Bryan Cranston and Creeping Moral Standards

There is a complaint about the latest Bryan Cranston movie that he shouldn’t be playing a quadriplegic because that role should go to someone who is actually disabled. Jane Coaston points to a decent summary of the argument.

This is one of those perfect examples of what people say when they are complaining about “political correctness”. Political correctness isn’t about being polite or kind, it’s about advancing a new moral standard and then judging everyone by this new standard that you just made up, condemning them for a thing that, 2 weeks ago, was perfectly fine.

This combines the moral certainty of religion with the evolving standards of post-modernism. It doesn’t even allow for the fact that people in the past might have had a different standard and maybe that’s ok. It says “Here is my new standard that you didn’t know about before and against which you’ve never lived your live and I will now judge you and all of history against this standard and I find you guilty. There is none righteous, except for me and my friends who are making up the standards.”

It also, I think, speaks to the frustration and antipathy people have toward “political correctness”. It’s not that they like being impolite or making people angry… it’s that they find it disingenuous and annoying when the thing they were doing last week is suddenly morally unacceptable and the moral scolds of our age titter about what we should and should not be saying based on their ever-evolving, self-serving standards.

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