Hi Chris! Geez, it only took like sixty articles for someone to disagree with me, where the hell have you been? I seriously thought I would have drawn a reaction like this MUCH earlier in this series.
Anyway, to your point, I do not now and have never made the assumption that we have a right to Freedom from Offense, and I will never make that argument. You are entirely correct that we’re going to encounter offense as part of our lives, and I said the same thing as part of this article.
I’d also like to thank you for pointing out, once again, that the phrasing “political correctness” needs to die, which, again, I wholeheartedly agree with. It’s a tainted concept, and it leads people to assumptions about concepts unders discussion which may or may not be correct.
My point was simply that, irrespective of whether or not we are offended, there is a modicum of tolerance that is necessary for a free society, and there are fairly severe consequences for ignoring that. The follow-on argument is simply that, as citizens, we have an obligation to try to ensure our democracy doesn’t fall down around our ears simply because we can’t stand one another. And sometimes that means that, as citizens, we have to stand up for the ideals of tolerance and acceptance in situations where being tolerant and accepting is not inviting harm.
My other point was that this concept has been given the label “political correctness” in the last few decades by people who would really rather not have an open an inclusive society, and the words “political correctness” have been tainted by a huge number of talking heads, pundits, and “think tanks,” all of whom are actively working to oppose a tolerant society. And that’s bullshit and it’s bad for you.
God, I miss George Carlin.
And as for people with the right, responsibility, and power to create and enforce codes of behavior, those would be our elected representatives.