FEB 29, 2016 | By DAVID GELERNTER | www.weeklystandard.com
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.
We are fighting Islamic terrorism, but the president won’t even say “Islamic terrorism.” It sounds like a joke — but it isn’t funny. It connects straight to other problems that terrify America’s nonelites, people who do not belong (or whose spouses or children don’t belong) to the races or groups that are revered and protected under p.c. law and theology.
Political correctness means that when the Marines discover that combat units are less effective if they include women, a hack overrules them. What’s more important, guys, combat effectiveness or leftist dogma? No contest! Nor is it hard to notice that putting women in combat is not exactly the kind of issue that most American women are losing sleep over. It matters only to a small, powerful clique of delusional ideologues. (The insinuation that our p.c. military is upholding the rights of women everywhere, that your average American woman values feminist dogma over the strongest-possible fighting force—as if women were just too ditzy to care about boring things like winning battles—is rage-making.)
The mainstream press largely ignored the Marines story. Mainstream reporters can’t see the crucial importance of political correctness because they are wholly immersed in it, can’t conceive of questioning it; it is the very stuff of their thinking, their heart’s blood. Most have been raised in this faith and have no other. Can you blame them if they take it for granted?
Why did the EPA try to issue a diktat designed to destroy the American coal industry in exchange for decreases in carbon emissions that were purely symbolic? Political correctness required this decree. It is not just a matter of infantile posing, like pretending to be offended by the name Washington Redskins. Bureaucrats have been ordered by those on high to put their p.c. principles into practice, and the character of American government is changing.
The IRS attacks conservative groups — and not one IRS worker has the integrity or guts to resign on principle, not one. Political correctness is a creed, and the creed holds that American conservatives are ignorant, stupid, and evil. This has been the creed for a generation, but people are angry nowbecause we see, for the first time, political correctness powering an administration and a federal bureaucracy the way a big V-8 powers a sports car. The Department of Justice contributes its opinion that the IRS was guilty of no crime — and has made other politically slanted decisions too; and those decisions all express the credo of thought-police liberalism, as captured by the motto soon to be mounted (we hear) above the main door at the White House, the IRS, and the DOJ: We know what’s best; you shut up.