For some reason, I woke up this morning thinking about the conservative crusade against the Political Correctness. Then I thought about how conservatives go nuts over ideas and actions they don't think are "American" and jingoistic enough. Same idea, different targets. So I asked myself, "What can I call the conservative version of political correctness? Can I come up with a two word phrase with the initials 'P.C.'? . . . I got it! Patriotic Correctness."
If a football player takes a knee during the National Anthem, conservatives go crazy, because he's not showing the proper respect for the country. "How unpatriotic!" Could it be he thinks it's patriotic to point out problems which should be fixed to make this a better country by making a quiet, peaceful statement? "No way! You show patriotism by standing and waiting for the National Anthem to be over so the damn game can start already." People protesting the Iraq War were labeled traitors. "Why do you hate America?" conservatives screamed. And when the Dixie Chicks made a disparaging comment about President George Bush during a concert in London, their records were burned, their music was banished from country music station playlists and they got death threats. All in the name of Patriotic Correctness.
Before I congratulated myself for my creative genius, I decided to google "patriotic correctness." I found a column in the Washington Post
dated Dec. 7, 2016. The writer stole my idea nine months before I thought of it.
But conservatives have their own, nationalist version of PC, their own set of rules regulating speech, behavior and acceptable opinions. I call it “patriotic correctness.” It’s a full-throated, un-nuanced, uncompromising defense of American nationalism, history and cherry-picked ideals. Central to its thesis is the belief that nothing in America can’t be fixed by more patriotism enforced by public shaming, boycotts and policies to cut out foreign and non-American influences.
Conservatives use “patriotic correctness” to regulate speech, behavior and acceptable opinions. Insufficient displays of patriotism among the patriotically correct can result in exclusion from public life and ruined careers. It also restricts honest criticism of failed public policies, diverting blame for things like the war in Iraq to those Americans who didn’t support the war effort enough.
Along with criticism of the Iraq War ( and remember the Vietnam War-era chants of "Go back where you came from!" and "Love it or leave it!" shouted at protesters?), the author mentions Colin Kaepernick taking a knee, conservatives saying "Black Lives Matter" is racist, then answering with "Blue Lives Matter," which they think is chest-thumpingly patriotic. And if you don't use the words "radical Islam," you're soft on terrorism.
Fun Fact: The writer of the WaPo column isn't some outraged pinko college prof. It's Alex Nowrasteh from the Cato Institute’s Center for Global Liberty and Prosperity, not exactly a bastion of left wing political correctness.
Next, I came across a perfectly sincere-looking Facebook page named "Patriotically Correct" filled with praise of Trump and including a picture of Obama with a Hitler mustache (but if you dare say Trump is a white supremacist on your own time, ESPN should fire you, goddam it. Sarah Huckabee Sanders said so). The creator of the page is someone named Dale W Green, whose personal page is headed by a bald eagle, Trump glaring menacingly from behind his oval office desk and the phrase, "Trump is my president." In the "About" section, Green says he "Studied Testicular Fortitude at School of Hard Knocks, The University of Life, Class of 2020." Gotta give the guy credit for his sense of humor.
So, while I can't claim credit for "Patriotically Correct, I still think it's worth having the phrase out there as a response to the right wing outrage over people who they call Politically Correct. Now, all that's left is to come up with a symbol for Patriotic Correctness, like the snowflake conservatives use to describe the delicate lefties who melt at the slightest hint of criticism. Conservatives don't melt, they explode with petulant rage. How about a toy cap gun? "Bang, your'e dead, now you gotta fall down!" It's not great, but it's the best I could come up with. Who do you think I am, David Fitzsimmons?