Trump trumping political correctness?

Yes, I know..I am talking about Donald Trump way too much. But I admit: I am fascinated by him.

I don’t know why he is leading; my “best guess” is that it is a combination of Mr. Trump’s savvy (and he is a smart guy, like him or not) and the fact that he offers the combination of social conservatism with a desire to fix our decaying infrastructure, tax the wealthy and to strengthen social security and the like. Heck, even I like these positions!

S. E. Cupp brings up another aspect: Mr. Trump is pushing back on the overreach of political correctness.


I think that she has a point.

Now, of course, there are those who rush in to defend “political correctness”, but I think that this defender is wrong:

I can see it raising a lot of hackles. But let’s continue:

I’m sorry, I don’t buy it. The Trump supporters and proto-Trump supporters I know are upset by things like having to listen to Spanish-language messages on customer service lines, not being able to call women “chicks” without someone frowning at them, and having to stop telling racist jokes at work. That’s what “political correctness” is code for: having to worry about the sensitivities of people who were invisible or submissive not that very long ago.

If Cupp is right and I’m not, then let’s all cooperate in convincing Republican politicians and conservative pundits to stop using the term “political correctness” and come right and and tell us what the beef is about. Is it really “trigger warning” requirements at scattered liberal arts colleges? Or is it this whole new world we’re in where people have to question old habits? When Ben Carson calls inhibitions about torturing terrorism suspects “political correctness,” it’s pretty clear he’s yet another apostle for the Church of the Day Before Yesterday, when America was never wrong and dissenters kept their mouths shut.

I could do with a little less speech policing from all sides, frankly. It gets a little tiresome sometimes. Still, the truth is that Ed is right: for the vast, vast majority of us, it leaves our lives entirely unaffected as long as you can avoid flat-out slurs against women, blacks, gays, Jews, and so forth. Really, that’s about 99 percent of it. Is that really so hard?

Here is why I disagree: political correctness (from BOTH the left and the right) has affected basic research (from the right: think “climate change”, or think about the pushback against the finding that our big domestic security threats come from right wing groups); read Steven Pinker’s book Blank Slate to see how leftist political correctness has affected research on things like rape.

You see it in the culture as well. Example: Yes, I think that it is impolite to verbally chastise fat people. But now, we are told that obese people are sexy and have perfect bodies. We are told that it is bad form to criticize irresponsible behavior and that a low level criminal is a hero. PC-ness has gone way past a “don’t be a jerk” request.

So, that might be part of Mr. Trump’s appeal, but it is far from the whole story, otherwise we might have had, say, Andrew Dice Clay running for office.


August 29, 2015 - Posted by | politics, politics/social | , ,

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