Are you a conservative? If so, have you ever asked yourself why you sometimes feel obliged to inject painfully obvious statements into your debates with liberals? Here's what I mean. Suppose you're arguing in favor of criminal profiling at airports with a radical leftist, and you're making the point that most international terrorist groups are comprised of Muslim men between the ages of 18 and 40. Immediately following that statement you find yourself saying something like: "Of course, that doesn't mean that ALL Muslim men in that age group are terrorists." You mention this even though you know that the little voice in the back of your mind is about to say: "No Sh**, Sherlock! Did you figure that out all by yourself, or did you have to consult a five-year-old first?"
I recently caught myself engaging in this very same sort of behavior, while trying to convince a Vichy-American (aka liberal) that stopping the flow of illegal aliens into our country is a necessary prerequisite to all other immigration reform measures. I related that before you can put a cast on an arm with a compound fracture, you first need to stop the bleeding, or the patient will die in spite of your best efforts. I stated that the U.S. is hemorrhaging resources like a stuck pig in order to accommodate the millions of illegal immigrants who've entered our country in recent decades, and that the influx of these people must be halted before the drain on our economy becomes too overwhelming for us to deal with. Then, due to what I now recognize as being reflexive conditioning, I said: "That doesn't mean I'm against LEGAL immigration, mind you."
The first thing the little voice in my head had to say upon hearing that remark was: "Hey buddy, you'd better hurry up... it's 'Chutes-and-Ladders' night at the happy-home, and you're running late." Indeed, I had walked right into that one, and all I could say to my inner-voice in response was: "Sorry... I don't know WHAT I was thinking."
After the initial wave of embarrassment had passed, it occurred to me why I'd said so superfluous a thing. If I hadn't distinguished between the words legal and illegal when I did, my liberal adversary would have started lecturing me (in that wholly condescending way that only liberals can) on the fact that my ancestors had been immigrants, that immigrants like them built this country, and that immigration... blah blah blah... yada yada yada...
At that moment I felt as if the mere act of engaging him in conversation was draining me of my common sense. It was like some ravenous, IQ-sucking tapeworm had been released into my cerebral cortex, causing me to blurt out redundant phrases in much the same way that a tourette's syndrome sufferer shrieks obscenities... suddenly, and for reasons undetectable by the casual observer.
Shortly thereafter the concept of 'Obligatory Political Correctness Syndrome' was born.
Like 'Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder' (ADHD), the term 'Obligatory Political Correctness Syndrome' (OPCS) is indicative of objectionable behavioral trends prevalent in modern American society, however, it is conservative-specific and it is not treatable with Ridalin, Adderall, or any other FDA-approved drug.
Nevertheless, a cure is now at hand!
Having recognized the warning signs of OPCS early, I took immediate measures to rid myself of its disabling effects, and so can you. Yes dear friends, there is hope for each and everyone of you out there who still suffer from this most insidious disorder, and I encourage all who read this article to share it with as many conservatives as humanly possible.
The four-step process for combating OPCS is as follows:
Step Three - Practice discussing the issues described in the opening paragraphs of this column with a fellow conservative, but ask him to pretend that he's a liberal. This role-playing exercise will help you to emotionally prepare yourself for the absurd rhetoric you'll inevitably get from real leftists in the future, while you attempt to avoid responding with equally absurd OPCS-corrupted statements.
Step Four - Avoid liberals like the plague for at least 6 months. If exposure to left-wingers is unavoidable during this period, simply wear a button on your clothing with the following words printed on it in both English and French: "I am an Iraq War veteran. Ask me what I think about the mainstream media." The chances are extremely good that no leftist will come near you, and when conservatives comment upon it, as they surely will, simply hand them a copy of this article.
Now, I know this last step will be difficult for many of you to accomplish, since you probably enjoy humiliating left-wingers in heated debates. However, until you've built up a natural immunity to OPCS by following the first three steps, the likelihood is high that you will continue to succumb to its negative influence upon your psyche. I cannot stress more strongly how important it is that you not allow yourself to be lulled into a false sense of wellness during this, the final and most critical stage in your recovery.
Remember, liberalism is itself a mental disorder, and sadly, one for which there is no known cure. Suffice it to say that you're not going to convert any hard-line lefties to conservatism, regardless of how many facts you confront them with, so don't worry about missing out on the opportunity to deprogram one of them in the immediate future. To paraphrase an old saying about horses: "you can lead a liberal to truth, but you can't make him think." Keep those words etched indelibly in your mind as you navigate through the troubled waters of OPCS toward the welcoming shores of conservative sanity.
Remember, the weakest link defines the integrity of the chain, and we must all work together to assure that the chain of conservatism remains strong for future generations. Of course, some of you may need added assistance along the way, and anyone who does not feel that they can overcome this dreaded affliction alone is encouraged to call the OPCS support line at the following toll-free number:
Operators are standing by.
Edward Daley was born to American parents on a U.S. military base in Stephenville, Newfoundland, Canada, and moved to the United States as an infant. He became active in politics in 1984, the first year he was old enough to vote for the President of the United States. He is currently a political op-ed columnist for upwards of 38 on-line conservative journals and magazines, and a landlord of rental property. Edward has been a salesman, bar doorman, typesetter, and security guard. He is a college graduate with a number of hobbies and interests, including reading, writing poetry and short stories, web designing, watching professional football, and drinking 12-year-old single malt scotch.