Author: Glenn Beck
Hardback: 295 pages
“Although [political correctness] arises from the laudable desire to sweep away the debris of racism and sexism and hatred, it replaces old prejudice with new ones. It declares certain topics off-limits, certain expressions off-limits, even certain gestures off-limits.
“What began as a crusade for civility has sourced into a cause of conflict and even censorship. Disputants treat sheer force – getting their foes punished or expelled, for instance – as a substitute for the power of ideas.
“Throughout history, attempts to micromanage casual conversation have only incited distrust. They have invited people to look for an insult in every word, gesture, action. And, in their own Orwellian way, crusades that demand correct behavior crush diversity in the name of diversity.”
–An Inconvenient Book by Glenn Beck, page 151
The above quote begins chapter 12: “You Can’t Say That! The Politics of Correctness” in An Inconvenient Book by Glenn Beck. The shocking thing about this quote is that it was delivered in a 1991 commencement speech given by former President George H. W. Bush. 1991 was just the beginning of the PC movement, and at that time, it felt more like a passing liberal fad than the enslaving censor that it has become. Bush’s speech now seems oracular.
I found this book to be very intelligently, and often funny, written. It wasn’t just a bunch of right-wing rhetoric slapped on pages and tossed out to the public. On occasion, Beck even agrees with the left, often the right, but mostly he lands somewhere in the middle with his own well-researched thoughts and ideas. It is set up in textbook style, with inserts and graphs and illustrations to further make his points. With the chapter on Child Molesters, he makes it a point to say that this is a subject in which all political lines fall and we become just people, fathers and mothers, who desire to protect our children. With each chapter, Beck offers a solution to the problems he addresses.
I believe that political correctness is the biggest threat this nation faces today. Sure, you won’t see newspaper articles about the nuclear program it’s working on, but it’s an enemy nonetheless.
Think of it as a poison that was dumped into our water supply years ago by our enemies. They knew that it would take time for the entire country to be affected, but they were patient, and now the entire country has been poisoned, and most don’t even know it.
The only antidote for this toxin is for everyone to stop sitting down and taking it like French soldiers at war. We all have to start being open about the fact that political correctness not only exists but is killing us. The first small step in doing that is becoming aware and suspicious of the people and groups who are always trying to ban certain words or otherwise restrict your freedom of speech. Let’s call them the linguistically intolerant or the opposing-viewpoint-averse.
When you see them, stop and ask yourself a simple question: Why? … It’s time to take back the First Amendment. -page 160
Not only does he say, “Here’s the problem and here’s how we can solve it,” but he also explores the history and thinking behind the problem and how we got here. His chapter on the UN is particularly acerbic, his solution to the problem a bit shocking.
I read this at the very end of 2009, when I was reading nearly a book a day to make my 75-book goal, and therefore some of what I read went in one eye and out the other. I do plan to re-read it again, this time with highlighters and flags in hand, and a notepad and pen to my left. There is just far too much info crammed in the book to just leave it with one read.
I give An Inconvenient Book by Glenn Beck 4 out of 5 stars.
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