If you’re Social Justice Warrior, you’re a liar. You actively spread absurd falsehoods about the nature of men, women, sex, and culture that can’t withstand even the slightest scrutiny. You change history and conceal facts to fit preferred narratives, even when it costs human lives. You claim the best of intentions yet achieve the worst of outcomes. And through it all, you hate the very nation and political system that have granted you the liberties you so grotesquely abuse.
If you’re a Social Justice Warrior, you’re intolerant. Because your lies can’t withstand scrutiny, you wall yourself off in comfortable enclaves and then ruthlessly suppress dissent within your chosen communities. From that secure ground, you then strike out, seeking to expand your territory by walling off the arts, the academy, pop culture, and even athletics, silencing because you can’t persuade and punishing those you can’t silence.
If you’re a Social Justice Warrior, however, you’re also ultimately impotent. While you’ve intimidated many institutions, you actually control few. Only in the most cloistered of communities, including in your academic strongholds, do you represent a majority. You gain power by causing trouble, by making it easier to comply with your demands than to defy your tantrums. And that works until it doesn’t — until your demands become so absurd that you become the joke, until you’ve been proven so toothless that defiance becomes a path to power and popularity.
If history is any guide, then mendacious and intolerant ideological movements tend to have relatively short cultural half-lives, especially when they don’t actually attain total control over law enforcement or the means of mass communication. The modern wave of political correctness is doomed. In fact, it has already peaked — it has nowhere to go but down.
While it’s always dangerous to predict when any particular cultural trend peaks, I’m pegging October 31, 2015, as peak PC. When universities actually post flow charts to keep your Halloween party from being offensive, humorlessness is redefined. When students are so fragile that the very thought of ethnic-themed Halloween costumes leads to much-mocked YouTube “guides,” then political correctness is losing its punch:
If you disagree — if you think that political correctness is gaining momentum — then consider a few facts. First, the top two candidates in the Republican race for president of the United States attained their front-runner status by willfully, gleefully defying political correctness at every turn. Ben Carson shot to the top of the polls when he did the unthinkable — told the truth about guns, about Islam, about resistance to mass shooters, and about abortion — without flinching. It’s old news by now that Donald Trump’s supporters love him for his anti-PC stands. (Though sadly, he’ll use feigned PC outrage when it suits his purposes.)
In fact, virtually every great moment in the first three GOP presidential debates has occurred when candidates defied the cultural Left and spoke truth to power. Think of Carly Fiorina’s passionate argument against Planned Parenthood, or Ted Cruz blasting the media in primetime last Wednesday.
Social Justice Warriors simply have no influence on large swaths of the American electorate.
Social Justice Warriors simply have no influence on large swaths of the American electorate. How many conservatives believe that Bruce Jenner is a woman? How many Evangelical denominations are reconsidering the traditional definition of marriage or the “fluidity” of gender? Evangelical congregations grow while liberal congregations shrink.
Even many of the Left’s “victories” are proving Pyrrhic. Yes, they’ve fined bakers and florists who refuse to participate in gay weddings, but rather than marginalizing and shaming these brave Americans, that persecution has encouraged millions to rally around their cause — and now the public, according to polls, is showing signs of respecting freedom of conscience. Then there are the scalps that the Left hasn’t taken — Chick-fil-A, Hobby Lobby, American Sniper, Duck Dynasty.Increasingly, Social Justice Warriors seem to win only on the turf they already control. And so they’ve begun to turn to the behavior best calculated to end their cultural dominance, behavior that makes even their fellow liberals miserable. Liberal comedians won’t perform on college campuses, liberals disrupt liberal campaign events, liberals insult movies by liberal directors for failing to comply with impossible-to-meet liberal gender standards, and liberal professors now live in fear of their liberal students.
I’m no Pollyanna. I know the cultural climate is toxic toward Christianity, the social-justice Left is relentless, and Christians and conservatives in liberal enclaves tend to face real threats to their liberty and livelihoods. I also know that even if the PC wave is cresting, it has a long way to fall before it becomes culturally irrelevant. In fact, it’s likely to never lose all its power. There will be more casualties of the culture war yet.
But the PC Left is reaching its limit. Intolerance is ugly, self-righteousness is unappealing to everyone but the already-converted, and lies eventually lose to reality.
— David French is an attorney and a staff writer at National Review.