Home of the brave, it says in the national anthem. To me, the word “brave” carries with it certain connotations that go beyond the obvious. Sure, it means being willing to fight in the face of fear. Yes, it means being willing to stand up for one’s beliefs. But it goes beyond that. Would a brave man cry about his feelings getting hurt? Would a brave woman whine about someone else’s opinion? 2014 brought us a litany of people who can’t stand the idea that not everyone thinks the way they do. If it keeps up, we’ll have to change the song to “home of the offended.”

Oh No, a Shirt!

In November, British physicist Dr. Matt Taylor was forced to publicly apologize for wearing a shirt that offended over-sensitive feminists. The shirt, which was fun and loud, depicted women in a somewhat sexualized way. Since most Twitter complainers probably have no idea what Taylor’s Rosetta mission was all about, they instead chose to focus on the shirt. Sure, you landed a spaceship on a comet…but you forgot to check your privilege!

It’s Awful (Suddenly)!

This was also the year a slew of white liberals decided to be offended on behalf of Native Americans. Creating a controversy out of thin air, they launched an assault against the Washington Redskins, claiming that it was time for the football team’s mascot and name to be retired. Some media outlets even catered to them, refusing to say the name as if suddenly, now, in 2014, after 80-something years, it was offensive and racist.

Just Make It Up!

2014 saw “microaggressions” hit the mainstream, having somehow escaped the ghetto of gender studies classes where it should have been kept. Proving once and for all that the “social justice” movement is running on fumes, the term is used to condemn those behaviors that might seem innocuous…but are really quite offensive. Examples might include seating a black couple at a table that is arguably not the best one in the restaurant. Or mistaking a female doctor for a nurse. You might think these are innocent mistakes, but they are actually an “active manifestation of oppressive worldviews” according to Psychology Today. If you study them long enough, you can manage to be offended 24/7.

A Dark Turn

If liberals were good for anything in the past, they could usually be counted on to fight for free speech. No more. Today’s liberals want to curtail free speech at every turn, insisting that it’s more important to make sure everyone feels “included” and “welcome.” Well, as long as “everyone” means people who think and act just like them. It used to be a liberal virtue to stand up and fight for speech – especially that speech you disagreed with the most. Now they’re more concerned with finding out which minority group was most offended by a particular incident.

Liberalism has become a race to the bottom, with the winner being the person or group able to claim the most oppression for themselves. And since, by and large, America is not an oppressive country, they’ve been forced to take offense at the slightest of slights.

If only our forefathers could see us now.