Incorrectly political

Some right wing commentators wear the “politically incorrect” label like a badge of honor. So Glenn Beck, when he asks a Muslim congressman whether he is working for America’s enemies is being politically incorrect, not just ignorant about Muslims, Islam, America’s enemies, and terrorism (to name a few things). What does the phrase “politically correct” mean anyway? If we are to take Beck’s usage, then being “politically incorrect” means being unashamed of one’s ignorance–especially when it’s offensive to a minority group.

But that’s probably not what D’Souza means by it. He writes,

>The reaction I’m eliciting is not entirely new to me. As a college student in the early 1980s, I edited the politically incorrect Dartmouth Review and was frequently accosted by left-wing students and faculty. They called me names back then, too. And at the time I didn’t care. I often informed them that taking on our iconoclastic paper was like wrestling a pig: Not only does it get everyone dirty but the pig likes it.

For him being politically incorrect has meaning in opposition the left wing students and faculty. They were “politically correct” and so against his paper. That phrase, however, has no value here unless it carries with it the supposition that the politically incorrect person is actually correct, and the politically correct person is wrong–but politically in the right place. So, in D’Souza’s mind, the politically incorrect person has the courage to be right.

But this usage confuses contradiction with argument. Just because a view draws a reaction or invites opposition, does not mean it has any merit. As a commenter said recently (citing Monty Python), gainsaying is not argument. Like Beck and O’Reilly, D’Souza has little tolerance for the substance of arguments and so confuses any opposition with his poorly reasoned or researched view with personal opposition to him. Criticisms of his book are personal attacks and so all fights, for him, are dirty. Thus his oddly reversed metaphor. Someone ought to tell him–it’s bad to be the pig.

In case you’re lost, previous posts on this article can be found here.