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Politeness Vs. Political Correctness

An Evans-Manning to Glaivester, who, in the “Tyranny Of The Offence-Takers” thread, and with admirable economy of words, makes an important distinction between politeness and political correctness. He’s responding to Geoff G.’s position that what people deride as p.c. is really just politeness, e.g., telling an annoying relative that you’re glad to see them. Glaivester responds:

The difference is that politeness is merely formal. Political correctness requires that you internalize the lie. Politeness is telling an ugly woman that she is attractive. Political correctness is encouraging her to try for a modeling job and then picketing the modeling agency if they don’t hire her.

It’s all well and good to be polite in social situations. But when discussing actual policies, politeness must not get in the way of clear thinking.

about the author

Rod Dreher is a senior editor at The American Conservative. He has written and edited for the New York Post, The Dallas Morning News, National Review, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, the Washington Times, and the Baton Rouge Advocate. Rod’s commentary has been published in The Wall Street Journal, Commentary, the Weekly Standard, Beliefnet, and Real Simple, among other publications, and he has appeared on NPR, ABC News, CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, and the BBC. He lives in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, with his wife Julie and their three children. He has also written four books, The Little Way of Ruthie Leming, Crunchy Cons, How Dante Can Save Your Life, and The Benedict Option.

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