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Where have all the hugs gone?

February 16, 2011|By Gene Pepper

For the most part, hugs are gone — wiped out by the political-correctness mob who rise up with moral righteousness to stop free speech and free expression and as a result, no hugs — symbolic of all that ails us.

Maybe the more apt term is political incorrectness. There’s a blurring of the lines that separate the two beliefs. I recognize too, that you might think I am naïve to urge more civility in the cause of lowering the national temperature. I am not naïve. Rather I want to push our leaders to lead us and to quit hammering each other with nonsensical positions that lack common sense. Just to be clear, I’m including all parties.

Once upon a time in the kingdom of innocence, men and women in the workplace could embrace for a quick moment of emotion; a celebration, a triumph or even a poignant sadness. Hugging, the precursor of high fives, was, and still is, a metaphor for human contact.

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Hugs still exist in the sports world, but not so much in other locations. The PC legions have co-opted many of our country’s niceties. Today, we have the politically incorrect mandate of “Look, Ma, no hands.”

Our schools are controlled by strict and lengthy Big Brother-like rules. School children are prohibited from expressing physical fondness for classmates and teachers. And now, some schools ban Christmas themes. No tree, no singing carols, no Santa Claus. What are we doing to ourselves by this relentless practice of political correctness?

Winston Smith, the protagonist of George Orwell’s “1984,” would not be a stranger, should he suddenly appear. He tells us that “Big Brother” is watching. He goes on to mention the “Thought Police.” Mr. Smith works in the Ministry of Truth. OK, but exactly whose truth comes out of his building? The descendants of Orwell’s make-believe world are with us today. I call them “Misguided Do-Gooders.”

We have the constitutional right to speak freely, but witness the forums some universities have presented where the speaker is heckled or shut down — if the ideas expressed are not in accordance with those of the students or even the professors. “Go somewhere else, not on our campus.” Where, if not here?

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