At a campaign event in New Hampshire, Carson noted that many people believe a situation like what took place in Germany in the 1930's and 1940's could never happen in America. "I beg to differ," Carson said. "If you go back and look at the history of the world, tyranny and despotism and how it starts, it has a lot to do with control of thought and control of speech."Drum:
When Donald Trump talks about political correctness, he's using it in the usual throwaway sense we're all familiar with. He wants to be able to talk about immigrants being rapists or women being shrill and ugly without everyone getting on his case. Others have in mind trigger warnings and other campus fads. But when Ben Carson talks about it, he means much, much more. It is the core of his worldview, so it's worth understanding what he means by it. [To Carson] the agents working against this country’s greatness include the political-correctness police, who use “faux hypersensitivity” to take power away from the majority of Americans....Political correctness, Carson says, is used to keep conservatives from invoking slavery or Nazism, both of which he cites freely.More Ben Carson:
Political correctness is antithetical to our founding principles of freedom of speech and freedom of expression. Its most powerful tool is intimidation. If it is not vigorously opposed, its proponents win by default, because the victims adopt a “go along to get along” attitude. Major allies in the imposition of PC are members of the media, some of whom thrive on controversy and others who are true ideologues.To Carson, the main reason liberals are succeeding in getting the country to accept radical ideas like gay marriage is that we bully people so much they are afraid to say what they think:
....The American people must learn to identify and ignore political correctness if we are to escape the bitter ideological grenades that are destroying our unity and strength. Political correctness is impotent if we the people are fearless. Let us emphasize intelligent discussion of issues and leave the smear campaigns to those with no constructive ideas.
In fact, Carson believes that liberals are deliberately making it impossible for conservatives to talk about the truly important issues that are destroying America. Keeping everyone cowed and silent is the first step to tyranny, which is why he thinks incipient Hitlerism is something to be taken seriously.Gay people who have been mercilessly taunted for their identities are not likely to be sympathetic to Carson's arguments.
I am also struck by the way he, like so many other conservatives, continues to believe that the majority agrees with him but has been somehow thwarted. Thus we have imaginary scares about voter fraud and constant complaints that the lamestream media are brainwashing the sheeple. That most Americans might have reasoned for themselves and ended up at a position opposite his own seems inconceivable to him.
I discussed this with my two older sons, and they both agreed that pressure to conform in speech is a big problem in America, and that it is impossible to discuss topics like homosexuality, trans identities, and whether and how men and women are different without being attacked. One of them also offered that Americans have been brainwashed to hate "socialism."
How community standards are established is a hard question, and we have talked here before about the issues surrounding "micro-aggressions" and so on. I think the appeal of Ben Carson's campaign shows that millions of Americans share the sense that they can't say what they really think without being shouted down. Which is something to ponder.