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On Trump and the idea of political correctness


I hope people aren’t losing their capacity for outrage with and disgust for this utterly contemptible man:

President Donald Trump, during an event at the White House honoring Navajo code talkers Monday, referenced his nickname for Sen. Elizabeth Warren, “Pocahontas,” a label he has long used about the Massachusetts Democrat.

“I just want to thank you because you are very, very special people. You were here long before any of us were here,” Trump said. “Although, we have a representative in Congress who has been here a long time … longer than you — they call her Pochahontas!”
He then turned to one of the code talkers behind him, put his left hand on the man’s shoulder and said: “But you know what, I like you. You are special people.”

This I suppose is characteristic of Trump’s eagerness not to be “politically correct,” which means his eagerness to besmear a solemn public event intended to honor heroic men in the twilight of their lives with his witless rhetorical slime.

I recently came across this definition of the nature of resistance to political correctness, so-called, by the conservative scholar Samuel Goldman:

What Trump and others seem to mean by political correctness is an extremely dramatic and rapidly changing set of discursive and social laws that, virtually overnight, people are expected to understand, to which they are expected to adhere. And which, in special settings like universities, is subject to bureaucratic enforcement.

This is not the greatest problem that America or the world faces, but it is a problem because it’s a profoundly alienating experience for a lot of people.

Now there is something to this, but what Trump’s own statements illustrate is that many complaints about political correctness are motivated by a desire to say contemptible and disgusting things with no negative consequences, other than making people who object to saying such things angry — which of course is considered a markedly positive consequence by scum like Trump and his supporters.

On a related note, I have literally never in my life (and I’ve spent almost all my adult life in academia) ever heard anyone use the phrase “politically correct” in anything but an ironic or derisive way. I mean I’m sure it was used un-ironically by a member of the Maoist Peoples’ Front at a coffee shop in Berkeley one time in August of 1971, probably, but again I’ve never seen a real-life use of the phrase in the form in which critics of it claim it is or was used. That would seem to be a bit of an empirical problem for critics of liberal fascism, assuming those critics are interested in facts, which is obviously a fairly counter-factual assumption.

Also someone needs to clue Dinesh D’Souza in on the fact that Roy Moore et. al. consider him to be nothing more than an especially exotic species of nig[clang]. I deputize Ann Coulter for the task.

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