Gary Shapiro

Political correctness does not allow us to have a discussion on the harmful impact these laws may be having on hiring of females, minorities, disabled and those who are older. Many employers have encountered an employee who doesn’t work out, hires a lawyer and extorts a settlement from the employer. We hired an employee who was over 60 and insisted on a nap every day. When terminated for poor performance she hired an attorney who said we were discriminating against her on the basis of her age.

Political correctness prevents the type of honest discussion we need to solve our biggest problems. Our nation is in trouble. We are struggling largely because we are not being honest with each other. We are selecting politicians who promise easy solutions and avoid tough discussions.

We cannot expect to recover our economic prosperity when we pillory any politician, pundit or organization that dares to touch the third-rail. We should reward the Juan Williamses of the world for asking the tough questions. The difference between a culture of honesty, respect and diversity is different from a legal and elite mandate of a code of silence that precludes discussion of the toughest issues.

America can and should do better. We can begin by discussing and recognizing that political correctness is neither healthy nor helpful in the type of honest discussion we need to solve the big problems we face. This does not mean we need to change laws or start discriminating. It means we need to stop the censors and confront our divisive issues. Americans have turned on each other, and political correctness is the weapon of choice in ensuring we stay divided.

Gary Shapiro

Gary Shapiro is president and CEO of the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), the U.S. trade association representing some 2,000 consumer electronics companies.