Political Correctness

Mike Pence and The Roots of the Right-Wing
“Political Correctness” Conspiracy Theory

The term “Political Correctness” was hijacked by right-wing ideologues in the late 1980s to trivialize and disparage concern for basic human rights for people whose race, gender, ability, size, or other attributes were inconsistent with the norms established by straight, White, Christian men.

Before then the term was seldom used other than among Leftist to discuss political ideology.

One of the most significant early claims of a “political correctness” campaign on US college campuses was:
Bernstein, Richard. “IDEAS & TRENDS; The Rising Hegemony of the Politically Correct.” The New York Times (1990)
This and a handful of other articles in mainstream news outlets brought what was a marginal idea in right-wing circles into a major political and cultural issue. The chart below shows what happend next

See this Google Ngram chart of instances of appearance in books


The idea of claiming there was a Culture War by liberals and leftists against America was formulated over several years by right-wing ideologues Patrick Buchanan, William Lind, and Paul Weyrich.

Of these it is William Lind’s development of the idea of a Culture War led by “Cultural Marxists” using “Political Correctness” that incorporated antisemitic conspiracy theories and made of Lind an hero to Norway mass murder terrorist Anders Behring Breivik.

Breivik not only cited and quoted Lind on the subject, but plagiarized whole section of a Lind manifesto.

It is Weyrich, however, who lays out the case in clear prose:

Paul Weyrich:
February 16, 1999

…I am in the process of rethinking what it is that we, who still
believe in our traditional, Western, Judeo-Christian culture, can and should
do under the circumstances. Please understand that I am not quarreling with
anybody who pursues politics, because it is important to pursue politics, to
be involved in government. It is also important to try, as many people have,
to re-take the cultural institutions that have been captured by the other side.

But it is impossible to ignore the fact that the United States is becoming
an ideological state. The ideology of Political Correctness, which openly
calls for the destruction of our traditional culture, has so gripped the
body politic, has so gripped our institutions, that it is even affecting the
Church. It has completely taken over the academic community. It is now
pervasive in the entertainment industry, and it threatens to control
literally every aspect of our lives.

Those who came up with Political Correctness, which we more accurately call
“Cultural Marxism,” did so in a deliberate fashion. I’m not going to go into
the whole history of the Frankfurt School and Herbert Marcuse and the other
people responsible for this. Suffice it to say that the United States is
very close to becoming a state totally dominated by an alien ideology, an
ideology bitterly hostile to Western culture. Even now, for the first time
in their lives, people have to be afraid of what they say. This has never
been true in the history of our country. Yet today, if you say the “wrong
thing,” you suddenly have legal problems, political problems, you might even
lose your job or be expelled from college. Certain topics are forbidden. You
can’t approach the truth about a lot of different subjects. If you do, you
are immediately branded as “racist”, “sexist”, “homophobic”, “insensitive”,
or “judgmental.”

Cultural Marxism is succeeding in its war against our culture.

Read the whole 1999 Weyrich letter here

Weyrich and his colleague William S. Lind developed an aggressive theory of Cultural Conservatism as a way to save Western Culture. Lind addressed the right-wing group Accuracy in Academia in February 2000. See also: What is Cultural Marxism? by William S. Lind.

Theocracy and White Supremacy: Behind the Culture War to Restore Traditional Values
“We are America, they are not America.”
–GOP Party Chief Rich Bond
by Chip Berlet and Margaret Quigley
Public Eye Magazine

See also:

+Breivik 2011 Manifesto Echoes Weyrich 1999 Manifesto – Chip Berlet
+Norway’s Nightmare & The Christian Fundamentalist – Bill Berkowitz
+When is Terrorism ‘Christian’? – Frederick Clarkson
+Author Cited by Anders Behring Breivik Regrets Original Essay
Breivik cited William S. Lind, Free Congress Foundation, & the LaRouchites
+Anders Behring Breivik: Soldier in the Christian Right Culture Wars

Old Christian Right:

Communism, Hypnotism and the Beatles: Noebel, David A. (Tulsa, Oklahoma: Christian Crusade Publications, 1965).

New Christian Right

Cultural Conservatism: Toward a New National Agenda. The Institute for Cultural Conservatism. (Washington: Free Congress Research and Education Foundation, 1987).

Cultural Conservatism: Theory and Practice. Lind, William S. and Marshner, William H., eds. (Washington: Free Congress Foundation, 1991).

Early Research on the roots of the “Political Correctness” Conspiracy Theory:

“To Reclaim a Legacy of Diversity: Analyzing the ‘Political Correctness” Debates in Higher Education,” Washington, DC: National Council for Research on Women, 1993.

Ellen Messer–Davidow, “Manufacturing the Attack on Liberalized Higher Education,” Social Text, Fall 1993, pp. 40–80;

Davidow, “Who (Ac)Counts and How,” MMLA (The Journal of the Midwest Modern Language Association), Spring 1994.

See Also:

John K. Wilson. The myth of political correctness: The conservative attack on higher education. Duke University Press, 1995.

Early Research on Funding and Building the Right-Wing Juggernaut

Lawrence Soley, “Right–Think Inc.,” City Pages, (Minneapolis, MN), 10/31/90, p. 10.

David Callahan, “Liberal Policy’s Weak Foundations: Fighting the ‘Bull Curve,’” The Nation, November 13, 1995, pp. 568–572.

Beth Schulman, “Foundations for a Movement: How the Right Wing Subsidizes its Press,” Extra! (Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting), special issue on “The Right–Wing Media Machine,” March/April 1995, p. 11.

The concepts within cultural conservatism are a confluence of traditionalist claims from Europe and the United States. Major US groups send representatives to Europe, and there is a general meet up at the conferences of The World Congress of Families. See background here: “Exporting ‘Traditional Values’: The World Congress of Families.” This vein of cultural conservatism warns of a “Demographic Winter” a term which is a coded racist warning that Muslims are outbreeding “white people” in Europe and the United States.

Phyllis Schlafly

Bilingualism Is The Wrong Way To Go
For the last five years, Political Correctness has forced the academic (and much of the political) world to pay homage to the new sacred cows called multiculturalism and diversity.

More content & links on the way