breaking into the house.
CNN apologizing for “in the crosshairs” is demeaning to the audience and embarrassing for the network. It is likely nobody watching even realized it until King went out of his way to bring it up.
And what will Boehner do the next time he slips up and says “job-killing?” Will he stop discussion and apologize? “Oops, sorry. I meant to say job-stabbing. I mean job-torturing. I mean … when’s lunch?”
The attention given to political discourse was fun for a while, but it is now becoming exceedingly ridiculous. Although I do enjoy the humor it has provided, all jokes must someday be laid to rest.
Therefore, I feel a strong desire to take aim and fire back at the attempts at language cleansing. I encourage all people to stand on the front lines and defend speech.
I understand that this might trigger some opposition. Some will probably think I am just adding fuel to the fire or dropping bombs, but I’m going to stick to my guns on this one. Again, I do not mean to beat a dead horse or simply sift through the bullet points, but we are staring down the barrel of censorship.
When we arm ourselves with common sense and are not held hostage by childish political correctness, we can more easily defend our liberties. Because I hate seeing our right to free speech being caught in the crosshairs.