Mark Twain knew a thing or two about political correctness when he said: "Sometimes I wonder whether the world is run by smart people who are putting us on or by imbeciles who really mean it."
It's tempting to think of the PC crowd as just a bunch of busybodies who are having us on. Early episodes of Sesame Street carry adults-only warnings. Enid Blyton has been cleared of all golliwogs. And last year a Seattle school renamed Easter eggs "spring spheres" so as not to offend children by alluding to the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Political correctness seems to march to an imbecilic beat.
But of course, we know the PC crowd is not having us on. These are smart people who really mean it. Smart because the PC virus has infected so much of what we do, what we read, how we live and how we think. It's the thinking part that should trouble us the most. By telling us what to think, political correctness is a heresy if we are truly committed to liberalism. And it seeps into so many parts of society, so often without us even paying attention to the aim.