News & Politics

Trump's War on 'Political Correctness'

Photo courtesy AP Images.

Is Donald Trump a single-issue candidate? You bet he is, even without knowing it. David Gelernter explains:

Donald Trump is succeeding, we’re told, because he appeals to angry voters — but that’s obvious; tell me more. Why are they angry, and how does he appeal to them? In 2016, Americans want to vote for a person and not a white paper. If you care about America’s fate under Obama, naturally you are angry; voters should distrust a candidate who is not angry.

But there’s more to it than mere anger. Chris Christie was angry, and he’s gone. Trump has hit on important issues — immigration, the economy, appeasement unlimited — in ways that appeal to voters emotionally. There’s nothing wrong with that; I trust someone who feels what I feel more than a person who merely thinks what I think. But though Rubio and Cruz are plainly capable of connecting with voters emotionally, Trump is way ahead — for many reasons, but the most important is obvious and virtually ignored.

Political correctness. Trump hasn’t made it a campaign theme exactly, but he mentions it often with angry disgust. Reporters, pundits, and the other candidates treat it as a sideshow, a handy way for Trump (King Kong Jr.) to smack down the pitiful airplanes that attack him as he bestrides his mighty tower, roaring. But the analysts have it exactly backward. Political correctness is the biggest issue facing America today. Even Trump has just barely faced up to it. The ironic name disguises the real nature of this force, which ought to be called invasive leftism or thought-police liberalism or metastasized progressivism. The old-time American mainstream, working- and middle-class white males and their families, is mad as hell about political correctness and the havoc it has wreaked for 40 years — havoc made worse by the flat refusal of most serious Republicans to confront it. Republicans rarely even acknowledge its existence as the open wound it really is; a wound that will fester forever until someone has the nerve to heal it — or the patient succumbs. To watch young minorities protest their maltreatment on fancy campuses when your own working life has seen, from the very start, relentless discrimination in favor of minorities—such events can make people a little testy.

A little? As I’ve noted before, PC is fascism of the mind, and real Americans rightly resent being told what they can and cannot say. Trump’s perhaps accidental genius is that he not only doesn’t care, but he doesn’t care whether other people care — which is the essence of really free speech. He’s freed himself of the tyranny of moral stupidity — and that’s what a sizable portion of the electorate has responded to.