Remember Roger Miller’s song “England Swings?”
England swings like a pendulum do
Bobbies on bicycles, two by two
Westminster Abbey, the tower of Big Ben
The rosy-red cheeks of the little children
Lots of fun.
I have witnessed the rise of political correctness over the past fifty years – ruefully, I might add. We have gone from the witch hunts of McCarthyism to the witch hunts of so-called human rights tribunals.
Back in the 1950s, in the United States, you could get hauled up in front of the Senate’s Committee on Un-American Activities, and lose your reputation and your livelihood for being a “communist” (the definition was pretty loose). Dark days, indeed, with those in power racing to outdo each other in trying ferret out communists, but it could’t last; the pendulum had to swing back sooner or later, and it surely did by the 1960s – with a vengeance, but it started before then: there was a moment when its progress slowed and came to a quivering halt before it started to trace its return journey.
When was it? When McCarthy failed to uncover a single communist in the State Department, which he had asserted was a veritable nest of communists.
We have seen the same abuse of personal freedom happen in the rise of political correctness, from equality (which was only fair) to equity (which was anything but), from equal opportunity (which no-one can argue against) to so-called “equity” of outcome, necessitating the reverse discrimination of affirmative action – quotas, in other words, that discriminated against able-bodied, heterosexual, white men.
Concurrently, came the rise of globalization with ever-increasing immigration, official multiculturalism, and the weakening of national borders through lax enforcement, international treaties and inequitable trade deals.
Oh, yes, the pendulum swung mightily.
In the name of inclusiveness, Western civilization came under direct attack. How often, when I was a teacher, did I hear the cry that our curriculum was too “Eurocentric”? But we are a Western nation, and the contributions of Europe are a key part of our heritage.
Oops! Wrong heritage!
For years now, I have waited to see the pendulum slow and stop and begin its return trip to the centre.
And now I have seen it.
And its name is “Brexit”.
The majority in Great Britain went against its political elite, those who are the side of globalization and political correctness, to reassert their national sovereignty against the EU bureaucracy that was bleeding it away. This is not just my theory. News commentary and editorialists are consistently painting it that way.
The majority were so alarmed by immigrants who wanted to change the British way of life (not to mention migrants who included jihadis) and madness of paying for other countries who leeched from them (think Greece) or dictated to them (think Germany). They wanted a return to a sensible English way of life, to preserve their traditions, and to be safe.
Resoundingly so. In England, they won everywhere but London, which is rife with immigrants and those who depend on international business interests.
Brexit constituted the stop of the pendulum’s swing.
The beginning of its return journey will surely be heralded by Donald Trump’s election in November. And then? People who have been silenced by being called names like “racist”, “bigot”, and so on, will speak up, more and more. Politicians (like Trump) will appear who will give them someone to vote for – even here in politically correct Canada. Rob Ford was an early taste of that.
It’s inevitable and unstoppable because that’s how history works.
If I were Justin Trudeau, I would be getting nervous.
But he’s too arrogant and probably not smart enough to figure that out for himself.
So I woke up feeling good this morning. Freedom is coming, and I await it eagerly. It will take awhile, but . . .
. . . it’s coming.