I wanted to come back to the growing list at Handle`s Haus of the “bullied-and-badgered-pressured-and-purged” victims of political correctness.
By nature I`m a nice, pleasant, optimistic, think-the-best-of-everyone person, so I`ve had to train myself to notice the less admirable traits of human beings. One of those is that we are more outraged by indignities suffered by winners than by injustices suffered by losers. Therefore, I suspect that the most valuable members of the list are not those most victimized, but those widely seen as having triumphed over insults.
For example, consider the campaign that drove Joe Sobran into poverty versus the pouring of a pitcher of ice water on the head of Harvard sociobiology professor Edward O. Wilson at an AAAS meeting in 1978. Now, in objective terms, the crushing of Sobran was a larger detriment to intellectual life in America than the momentary insult to Wilson.
But the point is that Sobran lost. So, therefore, he is assumed to be a loser.
In contrast, Wilson, a resilient and resourceful individual, came back repeatedly and has achieved Grand Old Man status in American intellectual life, clearly demonstrating that he is a winner. (Here are some of the many episodes of the Charlie Rose Show upon which Wilson has appeared in recent years.)
Human beings like winners (perhaps out of a hope that winners will like them) and tend to dislike losers (perhaps out of fear that their loser cooties will rub off on them).
Thus, the story of Wilson being attacked is a touchstone for anybody objecting to the reign of political correctness, while the fate of Sobran is largely veiled in silence, other than for a few brave souls like Ann Coulter.
Similarly, I have read hundred of times about how Daniel Patrick Moynihan was unfairly criticized for his 1965 report to LBJ on how the black illegitimacy rate had reached 22 percent. And, indeed, Moynihan`s career might have suffered a temporary setback because of political correctness. Yet, the reason by 1969 Moynihan was the President`s chief domestic advisor and later the U.N. Ambassador. He then served 24 years or 8766 days (some of them, no doubt, sober) as a U.S. Senator (D-NY). Therefore, this horrible, horrible thing that happened to Moynihan in the mid-1960s remains a vivid mainstream memory of the excesses of political correctness.
So, my advice would be to make up a sublist of people who have triumphed almost completely over accusations of political incorrectness. For example, Larry Summers quickly rebounded from outraging feminists to become Obama`s chief economics guru. If he`d become Fed Chairman, his comeback would have been complete. James D. Watson was back on the Charlie Rose Show after a few years, no questions asked about his unfortunate Watsoning.
You may think this is, logically speaking, backwards, but this how the human brain works.