Like many Americans I watched the first Republican Presidential Debate. Also like many Americans I watched it to see what kind of outlandish things Donald Trump would say.
He did not disappoint.
Whatever you think of Donald Trump you have to give him this…. he knows how to get the attention of people. In a particularly testy exchange with one of the moderators Mr. Trump stated that “frankly, he didn’t have time for political correctness. He said that our (the American people) concern with never offending anyone is limiting our progress, or something to that effect.
On that singular point he may be right!
I have long said that if you’re speaking to a large enough group of people that virtually anything you say can and will offend somebody. I now have proof.
First let me acknowledge that I have indeed said some stuff in front of groups that I wish I could take back. I suppose I should also acknowledge that I have also said some clearly politically incorrect things simply because they were funny. If people were offended I just figured they needed to get over themselves because it wasn’t meant to offend, it was meant to be funny.
Which brings me to a recent presentation. I told I joke that could not, that could absolutely NOT offend anyone.
I told a joke about the rancher who came out one morning to discover that someone had cut the tails off of all his cattle. He knew immediately that he would have to wholesale the cattle because there was no way to retail them.
That’s it. That’s the whole joke. It’s like third grade humor. It’s just dumb, the fact that it’s so bad a joke is what makes it funny. People groan about the joke and then share it the first chance they get. (Yes, you’re going to share it too, you just can’t help it)
The group I was speaking with was not especially large, maybe 100-120 people. There was just no way that dumb joke could offend anyone…. Except it did.
At the end of the presentation I was approached by an individual who actually had tears in their eyes. They were very emotional in telling me that animal cruelty was nothing to joke about. They couldn’t believe how insensitive I was to animal lovers in the group. They told me that even though they were the only one complaining there were many others in the group who were equally offended. (Nope, I wasn’t at a PETA convention) They told me that cows have feelings too.
I may now try to find a way to insert that joke into every presentation that I do. I just want to see if there is another person on this planet who is offended by the joke. (being offended because the joke is so bad doesn’t count)
I agree 100% that we should show respect in all of our interactions with people. There is nothing wrong about being sensitive to the views and opinions of other people…. but that’s a two-way street.
Maybe EVERYONE needs to lighten up a bit. Maybe we have “over-corrected” with all the politically correct stuff. Maybe, just maybe, something can be funny… just because it is.
Maybe, just maybe, we need to stop sacrificing the truth in the name of political correctness.
This much is certain, no matter what anyone says to me it can only offend me if I let it. I don’t need protection from the politically correct police. If I’m tempted to be offended by something someone said I just need to consider the source and the context and then I can CHOOSE to ignore it.
I’m wondering if we can apply some common sense here but I suppose I’m going to get ripped because this whole post is politically incorrect.