Over on CNN’s Cafferty File, Jack Cafferty asks:
Could authorities have prevented the Fort Hood shootings?
Cafferty doesn’t opine one way or the other, but he asks his readers what they think – and, according to Cafferty’s commenters, the answer is yes, absolutely, this could have been prevented – if it wasn’t for all this political correctness that is.
A couple quotes from the comments under Cafferty’s post on CNN:
Jack C says:
Politically correct concept is going to destroy America. We need to address this "crap" concept as it is ignorant.
With everyone so afraid to say anything about a person for fear of being sued for discrimination, harrassment, etc, it's going to be tough to react to a potential threat. At some point all this political correctness needs to be tempered with the American public's safety
H W Johnson said:
If we had been as concerned about the health and welfare of our troops as we are about being "politically correct" , this probably could have been avoided.
Political correctness in not wanting to offend Muslim soldiers drove thiose who saw red flags to ignore them. This tone comes from the top, where we have an administration that cares more about terrorist rights than American lives.
There’s more of the same spread across the popular (and the not so popular) media. The usual suspects are all bemoaning political correctness and the response on the Cafferty File squares with comments I’ve seen elsewhere, many Americans seem to feel that Major Hasan’s homicidal rampage at Fort Hood could have been prevented. “They” should have seen the signs and locked him up or drummed him out of the service long ago.
In fact, according to CNN about 64% of Americans think Hasan’s actions were a preventable act of terrorism, about 31% don’t think that it could have been prevented, and the remaining 5% have the IQ of aquatic plants and were found standing in line for Palin’s book signing.
Overwhelmingly, the majority of the folks who think this event could have been prevented blame the pervasive liberal evil of political correctness for the Army and the Government’s failure to take preventative action. Apparently, Army Soldiers who face death nearly every day, some for years at a time, senior officers who command thousands of fighting men, men who jump out of airplanes for a living, and doctors who spend their lives slicing open human beings, were apparently terrified of saying anything about Hasan for fear of being branded politically incorrect. The FBI, those steely eyed G-men who hunt down bank robbers and terrorists and kidnappers and gang lords and drug kingpins and are willing to throw themselves in front of a bullet for God and country were intimidated by the terrible power of political correctness. The CIA whose operatives have no trouble strapping a naked man to a board and pouring water up his nose while icily ignoring his tortured screams, who infiltrate terrorist organizations and who hunt the enemies of America though the steaming slums of South America and the jungles of Africa and the battlefields of Bosnia and the wreckage of the Middle East, they were frightened away from investigating one balding, doughy, psychiatrist because of political correctness. Those government employees, civilians who basically can’t be fired or denied promotion for anything short of outright murder and who file grievances sometimes just to stay in practice, were too cowed by the 800lb Gorilla of political correctness to say anything. For Hasan’s entire career, his teachers, his mentors, his coworkers, his patients, his superior officers, his commanding officer, the FBI, the CIA, CID, hell even the President of the United States (both past and present) were all, each and every one stymied by political correctness from getting rid of one lowly Muslim officer with a chip on his shoulder.
Wow, political correctness is some petty powerful stuff indeed.
Here’s the thing, as powerful and pervasive and dangerous as political correctness is, you’d think people would have a good grasp of the particulars, wouldn’t you?
Neither Cafferty, nor any of his commenters, nor any of the news articles or blogs or commentary or TV pundits condemning “political correctness” bother to define what it is. They all offer some vague hand waving, but never a solid definition or a concrete example or a list of who is engaged in it. It is destroying our country, you’d think there’d be a short and specific definition available, wouldn’t you? See, everybody just apparently knows what it is. Even the Wikipedia article is strangely vague, the group consensus limiting itself to mostly describing what various people think it is in certain situations – but no commonly accepted definition. When I asked around among the people I work with, nobody really knew what political correctness was, not one person could quote a definition or sum up the concept in a succinct line or two – other than to say that political correctness was destroying our country because you couldn’t call thin skinned minorities by racial slurs in the workplace and you weren’t allowed to tell certain jokes around women because they don’t have a sense of humor. Nobody really knew what it was, but they all agreed that political correctness was bad. How, exactly, it is destroying the country, nobody could explain precisely or give particulars - other than more vague hand waving and some unfocused talk of illegal aliens.
Oh, don’t get me wrong here, managed equal opportunity, like anything else, can certainly go horribly wrong. People can be made afraid to speak up for fear of repercussions. There certainly is something, however undefined, to political correctness. But I seriously doubt that’s what happened here. Hasan did get negative performance reviews, he was counseled about his behavior, the FBI did investigate him, his patients did complain. People did speak up. There’s no proof whatsoever that any investigation or complaint was quashed because Hasan was a Muslim.
