Donald Trump, Political Correctness, Ignorance and Comedy

Where does the First Amendment stop and political correctness begin?

Posted Aug 07, 2015

My take on ‪Donald ‎Trump’s concerns over  ‪”political correctness” as he presented them on the August 6th GOP debate:

1. PC stand for "perfectly civilized," which is what any American leader must be. Political correctness is like SpellCheck for your mouth.


2. “Political correctness” has become one of those terms like “total makeover,” “American idol” or “professional pet-sitter”: It’s entered our vocabulary without our paying much attention to it. When I hear “p.c.” I still think “personal computer” but we probably should substitute “perfectly civilized.” When people are speaking in a PC way, they are speaking like Civilized People.


3. Should people be chastised for speaking in a way that makes them sound vicious, ignorant, nasty, narrow-minded and tormenting? Think of Trump’s comments about how women look best on our knees. Should someone point out to him that his disgust for women--as anything except service animals-- is evident when he makes such remarks? Yes, I think someone should. I’m all for pointing out those terms civilized human beings don't use at the grown-up table. No one should sound like an ignorant, narrow-minded dolt without being absolutely clear in his (or her) intention to do so. Trump means to sound the way he does-- and he wants everyone else to echo him; that's why Trump’s name needs to be erased from the political chalkboard.


4. Some might ask, "Where does the First Amendment stop and political correctness begin? Are we not entitled to freedom of expression?"


5. My response is this: Yes, we are entitled to freedom of expression. We are also entitled to wear T-shirts saying “I am a Pedophile” and “My Pitbull Will Attack Your Honor Student” and yet it’s not something most trustworthy friends or associate would recommend. Not if you wanted to be popular. Or stay alive. And yes:  it's true that we can sound like a moron if we choose--we can sound like characters out of a farce or speak in belches of vitriol from a podium and the First Amendment guarantees that right. THIS is why American comedy continues to flourish and sparkle even as the political system becomes increasingly rickety and scary.