This is a letter to the editor submitted by Jake Buxton, Chairman of the College Republicans at Truman State University.
Recently, objections from a passionate student were raised around our organization putting on a scavenger hunt where individuals who bought a ticket searched for small statues of El Chapo across campus. To our surprise, what started as a simple and creative fundraiser for our organization turned into a moral high ground for those seeking political opportunity. Instead of gracing what I honestly found as a bleeding heart complaint, I write today to discuss a bigger issue plaguing not just our campus at Truman, but college campuses across this great country: political correctness. Crippling political correctness that is sucking the very sustenance of our ability to relate to one another and forcing a mold that is not only uncomfortable for some, but also downright ridiculous for others. On a campus where diversity of thought and belief is encouraged, we should be doing so much better.
Political correctness has risen drastically in the last decade. The dangers of breeding this type of environment are many. First, is the creation of a generation that cannot stand to get their feelings hurt. Imagine a society that can’t even stand up to a simple scavenger hunt without getting offended. Don’t look now, but we’re headed that way as the author of the complaint published last week so brilliantly displayed. Another danger of allowing such blatant political correctness to prevail is the inability to engage in political discourse. I found it painfully ironic that the author of the complaint took to writing a letter to the editor before reaching out to me, as the chair of the organization (and as the owner of the email address printed on every single advertisement). In fact, I’m still waiting for that “constructive discussion” he calls for to reach my inbox.
Finally, we reach the most dangerous part of fostering a culture of political correctness. This generation of soft feelings has no idea how to handle confrontation. As mentioned previously, my organization received no invite to discourse about the subject. I had to read about it in the paper. Beyond that, those who supported the author of the complaint took to vandalizing posters. This included crossing out the word “Republicans” in College Republicans and writing in “Idiots.” Is that political discourse? No. This is the result of a politically correct mentality, a hypocritical one at that.
My suggestion to fix this problem? Check our righteous egos at the door and find something to laugh at, together. If we can’t laugh together, how will we ever agree on anything? Instead of assuming my organization is poking fun at someone or something, why not find something we can both laugh at and move on? And if you really believe malicious intent is present, confront the individual, not publicly cause a scene. That’s how constructive discussion takes place. However, the current environment of political correctness we are propping up on our campuses will never allow for this. We can do better, and we’re going to start right now. Thanks to this complaint, I am excited to announce the next scavenger hunt the College Republicans will be putting on (this time, for free)! We will be searching for Hilary Clinton’s email server, Bernie Sanders’ comb and Martin O’Malley’s voters. We hope to start discussion… and hopefully laugh. Advertisements to come soon!