Thursday, March 17, 2005

Political Correctness

  • Hugh Hewitt
  • had a first class rant in the third hour of his show yesterday. He was all over the page...he made the lie detector test of a Mafia boss look even. It was a beaut...

    He was disappointed that Tarzana Joe, poet extraordinarie, is not a finalist for the official State of California Poet Laureate. He attributes this to the pretty apparent PC quality of the list. Without knowing the individuals personally, I can't say whether this is true or not, but I have heard TJ often, and would be shocked that TJ couldn't make the final list in a fair process. So here is my take on PC.

    If achieving a PC solution is the goal, you will rarely achieve excellence. By focusing away from the primary objective...excellence in the outcome of any endeavor, you will almost always miss the mark. This is because you have subjugated the importance of excellence to other factors such as team composition, presenting a "neutral" position, avoiding offending people/groups...a near impossibility in today's PC environment. Once excellence is subordinated, it is only by chance you will achieve it.

    On the other hand, should excellence be your focus, there is a high likelihood that you can still meet most PC objectives. In building my current team I have hired two Asian technicians, two Hispanic technicians, and a female technician. I can honestly say, in each case, I hired the person who interviewed best for the position, and had the best qualifications. In my search for excellence, I was able to achieve a PC objective of team diversity, but it was an expected by-product of the process, not the driving factor. Another PC objective, sensitivity to other cultures, values, and points of view, was also achieved through the search for excellence.

    In my view, doing right thing usually means focusing on achieving excellence in an excellent way, and if you can do this, PC will take care of itself. In TJ's case, California will suffer, because their process may not yield the best results.

    Assassin, a Harvard grad and fellow trunk rider, had a great expression that I loved...
    "If the minimum wasn't good enough, it wouldn't be the minimum." This works for old guys taking the PT test, but when it comes to poetry, it might leave us a bit disappointed. While Tarzana Joe may not gain the notoriety he may have, had he been selected, I know that he will continue to write great poems and educate us mouth-breathers periodically.

    1 comment:

    Paul5388 said...

    Major Mike,

    I don't have a lot of use for political correctness. What interests me is whether they are Americans! I suppose the PRK (People's Republik of Kalifornia) hasn't figured that out yet.

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