(This column originally appeared in the Toronto Sun)
If there’s one thing we can all agree on, it’s that political correctness has gone too far. A new study from the international organization More in Common showed a whopping 80% of people think that “political correctness is a problem.”
The study focuses on the U.S., but I’d wager the numbers are similar in Canada.
Every day there are stories in the news about social media mobs going after someone for saying the wrong thing, or demanding that someone lose their job or their platform for saying things that other people don’t like.
This has a chilling impact on freedom of speech. It impedes on our ability to think, to discuss new ideas, to work through problems, to rightfully criticize things we don’t like, and to try to make our society a better place.
I’ll give you two recent examples of political correctness run amok.
I heard on the radio the other day an activist encouraging listeners not to use the term “homeless” – which she thought was derogatory and unkind. Instead, this activist urged the audience to call homeless people our “outdoor neighbours.”
Another example was less amusing. Scott Kelly, an esteemed astronaut and retired U.S. Navy captain took to Twitter to encourage Americans to come together and stop gloating over partisan victories.
He quoted the great Sir Winston Churchill, saying “in victory, magnanimity.”
The “woke” social justice warriors were having none of it, and Kelly became the target of an anti-free speech assault. Apparently, Churchill is no longer couth on the radical Left.
Kelly capitulated to the mob and posted the following statement. “Did not mean to offend by quoting Churchill. My apologies. I will go and educate myself further on his atrocities, racist views which I do not support.”
Regardless of what ahistorical activists on social media may believe, Winston Churchill was the greatest leader of the 20th Century. His courage and conviction in fighting the Nazis, through the darkest hours of the Second World War, demonstrates a kind of greatness that is rare and should be celebrated.
As Western Europe was crumbling and, one by one, democracies were surrendering to Nazi Germany, Churchill was thrust into power, frankly, because no one else wanted to lead Great Britain to sure defeat to the Nazis.
Churchill’s own political party thought it was a lost cause. Some wanted to negotiate a “peace” deal with Adolf Hitler.
But Churchill stayed the course. He knew the British people would rather go down fighting against fascism than join into an alliance with a Nazi tyrant.
Churchill led Great Britain and allied forces to eventual victory against Hitler and Nazi fascism. If it weren’t for him, our world would look very different today. His leadership ushered in an era of unprecedented peace, stability, prosperity and growth.
That’s not to say Churchill was a perfect man. Far from it. He drank like fish, spent like a drunken sailor and had a cigar hanging from his mouth around the clock.
His record in office prior to becoming PM was equally dismal. But that’s not why we celebrate Churchill. We celebrate him because of his courage and leadership during a few very dark years in the 1940s.
Churchill helped save freedom and democracy, and despite his many flaws, he should be revered.
Ironically, the far Left today – pushing an anti-Western agenda and insisting on censoring our history, our language and our discourse – are succeeding in uniting people.
They’re uniting people against them. (READ MORE)