Yet, it’s also a push back against political correctness. For years we’ve ignored the talkback callers who, one after another, complained of PC gone mad. We’ve written them off as rednecks who will eventually catch up with 2016. We told ourselves they’ll eventually get used to the rules of correctness we’ve imposed on them.
New York-based Professor Alon Ben-Meir calls political correctness “a miserable failure”. He says Trump has proved that PC hasn’t wiped out hatred and racism, it has only quietened it down. And by mocking the “inherent fakeness” of PC, “Trump has managed to create the perception that he is somehow honest and authentic”.
This is what Heather du Plessis-Allan writes in the NZ Herald. And, as much as I hate to say it, this is correct.
Policing the words people use doesn’t cure the world of racism and sexism. It only makes people less vocal about their racism and sexism. As Patton Oswalt said about the “glossary of correct terms”, what people mean is far more important what people say. “Listen to their hearts!”
Brushing them off as ‘rednecks’ who are behind the times doesn’t help anything either. That’s just dismissing them with a label. They don’t like derogatory labels, and they don’t know why they’re being given that label- they think their perspective is just common sense. Simply labelling political adversaries only alienates them, dismissing them as the ‘other’ and not worth talking to. In reality, our ideas should be discussed with everyone so that we have more friends on our ‘side’ and a far smaller divide.
So yes, overzealous political correctness has contributed to Trump’s success, and certainly hasn’t changed people’s attitudes like political correctness is supposed to. This certainly doesn’t excuse Trump voters for voting for him. The majority of the responsibility for this lies with them, however the left must reform some of their own behaviours if we want to be able to change the direction of world politics.