This week’s foaming-at-the-mouth violent reaction to Rep.Tod Akin’s comment about “Legitimate Rape” is evidence of social insanity. Both democrats and republicans reacted like rabid dogs in attack mode. Now, one can argue about the wisdom of calling some cases of rape “legitimate” and some not. But to bust a gut over the mere mention of the subject is insane.
There are words and concepts that political correctness designates as automatic triggers for the mad-dog response. When Larry Summers, a much admired democrat, who was then President of Harvard, said that in his opinion, [paraphrasing] “women are not equally represented in science and engineering disciplines because their brains are not wired for that kind of work” — well, the world exploded around him. How dare he even think such a thought! When a Las Vegas Bookie, Jimmie the Greek, observed that negro athletes had a biological advantage of strong leg and buttock muscles the world reacted as if he was the reincarnation of Hitler.
So let’s see. Here are some concepts that trigger the mad-dog response: 1) There are biological differences between the races, 2) there are innate differences in capabilities, motivations, and behaviors between men and women, 3) a white man insulting a black man by calling him a nigger is racist and a punishable human rights violation, while the same insult by a black man is simply a cultural artifact, 4) expression of distaste for the “gay” agenda and lifestyle, 5) and it goes on and on.
If I call your newborn baby ugly you’ll take offense. It would be better for me to zip my lip and swallow. But if I go ahead and say it and you are a reasonably well mannered person, you’ll probably just ignore the comment and hope you never encounter me again. But if I say that some claims of rape are bogus or exaggerated, i.e., not legitimate, then you may have the mad-dog response and will want to claw my eyes out.
In some Muslim societies they have have very strict attitudes about blasphemy. When someone commits blasphemy he or she is subjected to the blind rage of the community and is often as not stoned to death. So where’s the difference between the rage produced by blasphemy in Pakistan or Saudi Arabia and the mad-dog response to certain PC trigger words?
We’d have a much more civilized and peaceful world if the virtue of tolerance were emphasized and practiced. The PC concept of words that invoke rage and mad-dog reactions and self-censorship does not fit a civilized society. It is a characteristic of savage societies which have such taboos and violent reactions against those who transgress.
And as to abortion, that has no legitimate role in the national political debate. It’s none of the federal government’s damn business one way or the other.