Donald Trump’s march to the GOP nomination has been fueled by misplaced white anger.
Time to call it what it is.
2015 was the year the GOP officially went bananas over ‘political correctness’ but in 2016 their hysteria could be even bigger—and it’s all a bunch of hooey.
It’s been a favorite right-wing myth for a very long time—starting right around the time that international communism was disappearing.
(Coincidence? I think not.)
But it’s taken the twin outsider candidacies of Donald Trump and Ben Carson to put the complaints center-stage like never before.Characteristically – at a defining moment in the Fox News debate when Megyn Kelly challenged Trump with his record of disparaging women–’ You’ve called women you don’t like fat pigs – dogs – slobs and disgusting animals’– he responded by sweeping the whole subject aside saying ‘The big problem this country has is being politically correct’.That interchange—using the charge of ‘political correctness’ to silence any further questioning or debate – particularly in the face of specific allegations—sums up the whole GOP presidential campaign in a nutshell – although as Dana Milbank recently noted GOP candidates have since invoked ‘political correctness’ when speaking about (or running away from) every issue under the sun.
A lot of folks aren’t exactly clear about what’s going on here.
For example over the holidays (P.C. Alert! I didn’t say ‘Christmas!’) some very smart columnists even wondered if ‘political correctness’ might hurt Democrats in the election.
But as Digby pointed out this concern was misplaced.
‘Donald Trump voters are not reacting to ‘political correctness’ they’re reacting to real fundamental, social change’ she argued:
[W]hite men are losing their total dominance. Their world is changing. And Donald Trump is making it ok to be mad about all that…. [T]he true source of this resentment is not the alleged suppression of their right to say racist and sexist things and have everyone agree with them — it’s the racial minorities and the women having equal rights. The anti-PC issue is a smoke screen.
The Megyn Kelly interchange made this blindingly clear.
Trump’s answer to her question was essentially ‘Shut up!’
And it was hardly unique.
As Milbank wrote ‘GOP candidates are now using the ‘politically correct’ label to shut down debate—exactly what conservatives complained politically correct liberals were doing in the first place’ which is hardly a surprise since that’s been the very purpose of the label ever since conservatives stole it in the late 1980s.