Often, the term ‘politically correct’ is used as a pejorative, an insult, towards people asking to be treated as humans by those on the right.
It’s a phrase meant to delegitimize treating others the way you want to be treated, and wanting others to do so as well. It’s an attempt to delegitimize people for having basic human compassion and empathy.
The entire principle of ‘political correctness’ is based upon the idea that all people are equal and should be treated as such; put simply: being a decent human being.
However, those on the right, who claim to be the morally superior side, object to this; they object to being kind to one another. They cite “freedom of speech” as the reason to be against being human.
(More on morals and their place in politics in a later post.)
To them, to be human, to be decent and good, is a weakness. It’s irrelevant because, to them, they’re above; they have power, so they’re above. Because, to them, some people are better than others.
To them, the idea of freedom sounds good, just as long as it’s not actually put into practice. Or just as long as it applies to them and not the others.
These beliefs go against the Declaration of Independence: the document, the idea, the heart, and the soul of America.
Those who oppose the idea of ‘political correctness’ are opposed to the basic principle that all men are created equal, a truth that is found to be self-evident in the United States, the foundation of this country.
So while the term ‘politically correct’ is founded in the basis of our country, our politics, and our policies; the way the term is used is not.
The way the term is used is as an argument against American principles. It is following the idea of America and not the actuality and reality of America.
The fight against ‘political correctness’ is a fight against humanity, and, indeed, a fight against America.
President of the United States… Also known as: Chief of State; Chief Executive; Chief Diplomat; Chief Legislator; Chief Administrator; Commander-In-Chief… Those are the roles of the President as outlined in the Constitution. Two other roles the President must fill are: Chief of Party and Voice of the People.
So, right off, that’s a lot. I’m going to break it down with just a sentence or two each.
- Chief of State: The President is the head of the government; rules over the government.
- Pretty obvious, but important to note.
- Chief Executive: Has executive powers that are limited by the other two branches of government, Judicial and Legislative.
- Again, obvious.
- Can sometimes be used interchangeably with Chief Administrator.
- Chief Diplomat: Recognize foreign governments and helps keep the US legitimate in the eyes of the world.
- Representative of the US Government.
- Basically, a sort of a host for a party? That’s a pretty good way of putting it, albeit unusual; but it works.
- Chief Legislator: Shaper (not controller) of law.
- Basically, upholds the law and may ask or insist Congress (the makers of law) enact laws.
- Chief Administrator: Manager of the executive branch of government.
- Keeps information flowing with the different departments of government.
- Can sometimes be used interchangeably with Chief Executive.
- Commander-In-Chief: Head of the military, full stop.
- Every action taken, every death suffered, is the President’s responsibility.
So, those are the ones outlined in the Constitution, the ‘official’ roles.
Here are the ‘unofficial‘ roles:
- Chief of Party: Leader of the country as a whole.
- Not just the government, a specific branch, or the military, the entire country.
- Voice of the People: Representative of the United States of America.
- This may seem redundant, and, in a way, it is, but it’s important to note.
- As the ‘Voice of the People’, the President is who tells the world what we stand for.
- We the People.
- As in all of us.
- We the People.
- As the ‘Voice of the People’, the President is who tells the world what we stand for.
- This may seem redundant, and, in a way, it is, but it’s important to note.
Now that that’s finished, let’s get to the focus of the post: Commander-In-Chief.
The President of the United States has refused to take responsibility for the death of US Navy SEAL Chief Petty Officer William “Ryan” Owens. A death that occurred during a failed raid in Yemen that the President himself gave the orders for.
Not only is he refusing to take responsibility for this death, that he ordered, but he’s blaming his generals. Generals that he commands.
Let that sink in for a moment; I’ll wait.
Got it? Good.
The President of the United States is not only refusing to take responsibility for a Navy SEAL whose life he controls, but is deflecting that responsibility onto people under him.
This is a man who has personally draft-dodged, avoided serving, the military that he now commands.
Now, before I go any further, I’m going to state, for the record, that I abhor the military. I abhor its practices, purpose, and use. But, and this is important, I recognize that the military is a necessary part of our country, and indeed, the world we live in. I recognize that they are the ones that keep us safe, day in and day out; that they literally put their life on the line for us. I understand that.
I respect that with the same respect those individuals in the military have for our freedoms and country, the reasons they fight for us. Those same individuals are not the ones I have a problem with. The system is what I have a problem with. The need for the system is what I have a problem with.
Having said that, I understand and, yes, empathize with the President’s actions in his past.
