I have been making this point for a decade.
All the research shows that political correctness is rejected by a majority of all groups - even the young, by a landslide.
The issue isn't that the principle is a bad one, but that its application has been arrogant, intolerant and dictatorial, not to mention ludicrous on occasion. Instead of convincing people why they should be careful in their language, it involves shouting and screaming "shut up. You cannot say that. You are a bigot." That doesn't win people over. It drives them away, and pushes their views underground where they festered until someone appeared in politics who built their campaign around attacking PC, at which point the anger of people silenced comes out.
The scale of opposition to PC is highlighted in this quote:
Among the general population, a full 80 percent believe that ‘political correctness is a problem in our country.’ Even young people are uncomfortable with it, including 74 percent ages 24 to 29, and 79 percent under age 24. On this particular issue, the woke are in a clear minority across all ages. Youth isn’t a good proxy for support of political correctness — and it turns out race isn’t, either. Whites are ever so slightly less likely than average to believe that political correctness is a problem in the country: 79 percent of them share this sentiment. Instead, it is Asians (82 percent), Hispanics (87 percent) and American Indians (88 percent) who are most likely to oppose political correctness.An example of the screwed up way PC activists behave was shown in the last few days. A broadcaster made a comment with questioned whether blackface was racist. Instead of explaining to her why she was wrong the PC 'woke' brigades turned into their usual mob, screaming that she must apologise, she must be sacked, that she was a racist. A perfect chance to explain a PC viewpoint was turned, as usual, into a baying hate-filled mob of 'woke' activists.
The decision of social democrats to move from the concerns of their communities (mainly economic) to identity politics and PC has been catastrophic. It is a key reason social democracy has almost collapsed across Europe. They left their support base behind to adopt the concerns of 'woke' activists and many of their support base moved to support anti-system wrecking ball politicians and movements - from the far right in Italy, Poland, Hungary, France, Germany, etc, while it delivered the wrecking ball craziness of Trump in the US and Brexit in Britain. In Ireland, we have witnessed it in the presidential election with the repulsive bigotry of Peter Casey, who may well have created the nucleus for a similar wrecking ball party in Ireland - attacking travellers, minorities, social welfare recipients, etc.
The Democrats have been the 'woke' party in the US, despite its PC devotion being rejected by an overwhelming majority of every class, every age group, every race. It entirely overshadowed the Clinton presidential run, and has produced a situation where the Democrats have lost many state houses, many governorships, both houses and the presidency and where Trump is likely to be re-elected in 2020 and the Republicans may win in 2024 with someone like Pence. It is akin to the Social Democrats in Germany, who have had their worst election results in history. And yet the Democrats continue under the control of the “woke” social-justice culture of progressive activists who only amount to 8% of the population.
➽Jim Duffy is a writer.