Emmett Tyrrell

WASHINGTON -- Ah, the Christmas season is about over, and soon I shall be liberated from the alarm I experience every time some benevolent authoritarians accosts me with the line "have a happy holiday." The term is used in all innocence by many, I am sure. Yet there are the forces of political correctness out there, and their meaning is clear: "Have a happy holiday or else ." These are the moralists who somehow always manage simultaneously to identify iniquity of one sort or another in conventional behavior and stamp it out good and hard. Some years ago they discovered cruelty and intolerance laden in the term "Merry Christmas," and now the term is gone or nearly gone.

It has been replaced with "happy holiday," and anyone who stands by the term "Merry Christmas" is immediately marked down as a provocateur, probably a bigot and possibly a cigarette smoker. At this time of year the use of the term "Merry Christmas" is viewed by the politically correct as a rude and aggressive act. Oddly enough it just might be by now. The politically correct have an inordinate influence over our language and manners. They have lured enough politically innocent Americans to their view that "Merry Christmas" is indeed a term of controversy and a consensus has probably formed. "Merry Christmas" is at least bad manners.

What is surprising to me is that the politically correct manage to convince themselves that they are tolerant and peace loving. Actually they are bullies of the worst sort. They never tire of shoving people around and always do it while claiming noble values. They are driven by a free-floating moralizing that alights on matters large and small -- usually small. This Christmas -- if you will pardon the word -- we saw them render controversial the Christmas tree, Santa Claus and even Frosty the Snowman. Google these terms, and you will see trees being taken down, Santa Claus suits being banned and at least one Frosty who suffered violence. These are the accomplishments of the politically correct's restless moralizing.

They have been engaged in this petty mischief for years. They brought down on us the nonsensical term "Ms." Because it is nonsensical even now, it is not in universal use, which means it is a cause for social conflict. The politically correct, working through their feminist agents, have made it dangerous for a man to offer to hold a door for a woman, even when her arms are full of packages. Merely offering a woman a seat on the subway can become a casus belli .

Emmett Tyrrell

R. Emmett Tyrrell Jr. is founder and editor in chief of The American Spectator and co-author of Madame Hillary: The Dark Road to the White House.
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