However, I believe that anyone that wants to be President should have either firsthand military experience or firsthand experience with the responsibilities that they will hold in regards to the lives of others.
Let me explain.
If you’re going to have power over life, you should know the consequences and be willing to take responsibility for those consequences.
That is your responsibility as someone with control over other people’s lives.
You need to know what you’re doing and you must take responsibility if and when things may go wrong. (This goes for all aspects of life, for everyone. See here.)
Here’s where my problem lies: we have a president who is refusing to accept and deflecting the consequences of his actions.
That is not what a leader is. That is not what the Commander-In-Chief does.
To put simply, that is not what a President is.
So I ask: who’s really in command here if we don’t have someone willing to accept the consequences of their actions, if we don’t have a president?
Right off, that’s going to anger a lot of people.
Too bad. Them’s the breaks and they’re facts, not ‘alternative facts‘ (which are lies, BTW).
“The establishment clause prohibits the government from passing legislation to establish an official religion or preferring one religion over another. It enforces the “separation of church and state.”
Remember that quote from this post about the First Amendment being attacked? Well, it’s time to expand on that like I said I would.
So, our country has what you call (and is stated above, in our constitution) “separation of church and state“. As stated above, that means that the government cannot pass legislation to establish an official religion, meaning that, while you can argue that the US has roots that come from Christian beliefs, it is not a Christian nation.
And it never will be. At least, not without ceasing to be the USA.
There’s also another part of that statement, saying that the government won’t pass legislation showing preference over one religion over another.
Now, clearly, if you’ve been paying attention at all in the last, oh, forever, that’s not been held true. Meaning that, pretty much since its inception, the United States has been violating its own constitution.
These violations have slowly been rolled back, but over the last decade or three, there’s been a bit of a snag… A snag called the religious right.
Also known as the evangelical right, the religious right (herein referred to as RR) is primarily made up of Christians who seek to impose their will and religious beliefs onto others. I could put it more delicately, but that’s what it is.
When you look at civil rights specifically, it becomes more and more clear that this is what’s happening.
With women’s rights, the right to vote, choose her healthcare, make choices about her body, etc. so on and so forth, opponents to these basic freedoms are almost always combatted with religious beliefs. (I’m going to stick with the ones I know best, so the right to vote is, unfortunately, not going to be discussed in-depth.)
- Control of healthcare, specifically, but not limited to, birth control (including permanent birth control in the form of a hysterectomy).
- Back in 2014, Hobby Lobby, the craft store, brought a case to court in an, unfortunately successful, attempt to stop being required to pay for women’s healthcare if they chose to use contraceptives.
- They argued under the principle that, because the owners of the company are religious, the law that mandated them to provide health insurance (the Affordable Care Act) was prohibiting religious freedoms, which would be in violation of the First Amendment. However, because HL is a corporation, which is very clearly not a human being, this is somewhat baffling.
- Now, yes, corporations are given certain rights and protections. However, religion should not be one of them. Religion is an individual belief system; not a set of bylaws. Moreover, you cannot refuse to hire someone on the basis of religion.
- Choices for one’s own body. (This one also has to do with birth control, albeit in the form of abortion – which is only technically birth control.)
- Combatants of abortion, purveyors of the anti-choice* movement, often tout religious morality as a reason to prohibit a woman’s right to choose what to do with her own body.
*They are anti-choice, not ‘pro-life’. More on this in a future post.
These are two of the biggest issues with women’s rights. Also a huge issue is the pay gap between women and men, but if I get into that, I’m going to be here for hours.
(Note: I’d planned to speak about LGBTQ+ rights, but decided not to simply because of time and because I could, and plan to, make an entire post about this very large swath of issues.
I also plan on making a post expanding on my post about feminism with a more in-depth look at women’s rights. I just had a thought with that post and accomplished it. Also coming up is a post about POC (specifically Black) rights; that’s a very large, important issue that deserves its own post.)
So, back to the issue of how the RR wants to impose their will and beliefs on you.
Hobby Lobby brought up a court case citing religious freedom in order to skirt around a mandate that required them to treat women like human beings and provide them health insurance that covered them adequately.
Far and wide, opponents of allowing women to decide what they want to do with their bodies, cite religious morality in attempts, sometimes successful, sometimes not, to bar women from having full autonomy over their bodies.
Getting back to the main issue at hand, when you look at these examples, just two of many, it becomes increasingly clear that the US has been, sometimes successfully, disregarding the Constitution by using religious beliefs to make laws, in clear violation of the Establishment Clause.
