Opinion

The Self-Righteous Enforcers Of Political Correctness

Monday wasn’t a good day for free speech.

Google fired a senior engineer for writing a lengthy memo criticizing the lack of thought diversity at the company and overbearing political correctness. The termination initiated heated debate over free speech, with many seeing Google’s action as a disturbing infringement on their employees’ ability to speak their mind.

In a less noticed episode from Monday, seriously unfunny comedian Chelsea Handler tweeted out her desire for the arrest of all Americans who think racism is a laughing matter.

Handler’s desire to arrest accused racists was met with derision from conservatives on social media, but the popular entertainer never bothered to retract it.

Why would she?

She was only expressing what many of her fellow lefties want. The PC crowd may not outright call for the jailing of those who spout views they find offensive, but they surely want the offenders punished severely.

Leftists don’t care about the protection of free speech or the purpose of the First Amendment. They want to live in a world where their views reign supreme and dissent isn’t tolerated.

The case of the fired Google engineer proves that point. When news first broke of the letter written by the now-axed staffer James Damore, activists and left-wing techies were demanding Damore’s head. They wanted him fired ASAP, They wanted blacklists made of all-known racists and misogynists. Some even wanted anyone at Google who agreed with Damore to lose their jobs. (RELATED: Progressives Want Google’s ‘Ideological Echo Chamber’ Memo Author Fired, Industry Blacklists)

The demand for blood was justified on the basis of making Google’s work environment more equitable. Damore’s speech wasn’t an opinion, according to those wanting his life ruined. Instead, they insisted, it was a violent act which put people in serious peril.

Guess that explains why several female staffers at Google took Monday off to cope with the distress of a co-worker expressing a different opinion.

Handler’s suggestion of arresting those guilty of wrongthink is only a more aggressive step than making people unemployable. It is all about making speech less free, and ensuring that anyone who criticizes progressive pieties knows they will suffer for it.

It may seem against the American character — a nation that was built on protecting free expression — for there to be such enthusiasm to arrest and fire political dissidents. But Chelsea Handler is not some crazed outlier. She is an entertainer with a huge platform and is an icon to many young women. Her support for the criminalization of “racism” resonates with many in American society, as 40 percent of all millennials support laws prohibiting “hate speech.”

Entertainers and social media activists play the role of enforcers of political correctness, determining what constitutes hate speech and setting the moral tone of political discourse — because these figures are just so morally superior to the rest of the population.

They know who is good and bad, and want everyone informed of this moral hierarchy so employers can hire accordingly.

Polish philosopher Ryszard Legutko has noted the similarity between these moral enforcers in modern America and the communist sycophants of the Eastern Bloc. The commissars and state-supporting intellectuals were obsessed with tracking disloyalty to the regime and defending ideological orthodoxy at every turn.

The ideological zealots are able to feel like they are doing something for the greater good, while also exerting newfound power and the opportunity to gleefully deal out punishment. They imagine themselves a “brave minority facing the whole world” when they actually “belong to the mainstream” and wield “all the instruments of power.”

Legutko points out the importance of shaming of dissidents for these zealots. He also observes how in modern liberal democracy, popular comedians serve the role of telling the public who is guilty of wrongthink instead of government officials.

As the Polish philosopher indicates, an intense sense of moral righteousness is neceessary for thought patrollers to remain vigilant against the unorthodox.

Handler demonstrates this thought-patrolling trait to an extent but she is outclassed by one John Oliver, a comic whose sole role appears to be enforcing progressive dogma.

In the latest episode of his HBO show, Oliver delivered a snarky rant against White House senior adviser Stephen Miller. After listing everything the comedian couldn’t stand about Miller, Oliver then issued his judgment on the presidential speechwriter.

“One of the most revolting human beings I have ever seen,” Oliver stated to the cheers of his audience.

To liberals and leftists, the folks who hold views they strongly disagree aren’t just wrong — they’re bad people. Revolting, even. That’s why there should be no qualms about putting them in jail or taking away their ability to earn a living.

Dissident are evil, and they must be crushed for the good of humanity.

What enables this Soviet commissar mindset to dictate events is corporations and other major institutions caving to the baying mob. By assenting to the demands of left-wing agitators, corporations and institutions recognize the commisars’ moral authority and encourage more witch hunts. (RELATED: Corporations Remain The Biggest Threat To Free Speech)

America will always have crazies who can’t handle differing viewpoints. That doesn’t mean we should let our nation’s crown them as our moral judges.

Follow Scott on Twitter and purchase his new book, “No Campus for White Men.”