November 9, 2016

JIM GERAGHTY: There Really Is a Silent Majority; the Right Wins the Culture War of 2016.

Pollsters have had off years before, but there has never been a colossal ten-car pile-up like this in the polling industry. The entire industry needs to scrap everything they know about the electorate and start over. One of the giant questions they must address is whether we now live in an atmosphere of such far-reaching and stifling social disapproval of politically incorrect positions that a significant portion of respondents no longer feel comfortable expressing their actual beliefs to a pollster. There really was a silent majority.

Silent, silenced, whatever.

Related: Robby Soave: Trump Won Because Leftist Political Correctness Inspired a Terrifying Backlash: What every liberal who didn’t see this coming needs to understand.

Trump won because of a cultural issue that flies under the radar and remains stubbornly difficult to define, but is nevertheless hugely important to a great number of Americans: political correctness.

More specifically, Trump won because he convinced a great number of Americans that he would destroy political correctness.

I have tried to call attention to this issue for years. I have warned that political correctness actually is a problem on college campuses, where the far-left has gained institutional power and used it to punish people for saying or thinking the wrong thing. And ever since Donald Trump became a serious threat to win the GOP presidential primaries, I have warned that a lot of people, both on campus and off it, were furious about political-correctness-run-amok—so furious that they would give power to any man who stood in opposition to it.

I have watched this play out on campus after campus. I have watched dissident student groups invite Milo Yiannopoulos to speak—not because they particularly agree with his views, but because he denounces censorship and undermines political correctness. I have watched students cheer his theatrics, his insulting behavior, and his narcissism solely because the enforcers of campus goodthink are outraged by it. It’s not about his ideas, or policies. It’s not even about him. It’s about vengeance for social oppression.

Trump has done to America what Yiannopoulos did to campus. This is a view Yiannopoulos shares. When I spoke with him about Trump’s success months ago, he told me, “Nobody votes for Trump or likes Trump on the basis of policy positions. That’s a misunderstanding of what the Trump phenomenon is.”

He described Trump as “an icon of irreverent resistance to political correctness.” Correctly, I might add.

People will tell you that “political correctness” is just politeness and consideration, but it’s not polite or considerate to form screaming mobs trying to fire people who use the “wrong” pronouns.

But when people are afraid of those mobs, they won’t say what they really think, which means that the left’s shrieking thought police both created the backlash, and then kept it from being noticed. Nice work.

Also: Some Gay Voters Say It’s ‘Dangerous’ to Come Out for Trump.

Related: A Trump Wave Is On the Way.

And: Donald Trump is the response to a bullying culture: Abusive political correctness drives voters into the impolitic billionaire’s loud embrace.

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