Once Admired

Merriam-Webster Logo     Full Definition of politically correct

  1. :  conforming to a belief that language and practices which could offend political sensibilities (as in matters of sex or race) should be eliminated

political correctness noun
My grandmother, Florence Dismukes, never heard of politically correct.  Grandma did refer to black people as niggers, but she never used the word in a punitive, derisive, derogatory, belittling, or detracting way.  This was just the way she learned to talk many, many years ago.  Speaking to any person she used their name, and always treated everyone with respect. There was not a single person who would have corrected my Grandmother.  The most militant young black man would have been raised better than to correct an old woman who was entirely kind and respectful in every other way.  The only person who would dare to correct her was me, her 16 year old granddaughter.
“Grandma, they want to be called African-Americans,” I told her, only later was Black the generally accepted term.  “Honey, I’m to old to change the way I talk now.  But I don’t mean anything bad by it.  I treat everyone with respect and that is what is important,” she said.
This conversation took place before correctness was politicized.  People tried to be correct! People showed respect in their actions and their speech, and tried not to give offence.  The expression “live and let live” was often invoked along with the reminder to “judge not, lest you be judged.”
Politeness was expected in political discourse.  There was a way things were done.  A formal correctness controlled meetings in government, as well as other social groups.  People waited their turn, addressed the chair and group, and said their piece without interruption.  There was no name calling, and rudeness.  People spoke passionately and with conviction about issues, and then allowed the next person the same opportunity.
Unfortunately, this politeness in political discourse is only accorded to those we agree with.  If we disagree, all expectations of respect for each other is suspended.  There are no limits at to what is acceptable to get, and keep, your way.  An opinion expressed politely, without rage and righteous indignation expressed with abandon, is viewed as weak, lacking in soul, and lacking honesty.  We are seeing this daily as we go through this election cycle.
Candidates call those who disagree liars, question their physical attributes, and blame the press for the types of questions they ask and how they shape the news to mislead the voters.  It is the fault of the President, Congress, liberals , conservatives that we don’t have everything the way “we” want, and if “we” can only be loud enough, be aggressive enough “we” can fix everything.
Unfortunately, no one is listening anymore.
I would like to see a little more political correctness.  What I would like the most, is to know that the persons holding office or going for office, are there to represent my interests and make our United States a good place for all of us.
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