Look at the recent Muslim ban: the Trump Administration attempted to bar people coming from seven Muslim majority countries and putting Christians in those countries ahead in the priority list.
Again, clear violation of the Establishment Clause. Which is why it was shut down by judges.
I don’t really have a point to this post, to be perfectly honest with you. I could go on and on and on, citing parts of our history, times when laws were made that violated the Constitution and when they were (or weren’t) found unconstitutional, but I’d be here for days. Literally.
I’m also trying to keep these posts on the short-ish side and I’m already approaching 1000 words. (Sorry. Gotta keep it real.)
I guess, if I had to make a point for this post, I’d say this: we still have a lot further to go. And, unfortunately, with the current Administration, it’s much more likely that we go backwards rather than forwards.
The clock never stops ticking. The fight never ends. But, still, we persist.
“If the injustice is part of the necessary friction of the machine of government, let it go, let it go: perchance it will wear smooth–certainly the machine will wear out… but if it is of such a nature that it requires you to be the agent of injustice to another, then I say, break the law. Let your life be a counter-friction to stop the machine. What I have to do is to see, at any rate, that I do not lend myself to the wrong which I condemn.”
― Henry David Thoreau,
I begin this post with a quote from Henry David Thoreau, a man who was, put simply, an anarchist.
Now, I know what you’re thinking: “An anarchist?! What are you smoking?!”
I’m smoking justice, dammit!
Since that terrible joke’s over and done with, let me explain why I’m saying, and you’ll agree, that we should be civilly disobedient in the face of injustice and wrongdoing by our government or others in positions of power.
In order to live in a modern, civilized (Note: This is not used in the same context as civil disobedience. It’s just the best word for this context, in my opinion.), stable environment, we have the duty to be arbiters and protectors of these things.
We, as citizens of these United States, and, again, as humans, have the moral obligation, to stand up against injustice when we see it, no matter the consequences (though these are my personal feelings on the matter).
I’d like to share another quote, one that you’ve probably already heard.
The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.
The creator has widely been disputed and the quote has many variants, of which are attributed to many, including, but not limited to: most famously, Edmund Burke, oft-touted as the ‘philosophical founder of modern conservatism’; John Stuart Mill, one of the most influential minds in the history of liberalism; Sergei Bondarchuk‘s (a playwright) adaptation of Tolstoy’s (an author) War and Peace; Plato, most famously a philosopher, scientist, and mathematician; and Albert Einstein, arguably the world’s most famous genius; and this is only a small handful.
When you add these two quotes, these two philosophical ideologies*, you get modern progressivism, at least, in my view, as I interpret things.
*(Philosophy and ideology are two separate things; yet, I’ve put these together for a good reason.)
Let me throw another quote at you.
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
That one you should recognize. That is part of our Declaration of Independence.
You add that one into the mix and the picture becomes even more clear: these are all what we’re fighting for, and against, at this moment, in America. This is what the protests, the town halls, the outrage, is about.
(Quick note: if you haven’t seen any of the town hall footage, which features both progressives and conservatives, showing their outrage at their representatives, I highly recommend you do so. In fact…here; this is my favorite. For more context: she’s speaking out against the repeal of the Affordable Care Act and how the Republicans have been voting against their own constituents; she also is someone who voted for him and is a Republican. As you can see, he did not answer her question. In fact, many representatives are not going to their town halls or are substituting them for ‘tele-town halls’ so they don’t have to face their angry constituents in person.)
Getting back on topic, I’d like to give a quick overview of the differences between philosophy and ideology as I understand it.
A philosophy is moreso an idea or a belief; it’s solely the intellectual, the practical, as opposed to the actual practice.
An ideal is the implementation of those ideas or beliefs, or a system of them; it’s the practice with the practical and intellectual.
The reason I combined them is important: you cannot blindly act without thinking of the consequences of those actions; conversely, you cannot simply think without acting, lest you fail to do what you’re thinking.
One cannot have one without the other and hope to do anything productive, or really, anything at all.
Which brings us back to civil disobedience.
Civil disobedience is, to a degree at least, covered under our First Amendment rights; specifically, the right to assemble and petition.
This isn’t to say that you should just blindly ignore the laws because you don’t agree with them; that’s anarchy, which is how some interpret the first quote by Thoreau in order to justify their actions (more on this topic in a future post); you should follow the law, if it’s just.
But you should disobey unjust laws, laws that you know are wrong, even if that should get you in trouble. If you’re truly on the right side (and the system isn’t stacked against you; again, more on this later), you’ll be fine.
