Question: When was political correctness worse — in the early 1990s or now?
It’s the shape of the Overton Window, or the range of ideas that can be discussed in the extended circles of one’s peers. Below are graphic representations of the changing mores, which I created on the basis of my observation. The x-axis represents the Left-Right ideological continuum, the y-axis quantifies the social acceptability of each point along that continuum. The bright part of the gradient marks the position of high morale.
Note: the notion of a political center is relative. What’s considered “far Right” is otherwise the healthy European norm but we are looking at Western politics in their modern expression, for better or worse.
Ronald Reagan: Morning in America
It was a centrist era, with extreme viewpoints marginalized. If you were a communist, an AIDS activist, or conversely, a White nationalist, those were frustrating years. For everyone else though, the Eighties were an awesome, confident time. It was the apogee of civic nationalism, as I recently described its workings:
Civic nationalism appears to be incoherent or dishonest because it is. But as recently as three decades ago it worked because it was a compromise that relied on a tacit agreement among U.S. citizens of all backgrounds that the national culture will be based on Protestant values, that Whites are going to be a solid majority with the responsibility of running the country, that minorities (such a quaint word now) will enjoy the fruits of our labor and retain a desired measure of autonomy while remaining respectful of the prevailing norms, and that immigrants, allowed in on a color-blind basis, will “assimilate.” Also — and this was key — that certain taboos will be honored in a let’s not discuss it way, said taboos hinging on the more uncomfortable realities of human biodiversity and Whites’ natural disgust with mixing.
The theme song of the Reagan era is John Mellenkamp’s “Pink Houses.” The song is part landscape painting, part unheeded warning.
I’m skipping over the George H.W. Bush term, which was a transition from Reagan to…
Bill Clinton: The End of History
See the massing shift left, toward globalism and its subsidiary ideologies multiculturalism and resurgent feminism. The Left’s vanguard found its voice in Political Correctness, which was more benign than its present SJW iteration but which, in the Left’s monopoly on consensus at the time, made lonely men of dissidents. On two occasions, dissidents’ wives and children were murdered by U.S. federal agents.
The theme song of the Clinton era is the Scorpions’ “Winds of Change.” It’s about the high hopes early in the decade. Americans, Europeans, and Russians could have been partners in a resurgent Western Civilization, but that’s not how things had worked out.
George W. Bush: Freedom Fries
Look at that rightward lurch. It’s the apparent restoration of centrism under George W. Bush. But lying runs in that family, and Bush’s promises of restoring honor and humility were lies. Meanwhile, the Left was consolidating their gains from the early ’90s culture war. The public reveled in counterfeit prosperity until the housing boom broke the country’s middle class.
The music theme of the GWB era is Green Day’s “American Idiot” album. Sometimes even lefties notice the subliminal mind-fuck. It wasn’t a redneck agenda that drove the events, but there was an agenda. We didn’t pulverize the Eiffel Tower, but French kids were marked for death in its shadow.
Barack Obama: “You Didn’t Build That”
Hey, what’s that light on the far right?
Under Obama’s second term, the establishment dropped the liberal cloak that concealed their White genocide program. Dormant over the latter half of the 1990s and through Bush’s terms, political correctness returned as a malignant SJW strain — but unlike in the Clinton era, there was now an ascendant alternative Right. The dark middle of the graph is the center that would not hold.
Anything by Beyoncé will do as the soundtrack of the Obama era: a fake-talent bleached African strutting around and demanding a ring.
Donald Trump (so far): No-Man’s Land
Thirty years ago, centrism suppressed any expressions of relative extremism from both the Left or the Right. But as you’ve followed the spasms of the ideological consensus, you saw it first pull left, then split apart. Today, to be a moderate is to be stranded in no-man’s land, drawing fire from both sides.
What is the music of the nascent Trump era?