Political correctness has never been more in vogue than it is right now, and our society has also never been more narcissistic than it is right now. As Americans, we worship narcissistic celebrities, narcissistic politicans, narcissistic sports stars, and narcissistic CEOs. And the more narcissistic they are, the higher a pedestal we seem to place them on. It’s all about the clothes, the glitz, the glamour, the money, the bling, the presentation, the package, the trappings of success. Even many of the poor don’t vote for the soft-spoken candidate who will increase the minimum wage and food stamps or provide job training; no, instead they vote for the garrulous, rich CEO who bails out the banks instead of the homeless. Why? Because the overbearing, rich CEO is perceived as being on the winning team, and they want to be on the winning team too.
As a nation, we are so deluded. We live in a big dysfunctional family, with the narcissistic “parents” running the government and the corporations, and held up as role models, while the vulnerable–the homeless, the poor, the sick, the old, and the disabled–are held responsible for their own lot, and told they are to blame for it, even if their circumstances are completely beyond their control, which they usually are. The vulnerable in our society are the scapegoat children that everyone has permission to kick when they’re already down, because the narcissistic Powers That Be tell them it’s okay. We live in a seriously empathy-deprived society.
It’s a huge irony that at the same time we worship the material over the spiritual, the rich and callous over the poor and kind, the corporation over the individual, the aggressive and ruthless over the empathetic and cooperative, that we insist on something called “political correctness.” This ties in closely with a concept we call “zero tolerance.” It’s gotten so extreme that if we tap our child on the rear-end in Wal-Mart, we could be charged with child abuse. If a young boy draws a picture of a gun, they could go to jail. Not long ago, there was a case of an autistic ten year old who was accused of making terrorist threats because he wrote “bone thrat” on a wall.
We have euphemisms for everything. We have to watch everything we say for fear of offending some or another group of people. Political correctness, we are told, exists so we don’t hurt someone’s feelings or insult a group of people, whether they be of a certain nationality, race, have a particular disability or mental illness, or sexual preference. But I don’t think that’s the real reason for political correctness. I think the real reason is control. If we have to watch everything we say and walk around on eggshells for fear of offending someone, then we become anxious and fearful. That’s the way the narcissistic Powers That Be want us: scared to death and easily controlled. Zero tolerance is another way they can control us.
The same is true on the personal level too. When I think of most of the narcissists I know, almost every one of them insists on political correctness in some form or another. They make sure you always say the right thing at the right time. They are constantly warning you that you could insult someone if you don’t (as if they care). If I call someone “mentally retarded,” not meaning any harm by it, but just using that phrase because it’s the one I’m used to and the one I was raised with, a narcissist will rudely interrupt and tell me I should have used “cognitively challenged” instead. I can be talking about Cherokee Indians, and the narcissist will interrupt and say I should have said “Cherokee Native Americans,” even though that phrase is awkward as hell. I can’t talk about someone being “fat,” I have to use “larger framed person” or something equally ridiculous-sounding. If it’s a female narcissist with feminist leanings I’m talking to, I can’t use the word “girl” for a young woman without getting chastised, even though “girl” is a lot easier to say than “young woman.” Most everyone knows I don’t say “girl” to diminish the female gender or somehow compare her unfavorably with men, it’s just easier and sounds less awkward. I’m used to it. But the narcissist will interrupt and tell me that I was insulting my own gender my using that word. Hell, you can’t even say “Merry Christmas” anymore. You see, it’s all about the package, the presentation, the image: the narcissist is not listening to the message behind my words or really hearing a word of what I’m saying; they are using my choice of words to diminish and instill in me a sense of shame. They do this to instill fear so they can thereby exert control over you.
But they don’t practice what they preach. Narcissists aren’t politically correct themselves. Being PC doesn’t apply to them. They talk the talk but don’t walk the walk. They’re allowed to say the most hurtful and insulting and diminishing things to everyone else–you are fat, a cow, a pig, crazy, stupid, insane, a bitch, a whore, and so on. If the target of these slurs objects they are chastised for that: “Take responsibility for your own feelings” or “stop being so sensitive.” They take no responsibility for their own hurtful words and actions.
Narcissists have no empathy so when they tell you to be “PC” to avoid hurting someone, do you think they really care? Of course they don’t. When they tell you to be “PC” what they are really saying is “use the words I tell you to use so I can make you fear my wrath so I can exert control over you like the spineless puppet I have designated you to be.”