However, I prefer to take this one step further and apply it to all aspects of my life. It makes things more difficult, I can attest, but it’s worth it. I truly believe that. No matter what, I know that I hold myself to a higher standard and that I won’t bend when I don’t believe it’s right.
Therefore, one could, and I do (as stated in the paragraph directly above this one), interpret this as I did in the title: that exhibiting civil disobedience, specifically and especially in the face of injustice, is the most American thing you can do.
Yesterday, 2/24/17, the government itself, specifically the Trump Administration, attacked the First Amendment, which includes our right to freedom of expression, most commonly referred to as freedom of speech, press, religion, assembly, and petition.
So, immediately, that’s a lot of information. Let me break it down for you simply. (Source for this section, here.)
Under the First Amendment, you are given the right to freedom of:
- Expression, AKA Freedom of Speech: “The right to freedom of speech allows individuals to express themselves without interference or constraint by the government.”
- Possible prohibitions: “speech that may cause a breach of the peace or cause violence”
- Press: The allowance of “an individual to express themselves through publication and dissemination”. (Note: this does fall under freedom of expression.)
- Religion: This is a two-parter: establishment and free exercise.
- Establishment: “The establishment clause prohibits the government from passing legislation to establish an official religion or preferring one religion over another. It enforces the “separation of church and state.” (This is important; I’ll be coming back to this in a later post.)”
- Free Exercise: “The free exercise clause prohibits the government, in most instances, from interfering with a person’s practice of their religion.”
- Assembly: “The right to assemble allows people to gather for peaceful and lawful purposes. Implicit within this right is the right to association and belief.”
- Protesting, put simply. (There is a clear difference between protesting and rioting.)
- Also could possibly be interpreted from this is your right to go to church. (While also protected by the Free Exercise clause, this reinforces those protections.)
- Petition: “The right to petition the government for a redress of grievances guarantees people the right to ask the government to provide relief for a wrong through the courts (litigation) or other governmental action.”
- This reinforces the right of assembly.
Okay, so you got all that? It’s very simple. I’ll sum it up for you further:
The First Amendment is where the bulk of your freedoms come from. It is the basic ideology of the United States of America.
There is a reason why it is the First Amendment and not the Second.
The First Amendment gives you your freedoms in America.
The Second Amendment gives you the capabilities to protect those freedoms.
Understand? It’s all really simple. Just go read the last five lines before this one, as many times as you need. It’s very important to understand what your rights are and where they come from. Take your time.
Understand this clearly: without the First Amendment, you do not have any true rights. You have the idea and illusion of rights.
Read those last two sentences again. Read them until you know every word by heart. Read them until you fully understand them. Get them tattooed on your arm if you have to.
Now, do you remember what I opened this with?
Yesterday, 2/24/17, the government itself, specifically the Trump Administration, attacked the First Amendment, (…)
Do you feel that chill in your spine? That sense of impending doom? That terrifying moment that shifts your entire world?
Good. That’s what you should feel.
“They say that we can’t criticize their dishonest coverage because of the First Amendment, you know, they always bring up the First Amendment.”
Those are the words of the Commander-In-Chief himself.
“But he’s not the government or his administration.”
To quote CIC himself and put it simply: Wrong.
The President is the government; he is his administration. He is not just one person any longer; he ceased to be a single person when he took that oath of office on January 20th, 2017. At the moment he said those words, he became an entity, an idea. He became the face of the government itself.
His very words are policy. His actions are government actions. They are actions on behalf of the United States, and it’s citizens.
The world does not consist of only the USA. The entire world is watching us. They are watching the words and actions of our government, and they are scared.
The entire world thinks us a laughingstock, but that does not mean that they are not taking us seriously.
The world knows what we can do, what we have done, and they see what we just did, what we are doing, and they are terrified.
The United States has long since been held in people’s minds as the place to go when you’re in trouble, when you want a better life; this is, in part, due to how we’ve held ourselves in high regard and treated our fellow humans in times of need.
They see us imploding; they see our rights slowly being eroded away.
They see our supposed leader disregarding our Constitution, our laws, our ideology, and they are wondering what will happen in their country.
If we, the supposed “greatest nation on Earth”, has this happening to it, what does that mean for their nations? If we go the way of Nazi Germany, Soviet Russia, or any of the other infamous examples of toppled governments, what’s to stop them from following in our lead, as so many countries do on a myriad of issues?
Yes. We should be scared with our rights, our freedoms, being stripped away, but not just for ourselves.
We are standing on a precipice of history, a knife’s edge. How we uphold ourselves, and, indeed, our government, will shape the entire future of the world.
Are you ready?