American Elephants


Orthodoxy of Speech and Thought. by The Elephant's Child
April 8, 2014, 6:13 pm
Filed under: Politics | Tags: , ,

Campaign season is beginning to warm up. When there is no other notable news, some candidate is always saying something that they shouldn’t or something that can be twisted into a less felicitous statement, or a career-ending mistake.

We are deep in the midst of the culture wars—politics, thoughtcrime, being offended, racism, free speech, controlled speech, prejudice, and damn foolishness.

Daily Caller, headline: “Trigger warnings; New wave of political correctness hits campuses:

Hypersensitive students and professors all over the country are about to score another victory for political correctness if they succeed in their mission to normalize the use of “trigger warnings,” which are intended to protect people from taking part in class discussions and media that might offend them.

Trigger warnings are most commonly attached to online news articles and blog posts. They warn readers that the post contains specific, offensive content. An article about sexual violence, for instance, might come with a trigger warning for rape victims. The idea is to prevent post traumatic stress.

Iowa Democrat Representative Bruce Braley is running for retiring Democrat Senator Tom Harkin’s seat, and a video turned up mocking Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) as “a farmer from Iowa who never went to law school” in the midst of his campaign for the Senate in a farm state.

He told a group of lawyers at a campaign event in Texas that they could have someone who “has been literally fighting tort reform for thirty years, or you might have a farmer from Iowa who never went to law school, never practiced law serving as the next chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee.”

David Perdue, GOP candidate for retiring Saxby Chambliss’ U.S. Senate seat in Georgia, blasted his opponent for not having a college degree:

I mean, there’s a high school graduate in this race, OK? I’m sorry, but these issues are so much broader, so complex. There’s only one candidate in this race that’s ever lived outside the United States. How can you bring value to a debate about the economy unless you have any understanding about the free enterprise system and how — what it takes to compete in the global economy?”

How to succeed in politics and life — diss the job of farming in a farm state, and suggest that the lack of a college degree makes you unworthy to serve n American politics. We certainly have increasing evidence that a college degree does not make you smart, nor does a PhD qualify you to run the country.

In South Carolina, Thomas Ravenel  who resigned as state treasurer after a felony cocaine charge, is challenging Senator Lindsay Graham. He said he hopes to give NSA leaker Edward Snowden the Medal of Honor, and after a ten-month prison sentence for felony cocaine distribution he “will be the most vigilant and staunch defender of all our rights.” He went on to blast the drug laws, with the usual bit about prohibition.

At the University of Colorado, student leaders are speaking out against Steven Hayward, the university’s first-ever visiting scholar in conservative thought, for statements he made in a recent interview and in a blog post.

In the post, Hayward poked fun at the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community — referring to the community as “LGBTQRSTUW (or whatever letters have been added lately)” — and expressed his discomfort and confusion with university training about how to respect a student’s gender identity.

At the University of Wisconsin, Jason Morgan, a doctoral candidate in history complained about the mandatory “diversity training” for new employees:

At the end of yesterday’s diversity “re-education,” we were told that our next session would include a presentation on “Trans Students.” At that coming session, according to the handout we were given, we will learn how to let students ‘choose their own pronouns’, how to correct other students who mistakenly use the wrong pronouns, and how to ask people which pronouns they prefer (“I use the pronouns he/him/his. I want to make sure I address you correctly. What pronouns do you use?”

If you are not open to “diversity” in our meaning of the word, you must be punished. If you say things that do not agree with us, you must be punished. You may not offend. You may not disagree. You may not look at us funny, and you may not laugh at us. And you may not think incorrect thoughts.

Laughter remains the best antidote.




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