As America careens from one artificial public controversy to the next, it becomes more and more obvious that politically correct liberalism dominates both parties, albeit in varying degrees of intensity. The Democrats represent full-throttle political correctness while Republicans stand ready to advance political correctness just a little bit more slowly.
One of the Democrats’ most successful rackets is to label any Republican position, no matter how timid, "extremist." This ensures that skittish Republicans will eventually even step away from that timid position. The "conservative" position, under the pressures of this demagoguery, inevitably becomes the liberal one of yesteryear, and then a little time passes and that position is deemed outrageous. This is seen across the board — such as when Democrats and Republicans squabble pointlessly over the rate of growth of federal programs that shouldn’t exist in the place — but it shows up most starkly on moral issues.
Look at the ginned-up outrage over Marine Gen. Peter Pace’s opposition to homosexual behavior in the military — a dispute which is designed to make even support for Bill Clinton’s Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy appear "extremist." After suffering more than a decade of political correctness mau-mauing, Republicans have gone from opposing that policy in 1992 as a stupid and needless relaxation of a total ban on homosexuals to supporting that policy (as a Clinton-era concession to liberalism) to signaling a willingness to embrace the full-blown PC position on gays in the military, which is: Don’t Care. For those keeping score, today’s outlandishly "conservative" position, as determined by the ever-changing scale of political correctness, is Bill Clinton’s policy.
Pace violated a sacred precept of life under political correctness, one which the Republicans have learned to incorporate into their agenda so well that they are now on the verge of becoming a pro-choice, pro-civil unions party: Never ever disapprove of vices political correctness has renamed virtues. Commit sins and the gods of political correctness will reward you; condemn them and they will destroy you.
Pace has now duly apologized for his act of impiety (although perhaps not sufficiently; we’ll see). "Pace Expresses Regret Over Gay Remark," the press announced after a day of horrified coverage during which reporters knitted their brows in pain while reporting his crime. (CNN windbag Jack Cafferty, a font of inane opinions, expressed grave impatience with a general opining so egregiously, while ABC’s George Stephanopaulos felt entitled, I guess because of his Clinton-era credentials, to look perturbed by the comments of such an unworthy defender of his old boss’s policy.)
In yet another profile of courage, the Bush administration bravely seconded the mainstream media and Dems, making it clear that their general had committed a serious societal no-no. Pace, quickly reeducated by enlightened Bush administration officials, chastised himself for letting slip his "personal moral views." This is the approved relativistic lingo for Republican apologies: they make sure to call their views "personal" as a way of letting the PC authorities know that the liberal view is "official" and "state" while the conservative one is just a marginal "opinion" they would never dream of imposing on anyone. (Perhaps the Bush administration will have Pace go on Larry King Live with Mary Cheney to explain how his "upbringing" deformed him — the word the press emphasized in their original reports on his comments.)
For his part, Defense Secretary Robert Gates offered up this hearty defense of the now-unacceptably conservative Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy: "It is my responsibility to execute that policy as effectively as we can as long as the law is what it is; that’s what we’ll do." With conviction like that, the policy is sure to last for a long time.
The media, in its vast wisdom, is blaming military recruitment on this terribly reactionary policy. You see, recruiting problems in the military are never created by political correctness; they are corrected by larger and larger doses of it. If only standards were lower, the best and strongest would sign up. Nothing appeals to brave patriots hidden away in the hinterlands of America more than women in combat and gays in the military.
The Bush administration’s "conservatism" seems to consist of conserving Clinton-era liberalism, then expanding it under pressure from PC propagandists. The Democrats launch dumb policies; hapless, unprincipled Republicans complete them.
One would think a country of 300 million people would be offered more than two choices in debates. But now not even those limited choices are meaningfully distinct: America is offered political correctness in two forms, one quick, one gradual, both dangerous to her future.