Are we becoming too politically correct?

Posted at 7:32 PM, Oct 16, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-17 08:44:19-04

Editor's Note: Denver7 360 stories explore multiple sides of the topics that matter most to Coloradans, bringing in different perspectives so you can make up your own mind about the issues. To comment on this or other 360 stories, email us at See more 360 stories here.

DENVER — Are we too politically correct? That question bubbled to the surface after ABC fired Roseanne Barr and canceled her sitcom because of a racist tweet she sent. On Tuesday, the new Roseanne show (less Roseanne) called "The Conners" premiered on Denver7.

John Caldara, president of the Independence Institute, a libertarian think tank in Denver, thinks we are too politically correct and he has examples.

"In Boulder, you're not allowed to own a dog.  However, you can be a pet guardian. Facebook has some 60 different terminologies for your gender identity. We can't say he is retarded — he is developmentally delayed," Caldara said.

Caldara thinks the words deemed appropriate ways to describe people are confusing and hard to keep track of.

"There is no right not to be offended," Caldara said.

Dr. Hal Bidlack, political columnist, retired Air Force colonel and former Air Force Academy professor believes both sides have gone off the rails with political correctness.

"On the left, we see it with very foolish notions especially at universities and colleges to try to make sure no one says anything that could be offensive when, in fact, the whole point of college is to have your ideas challenged," Bidlack said.

But the right, Bidlack said, has turned it into something far more dangerous. 

"To say, 'oh you're just politically correct' as a kind of weapon to say what the person is saying is nonsense," Bidlack said.

Bidlack concedes that it takes effort to keep track of what people prefer to be called but, he says, they are the ones who get to decide. And effort, he adds, is a small price to pay to get along better.

"We evolve as a society so it makes sense that our language would evolve, too," Bidlack said.

Rejection of political correctness in some circles has become an excuse to say outrageous things.

During a 2016 Republican primary debate, for example, then-candidate Donald Trump was asked to defend the many insults he has hurled at women including calling them "fat pigs" and making a crass sexual remark to a contestant on his TV show "The Apprentice."

Trump's response was that he doesn't have time for political correctness.

Bidlack finds this the most troubling facet in the PC versus anti-PC debate.

"When he says something outrageous, if you challenge him on it, you're simply trying to restrict his free speech. That's not a good sign for the future," Bidlack said.

Interestingly, Caldara blames the Bidlack Bunch for this. He says our hyper-PC culture suppressed speech so much that it essentially created President Donald Trump.

"And sooner or later people, out of their frustrations, will vote for somebody like Trump because he talks the way I'd like to be able to talk," he said. 

For the latest installment of Table7, we sat down to hear multiple perspectives on this controversial topic. Watch the entire conversation on the Denver7 app for Roku, Apple TV or Amazon Fire TV. MORE: