Political correctness versus common sense

Common Sense, written by one of the founding fathers, Thomas Paine, was something of a handbook for American colonists thinking of forming a new government in 1776. One wonders whether any publication by that name would sell today.

Yet another example of a culture at risk of allowing bureaucracy to run our lives was provided last week.

It seems members of a middle school choir from North Carolina were visiting the National Sept. 11 memorial in New York City last week. They began to sing “The Star-Spangled Banner.”

Stop, a security guard ordered the children. Musical performances are not permitted at the memorial, he explained.

Obviously, the city-linked foundation managing the memorial put that rule in place to keep New York’s many street musicians from interfering with the solemn atmosphere. But kids singing “The Star-Spangled Banner”? That should have been a no-brainer. Let them sing.

Too often, bureaucratic rules and political correctness are permitted to banish common sense of the type that should have been displayed when the youngsters burst into song.

Common sense? Isn’t that a violation of some rule, somewhere?