Are good manners "politically correct"?

Note: Good manners, funnily enough, are sometimes un-PC, too. For instance, I hold doors open for women and try to remember to stand up whenever a woman enters the room. I’m not going to go look for examples, but I have every confidence that there are plenty of feminists out there who think this is some kind of outrage.

But what too many people forget is that on a Venn diagram, PC and good manners do overlap to a limited extent. Yes, huge swaths of political correctness amount to cultural-Marxist codswallop and other forms of leftist bullying. But some of it — just some — does have to do with figuring out how to show people respect. And that is exactly what good manners are all about: showing respect. And as someone who sincerely believes William F. Buckley was the most well-mannered man I’ve ever met, I’d hate to see conservatives defenestrate good manners in their indulgence of populist hysteria.

Look, I’m no absolutist in this regard. Not two minutes ago, I made a joke about a former president of the United States buggering a goat. There are any number of gray areas and subjective fine lines to be drawn. I hold writers — particularly of “news”letters like this one — to a different standard than presidential candidates. Comedians follow a different set of rules than pastors. I have different expectations for Boy Scout leaders than for pimps.

That so many people think such boorishness can be justified just because it’s an alleged knock against PC is just another sign of the metastasizing corruption of conservatism.