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Throw political correctness out the window — At least most of the time and seize the day

“The time has come,” the walrus said, “to talk of many things: of shoes and ships and sealing wax, of cabbages and kings – and why the sea is boiling hot and whether pigs have wings.”

Tweedledee. Tis article may seem just as discombobulated as the poem – although I hope not. While I generally have disdain toward “politi- cally correct” terms, I’m going to embrace one term before I depart this keyboard but not before deriding the over use of political correctness. Te term “politically correct” en-


tered the vernacular of the American populous at least three decades ago… probably earlier. Over the years it has taken on increasingly more meaning and intensity. Politically correct was introduced so as to not offend anyone in a multicultural society and we have simply taken it to the extremes for no good reason. For fear of offending someone it has become almost impos- sible to say what we really want to say or what we’re thinking – at least in terms that most of us would under- stand. When we have to ask ourselves, “What did he or she actually say – or mean? Tat’s usually when being “po- litically correct” has gone too far. You suddenly realize we have taken this “politeness” too far when authors start writing books actually making fun or satirizing the overdone practice. James Finn Garner has actually written Politically Correct Bedtime Stories. Here is a description of that book: “In a col- lection guaranteed to provoke both laughter and thought, 14 timeless fairy tales are revisited and reworked to become relevant fables for more modern times. Tese hilarious adaptations satirize and sanitize the sexist, racist, nationalist, and ageist biases of classic bedtime stories. Familiar exploits of beloved characters are related from a respectful, prejudice-free perspective: the Emperor is no longer naked in his new clothes but ‘is endorsing a clothing-optional lifestyle,’ Snow White escapes to the cot- tage of ‘seven vertically-challenged men,’ and Goldilocks is an ‘ambitious scientist studying anthropomorphic bears.’” James Finn Garner has taken 12 time-tested tales and retold them with the “newfound sensitivity of our times.” Here are a couple snippets

own destiny, increase public value and fulfill our mission of public

“W ”

from Little Red Riding Hood. n Te wolf said, “You know, my dear, it isn’t safe for a little girl to


ewis Carroll wrote those lines more than 140 years ago in “Trough the Looking Glass.” Well, it was actually a narrative poem within that book called Te Walrus and the Carpenter and recited by none other than Tweedledum and

walk through these woods alone,” Red Riding Hood said. “I find your sexist re- mark offensive in the extreme, but I will ignore it because of your traditional sta- tus as an outcast from society, the stress of which has caused you to develop your own, entirely valid, worldview. Now, if

Seems To Me...

e can more effec- tively control our

you’ll excuse me, I must be on my way.” n In the scene where the wolf grabs Little Red Riding Hood and the woodchopper bursts into the cottage the story goes like this: “Hands off!” cried the woodchopper. “And what do you think you’re doing?” cried Little Red Riding Hood. “If I let you help me now, I would be expressing a lack of confidence in my own abilities, which would lead to poor self-esteem and lower achievement scores on my college entrance exam.” “Last chance, sister! Get your hands off that endangered species! Tis is an FBI sting!” screamed the woodchop- per, and when Little Red Riding Hood nonetheless made a sudden motion, he sliced off her head. “Tank goodness you got here in

Eddie A. Jones Guest Writer

service when we move forward on our own terms.

time,” said the wolf. “Te brat and her grandmother lured me in here.


thought I was a goner.” “No, I think I’m the real victim, here,” said the woodchopper. “I’ve been dealing with my anger ever since I saw her picking those protected flowers earlier. And now I’m going to have such a trauma. Do you have any aspirin?”

I know these examples are extreme and even meant to be funny – but

give me a break! Why can’t we say what we need to say to convey our message? It saves a lot of time and is much easier to understand. Te arena of politics is probably the worst when it comes to the overuse of political correctness. If there is any arena where we should be plain and forthright it is in the arena of government and politics where everyone is affected in one way or another. And there should be no doubt about what was said or done.

Tat, of course, does not mean that we should be mean, combative, cantankerous, radical, or inconsiderate of others feelings – but, simply that we should be plain and simple in the explanation of our positions. Tat is the position that we should take as a public servant: a county elected official or employee; a state representative or senator; a state constitutional officer; or a congressman. Don’t try to hide what you are actually saying in some convoluted “politically correct” jargon. Te definition of a “euphemism” boils down to – not caring enough to use the very best word. I believe the most recent fad in euphemisms


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