If you ever doubted that the political correctness of the West is a cult of human sacrifice, one that needs a continual stream of victims to sustain its reality-denying pieties, now is the time to watch the MSM. Wretchard, as he so often does, provides some great analysis of the problem, as he responds to MSM reports that the Fort Hood killer, Hassan, was somehow a victim of Muslim baiting, traumatic stress, and "compassion fatigue" (quotes are from comments 47, 110, 132, and 155):
I wonder whether we as a society kept saying “it’s OK” even when it really wasn’t OK. So a guy like Hasan follows the breadcrumbs without apparent consequence. Political correctness denies him any real negative feedback until one day the breadcrumbs lead him over the edge and society comes at him like Gangbusters. The negative feedback comes all at once all in the shape of the SWAT team.
Even after the Fort Hood incident polite society may still be sort of sending the message “it’s OK” by dancing around the jihad issue. This disincentivizes the Muslims who hate what Hasan did by making them invisible men. Society has built a kind of closet for peaceable Muslims to go an hide in. If any of them wanted to come out and call Hasan an SOB they’d be like little kids looking around them in a haunted wood surrounded by thousands of glowing wolf eyes.
I sometimes wonder whether half the guys who decide to go and become jihadis aren’t carried along three quarters of the way by polite approval and reflexive anti-Americanism until all some imam has to do was pick them up and carry them across the finish line. While it’s true Hasan crossed the line all on his own it may be because he had the guts to put some of the toxic points some people only talk about into action. The things he espoused are old hat. You can get any edgy radical to say them. It was the action that was new.
All democratic struggles, whether in secular society or in a religious context, are between the region +/- 2 sigma from the mean and the tails. In other words, it’s a battle that the ordinary Joe — or Mehmet as the case may be — must wage to preserve daily life against the brilliant kooks on the right hand tail of the distribution and the moron kooks on the left hand tail. It’s between the people who are content to wait for Jesus — or the 13th imam — and those who for reasons of their own, think they are the Messiah — or Mahdi — himself.
One of the reasons political correctness is so damaging is that it shuts everybody up. It creates inaction, and therefore prevents the implementation of small, relatively painless corrections until a huge head of steam is built up; like a boiler at 2,000 psi, just waiting to blow. It constipates every politician; turns public discourse into codespeak, creates a climate of suspicion, enables fruitcakes and in general turns the whole friggin political arena into a funny farm.
I don’t think it is right to wish for the death of hundreds of millions of people or to hope for mass deportations. But it is precisely for that reason that it is important to restore a rational process that prosecutes the guilty and protects the innocent. When you think about it there is little to choose from between a system of political correctness which treats everyone, regardless of guilt, as innocent and one that treats everyone, regardless of innocence, as guilty. Both have the same net outcome: the goats have no incentive to separate themselves from the sheep.
Political correctness is lynch mob mentality in another guise. The eventual effects are the same. Group innocence flips to group guilt. Eventually anyway. It just delays the lynching until everyone can be hanged. So everything tootles along in a kind of fake normalcy with everyone smiling fakely at everyone else with gritted teeth until the desired and long awaited Der Tag comes along and then it is open season. The beast gets turned loose and look out below.
Now it is precisely because we must avoid nuking this place and that place in response to a nuke in this American city or that American city that a legitimate war on terror must be fought. That UN rapporteur who thinks using Predators is a violation of international law has everything backwards. If you don’t get them terrorists the day will come when it won’t be Predators but B1s and B2s that will be in action. It’s like the national security equivalent of the subprime crisis. Keep kicking the can down the road until you kick it over a precipice and then follow after it. It’s crazy.
What the subprime crisis — and the deficit spending of today — has convinced me of is that many politicians have absolutely no regard for long term consequences. they couldn’t care less. What matters is now. Ahora. En este momento. What happens tomorrow is none of their concern. Sayonara buddy. Been nice knowing you. You’d think it impossible, but we just saw it happen to the economy. Now we think: but surely the politicians can’t be crazy enough to set up a powderkeg that blow up in our faces. I wouldn’t bet on it.
But I think the real enemy — in the sense of the most important enemy — isn’t a bunch of flea-bitten jihadis sitting in a cave somewhere. It’s Western civilization’s craziness. We are setting our hair on fire and putting it out with a hammer.
What I’m really scared of, especially after watching the self-flagellating clips on TV talk shows, is that the elite are finally on the road to giving the Openly Ridiculous Order. Hasan created a terrible dilemma for the politically correct. If they recognize his existence their whole house collapses; and rather than bend slightly and allow for the fact that America might just be facing an enemy, they’ve doubled down. It’s incredible, but a lot of them are upping the ante on a patently ludicrous proposition. ‘Hasan was just too compassionate. Hasan was just another victim of George Bush’s failed policy’.
And the net result of this, if the PC clowns can get away with their campaign of inversion they will practically ensure two things happen simultaneously. A: they will make any rational inquiry into traitors in the military impossible and B: they will put all Muslims, however patriotic, however brave under a cloud of suspicion from which they can never emerge. It will be like affirmative action in its worst sense all over again. Rather than promote integration it will promote fractionalization. If America doesn’t have a Muslim problem now it soon will — courtesy of political correctness.
But there’s worse.
Eventually you will have situations in which people who are actually not trusted may be put in formal positions of authority simply because they can’t be questioned. This when the Openly Ridiculous Order situation comes in. When an elite starts to issue lunatic directives a certain something snaps. They lose legitimacy. People obey, but they do not comply. In other words, they start to obey only when the bosses are around. The moment the super leaves the room, they all start to laugh at him.
The really perverse thing about political correctness isn’t that they give you slops to eat; it’s that they give you slops to eat and expect you to smile and ask for seconds. The entire exercise is pointless except as an exercise and confirmation of power over you.
Societies don’t last long when their leaders become ridiculous. It’s a dangerous moment. In many ways the damage that Hasan created in Fort Hood, bad though it was, will be as nothing to the cannons he’s untied that are now rolling unsecured around the deck.