I’m Having an Overreaction to Overreaction … and to “political correctness”

I’m sick of overreaction, especially when I do it! The world is driven by overreactions to problems, whether between spouses, among politicians, between nations, by government against citizens, or just by normal people in their daily lives. The whole culture of “political correctness” is an overreaction, one which is designed to obliterate personal responsibility. Some examples ….

The terrible BP oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico produced the overreaction by Pres. Obama to shut down all drilling.  Two federal courts now have said that’s an overreaction.

Or this story which demonstrates overreactions to overreactions:

Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter’s opposition to renewing a contract allowing federal immigration authorities full access to city arrest records is infuriating local Tea Party activists and their allies who say the potential move could jeopardize the public safety of residents and visitors to the city.

Supporters of the contract held a news conference Thursday in Philly to express their safety concerns after they said the mayor’s office ignored their requests for a meeting but dispatched city officials to a meeting last month organized by a coalition of pro-immigrant groups where immigrants voiced their mistrust of the police.

via FOXNews.com – Tea Party Activists Push Philly Mayor to Renew City’s Contract With Immigration on Arrest Records.

The mayor REACTS by defying federal law (non-cooperation with immigration officials) because of a perceived fear that illegal immigrants under-report crime. That may be true, but the mayor’s solution is an overreaction. Then he has meetings with the illegal immigrant group because immigrants have voiced a mistrust of the police. That mistrust is likely an overreaction to particular events (the facts of which likely were not fully known to the group) and the mayor’s capitulation to the group is an overreacttion no doubt in part to his own political fears. To which the Tea Party group reacts, and yes it’s an overreaction, by opposing him. By the way, not all overreactions produce bad results.

The most pervasive overreactions are those born out of the “political correctness” notions, such as giving every child in a contest a ribbon, belying the fact that not all of them “won” the event. A misplaced psychological idea, in my opinion, but still within the genre of “political correctness.” The general dumbing down and false equalization of (children in particular) has led to at least two generations filled with people who are not equipped to face the real world, do not recognize the concept of personal responsibility, and who, in increasingly large numbers, have become dependent on government largess — the ultimate source of overreaction in the name of political correctness.

All men are created equal but they don’t necessarily end up equal by every conceivable measure.  And we should not try to deal with everyone equally, just fairly. Sometimes being treated fairly requires being treated equally — such as in the justice system or in the constitutionally protected areas — but such is not always the case, nor should it be.  Yet we can pick up the newspaper (remember those things, with printing on large sheets of crummy paper?) any day and read of someone perceiving that they were not treated equally, yet even when it was a fair treatment although not totally equal to that of another, that person overreacts. And some organization overreacts in their behalf, and sometimes the government steps in as well all with overreactions in the name of “political correctness.”

The real problem with overreaction is that it is usually born out of a reaction to a symptom while an underlying problem goes untouched.  Take for example the child who misbehaves repeatedly and the parent overreacts in the method and measure of punishment — over and over. Unless action is taken to address the underlying cause of the child’s behavior, the level of parental overreaction is sure to escalate against future poor behavior, and the endless cycle continues.

Each of us can think of many more examples but for now, in my own overreaction to overreaction I pledge to try not to overreact in the future. Oh, and to hell with political correctness too!

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About Gil Jones

CPA/Attorney/Judge by training and trade. Hobby nut at heart with BMW m/c, computers, ham radio, kayak fishing, photography, hiking and, starting in 2010 some semi-serious running and bicycling (road and mountain bikes). Retired after 16 years on a Texas District Court bench and since 2013 have been mediating cases. I am a Credentialed Distinguished mediator (TMCA).
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