In a time where everyone is offended by everything, I’ve decided I’m offended by others being offended…

Political correctness really bothers me.

I don’t like being told what I’m allowed (or not allowed) to think. It’s not because I’m a rebel, nor is it because I’m a writer, but because I’m human. 

Whether its politics, religion, current events or whatever is trendy at the time, everyone has something to say about someone else. Republican, Democrat, black, white, up or down, left,  right or whatever side you’re on, it’s usually a two dimensional argument.

I’m right and you’re wrong and you need to change the way you think. If you don’t change how you think, you’re a bad person.

There is a third dimension though – those who don’t care.

Sometimes I’m not interested in a topic because it doesn’t affect me. Sometimes I’m bored with the conversation because I have no interest in it. More often it’s because I just don’t believe in whatever the discussion is. Whatever the reason, the new “political correctness” implies it’s unacceptable for me to have my own opinion, or in some cases, have NO opinion.

Whether it’s saving the whales, protesting politics or whatever is upsetting to the overly sensitive at the time, you’re expected to pick a side. I’ve lost “friends” because of things I didn’t say when I chose not to partake in zombie-like group thought on a particular issue.

If you don’t jump on the trendy bandwagon and instantly agree with those who are offended, you’re an outcast. I’m offended by this.

You’re called names like racist, bigot, sexist, radical, extremist or other derogatory words just because you don’t want to agree with others. Regardless of whether or not the thoughts presented by others are factual or evidence based, you’re still labeled and harassed because you disagree, regardless of which side you’re on.  

We’re not allowed to think for ourselves anymore.

Before you get worked up and call me a hypocrite because I’m writing an opinion column, please read what I wrote again. I’m not talking about free speech. I’m referring to free thought.

I’m allowed to think whatever I want.  I can like or dislike who I want. I can agree, or disagree with anyone, or anything. My actions and behaviors should be what define me as a person, not how I feel about politics, religion or whatever the topic of the day is.

As an opinion writer, I’m not telling you what to think. I simply offer a different perspective.

I like to be a devil’s advocate (a person who champions the less accepted cause for the sake of argument). Whether I agree or not with what I’m arguing, I stir up debate because I believe both sides of a case need to be heard in order to formulate an educated opinion.

You’re free to feel how YOU want to feel.

I’m not saying you you’re wrong for how YOU think, but if you’re going to tell me I’m wrong for what I think, I want to know WHY. I need for you to present valid points, NOT just feelings. Unfortunately, this is what happens with most people saying others are wrong.

When I present an argument for something I feel strongly about, I offer something many opinionated people don’t like – facts. Evidence based debate is a big no-no in political correctness because it questions one sided thought.

I’m told those who actively encourage and practice political correctness have good intentions, but telling others how to think is nothing more than a form of bullying.

Rather than simply respectfully disagreeing with someone or trying to understand why someone feels the way they do, we immediately demand change in the way they think or speak to conform to the wants of someone else.

I don’t like the color yellow.

I now demand you no longer wear anything that’s yellow because I don’t like it.  Oh, and I don’t like the smell of tacos, so I demand all restaurants that sell tacos be closed immediately. Don’t even get me started on cheddar cheese…

Does that sound stupid?

It should sound stupid because it is stupid. I’m sure this article will offend someone too.

We all have our own beliefs, thoughts, prejudices and opinions. It’s perfectly natural, but thoughts don’t define us – our actions do. You may not like what I think, but that doesn’t make me a bad person.

Respect and etiquette should matter to you. Who I vote for, what church I go to and my other personal beliefs shouldn’t matter.

What I think has no impact on you. The way I treat you does.

If this offends you, I offer no apologies.