Dear Editor: As I’ve watched this election cycle unfold, the construction of “political correctness” and its “crushing” impact on freedom of speech mystifies me — the lament that so many have expressed about its impact on their “freedom” to speak their mind.

The comedian Adam Carolla complains that he is “sick and tired” of not being able to use comedy any longer about gay people because of “political correctness.” However, what Carolla is really saying is that he laments the fact that he has to alter his comedy or exclude certain topics from his comedy in order to not be considered “fringe” because that would impact his success.

The glee that is being witnessed around our country in the followers of our president-elect as they insult and denigrate the various cultural, social and linguistic groups in their midst is an indication that they believe the “fringe” is moving toward social acceptance. Do you really want to live in a country where someone can say to any group of Latino men and women they encounter, “Build a wall!” through laughter with no societal repercussions?

We don’t need policeman and lawyers to stop it. Our freedoms do allow this  "speech” to happen. But we control the societal consequences: Those who use this kind of speech are moved to the fringe of our society. It is any culture’s greatest weapon. Don’t give up yours believing it is “respect for losing.” It isn’t. It’s all we really have left.

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John Kibler

Madison

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