“Political correctness” is the all round term of denunciation for any proposition which would like rightwingers to think, not be impolite, or not sanctify the suppression of someone, as in:
“Perhaps we should stop destroying our environment?”
“Oh stop being politically correct.”
“Maybe [racism, sexism, corporate power etc] needs to be recognized as a problem?”
“Shut up and stop being politically correct”
“The evidence suggests that the cardinal raped children, and suported other rapists.”
“Political correctness is everywhere. He’s the real victim.”
Gaining political support can often depend on people not thinking and not discussing things with other groups, so slur terms can spread and multiply, once you have decided on that approach.
Calling something “political correctness” is part of a general strategy in which Republicans and Republican media have done their best to shut down discussion over the years – from at least the Gingrich congress onwards.
We can see it in those rightwingers who:
- continually scream their righteous abuse at those who disagree with them;
- go after people because they made a remark they construed as “socialist” ie against corporate supremacy;
- make a big show to each other of their righteous virtue while dismissing other people for “virtue signaling”;
- dismissing someone as a “sjw” if they object to some blatant injustice;
- dismissing another line of thought they don’t like and cannot be bothered to try and read as “Cultural Marxism”;
- stomping around angrily calling the corporately owned media “biased” and “left wing”, if it slightly varies from the party line;
- giving death threats to climate scientists for not supporting the pro-fossil fuel, pro-pollution, position;
- invent terms like “libtard” to help stop discussion;
- sneer at people who realise that capitalism can sometimes be destructive, or that the ecology is in crisis, or that racism and sexism exist, as “woke”, again so the don’t have to think about these things and can condemn those who do as stupid or following the crowd – unlike them who are following the corporate elites;
- scream about how unamerican it was to object to the last Iraq war, while pretending their opponents are warmongers;
- support a president who slams any coverage which is not 100% behind him, as being made by enemies of the people.
We know through these right whingers that they (with all their corporate backing) are the real victims, and that only women can be sexist, and only black people racist. Anyone who might offer sympathy to people who they think are being affected by racism, or sexism is a deluded busybody. Similarly, it’s a “witch hunt”, when a guilty, or probably guilty, right winger is questioned instead of being let-off to continue with their crimes.
Through rightwingers we also know that all fact checkers, scientists and people who study society have a liberal bias, as presumably the way you get to be right wing is through total ignorance of reality.
But then again we can be told by rightwingers that discussion, or finding the truth, is not what discussion is about; victory is the only thing that counts, with total annihilation of the other side the aim. What is the point of discussion other than to reinforce your own biases and scream a lot?
The republican media, starting with Rush Limbaugh and Fox taught these techniques, partly as a way of marketing – get the audience angry and upset so they can’t think properly, and tell them that any other source (that might disagree with that anger or think it is misplaced) is biased and out to get them. You get your audience to stick with you whatever rubbish you spout, and that brings more sponsorship and more wealth for you.
Partly this technique was developed because the policies the right sells (what is called ‘neoliberalism’ or ‘privileging the rich while kicking the poor and middle classes’), may not be that popular if they had been upfront about the known consequences of those policies.
To avoid people understanding this policy reality, they began to construct the idea that discussion involved the endless headkicking of difference and invention of scandal. They build the “culture wars”. They constantly accuse their opponents of positions they do not hold, so as to make them seem more evil to their ingroup and reinforce their own groupthink. The technique helps build conformity, and fear of attack, in their own group, because people see what happens to those who think for themselves, and they have the options of staying loyal or facing the consequences of having their friends forsake them….
The Right has been so free of facts and so full of denunciation they helped build the political polarisation of the US (and similar techniques were employed in the UK and Australia) and made way for a President who openly denies climate change, and denounces opponents, to protect corporate polluters and the extremely wealthy.
After a while they created the sense that right wing discourse was creation of an atmosphere of threat, and it became invisible to them; it was water to a fish. Eventually, after being abused and threatened for years, without any Republicans calling their side out for these techniques, the ‘liberal left’ began to respond in kind, and lo! Republicans suddenly became concerned about rudeness in discussion, after their years of silence on the issue. The separation of the debate into two sides who abuse each other was part of the aim of all this. Then you don’t have to worry so much about explaining what your policies achieve, as no one cares about anything other than point scoring.
These techniques have made the US vulnerable to Russian interference. People in the US don’t need Russia to divide them, because that was the Right’s aim and it has been achieved, but the Russians can, and have, increased those manufactured divisions for their own purposes. And yes we now have Trump, who the US’s enemies know is incapable of making anything great.