It seems that a great deal of Hasan’s beef with the Army was that he wasn’t given special treatment for his religious beliefs. He demanded that Muslims be given conscientious objector status, that was denied. He asked to be let out of his service obligation early because of his religious beliefs, that was denied. He asked not to be deployed because he didn't want to fight Muslims, that request was also denied. And in fact Hasan was reprimanded and given negative performance reviews for not meeting the same standards as everybody else.
What it comes down to, pure and simple, is that Hasan was a nut. Just another garden variety loon who blew a mental gasket and who just happened to be a Muslim. He had a dozen different options, none of which involved treason or murder. Instead he chose the path of insanity.
As I’ve said several times recently on this blog, all of it seems pretty damned obvious, now, when we have the luxury of perfect hindsight and hundreds of people digging up clues and working on the Hasan case and nothing else.
But that’s not good enough, is it?
We have to blame someone or something don’t we?
We can’t just blame Hasan and hold him accountable for his actions, no, we need a scapegoat.
The problem is that the investigation isn’t complete, and it’s not liable to be complete for a while. We don’t really know why Hasan did what he did. So it’s kind of hard to know who to blame.
A number of folks would like to blame President Obama, but when they say that out loud, well, it makes them sound as crazy as Hasan himself. A number of folks would like to blame the Army, but that makes them sound anti-American and unpatriotic – kind of the opposite of what they were going for. A number of folks would like to blame the FBI, but then they end up sounding like Senator Lieberman and that’s not particularly popular either. In fact, if you try to blame a specific person or a specific organization you’re very likely to get called on it, and then you’ll have to justify your accusation – which is damned hard to do when you’re just pulling it out of your ass.
So, they’ve decided to blame some vaguely undefined concept, political correctness.
In other words, it’s the liberals’ fault.
A commenter on Cafferty’s blog named southerncousin summed it up,
If liberals had not tarnished us so badly with their politically correct stuff we could have not only saved the lives of these brave soldiers, but the lives of so many more all over the world. Fort Hood is just another sign of the moral depravity and hypocrisy that is liberalism.
And so there you have it. If only the filthy liberals hadn’t taken over the country, Hasan would have been identified and stopped long before he had a chance to kill. Because the previous Conservative government was so good at it, right? Nothing slipped.past them, did it?
Let me ask you something, what if we, as a country, took them up on it?
Maybe we should do what commenter Steve suggests,
Instead of worrying about hurting someones feelings, our government needs to thoroughly interrogate anyone who is at all suspicious of being a threat to any U.S interest.
I’m hip. Let’s stop pretending that certain behavior is acceptable. Let’s stop being politically correct. Let’s call it like it is and speak bluntly. Let’s not worry about hurting people’s feelings. Let’s thoroughly interrogate anyone who is at all suspicious and might be a threat to U.S. interests.
Lets start with the Michigan Militia, or whatever those whacked out sons of bitches are calling themselves nowadays, shall we? All of these paramilitary nut jobs. I don’t think any of those people are wrapped to tight, they’ve got a shitload of guns, and they like to dress up and play soldier – and the only people they’re planning on shooting are Americans. Lets bring every one of them in for interrogation. Hell, I’ll say it, as long as we’re not being politically correct and all – these people are as crazy as a bunch of shithouse rats and they sure look crazy suspicious to me. While we’re at it, let’s interrogate every single member of the NRA, and every nut who goes to gun shows.
Next, Operation Rescue. These are the rightwing religious anti-abortion nuts who have already shot Americans and committed several dozen acts of terrorism on US soil. It’s pretty obvious just how damned dangerous these people are, let’s quit screwing around with this 1st Amendment bullshit and start calling it like it is. In fact, lets haul in every member of the organized rightwing anti-abortion movement before they shoot another doctor or blow up another clinic.
And while we’re at it, let’s investigate every church in this country. Including every single religious leader who pontificates from the pulpit. You know who I’m talking about, these priests and preachers and reverends who claim that people answer to a higher power than America, who spew hate in the name of their prophet, who pray for the death of the President, who talk about organizing their Soldiers of God. Every single church in this country needs to be investigated. I mean, if we’re not going to be politically correct any more, we sure shouldn’t be tolerating all these different beliefs.
Glenn Beck. He’s been advocating revolution. In fact, it’s about damned time we did something about all of these talk show rabble rousers. Somebody explain to me how these people are any different from the Middle Eastern extremist leaders who wallow in power and hate filled ideology and encourage the mob to do their dirty work.
Teabaggers, with their talk of “taking back the country” and their tax revolts. Birthers too. How about the Governor of Texas, you know the guy that was seriously advocating secession. And while we’re at it, Todd Palin, for the same thing. My neighbor. He’s a raving nutjob and frankly I just don’t like the guy. He’s weird and creepy and it’s probably only a matter of time before he kills somebody.
Fuck it, let’s just interrogate everybody.
I tell you folks, I don’t know what political correctness is, but I don’t like it.
It’s good that we have something to blame for this terrible tragedy.