Imagine a young Donald Trump and place him in a university campus in 2016. Imagine him saying the same things today’s Donald Trump said during his campaign; the infamous words on Latinos, women, refugees and everything else that came out of his loud mouth and made his opponents furious.
How many minutes would he last before students and administration kicked him out? Or at least, how long until they built a very tall wall around him?
As a matter of fact, mass media had indeed put a tall wall around Trump throughout the election campaign. He was presented as the (rabid) underdog, a sexist lunatic, a dangerous bigot, he was likened to Adolf Hitler; Bill Maher called him “pure evil” and the list goes on. One only needs to read the angry placards protesters were holding during the demonstrations against him after he was elected President.
Yet, one cannot accuse half of American voters who chose to elect Trump as being racists, misogynists, fascists or any other slur that has been thrown at him. Some of them probably are, but listening to his supporters speak during his campaign, the words “political correctness” were used with such contempt as if they meant “black plague.”
Trump found many Americans who gladly allied with him in his open “war” against political correctness. His supporters often complained to reporters about the U.S. government caring more about special groups’ rights than the rights of ordinary Joe. Or sending financial aid abroad when there are so many homeless in their country. Or, even, being forced to feel guilty because they are privileged, white and male.
Despite the fact that many of Trump’s unsavory comments were not against political correctness but against common decency, one cannot deduce that most of his voters are indecent people who would gladly start saying the same things now that their President is an advocate of political incorrectness.
For many Americans, or just Trump voters, the PC phenomenon has taken alarming dimensions, verging on censorship and suppression of the freedom of expression; sometimes, even coercion. Some of his supporters told reporters they cannot express their opinions or experiences out of fear that they will be branded something negative. Millions of Americans are most likely afraid of losing their jobs or damaging their businesses if they speak their minds, or simply have to apologize for their beliefs. More so, when in some cases PC verges on coercion. Apparently there are millions of Americans who are angry about it. And Trump tapped into that anger.
Throughout his campaign, Trump was excessively politically incorrect. Ironically, the more he “spoke his mind” offending individuals and social groups, the more supporters he was winning. Gradually, as elections were approaching, the gap in polls between himself and Hillary Clinton began closing. And while the Democrat candidate was trying to compartmentalize voters by appealing to specific social and ethnic groups, trying her best to appear sensitive and politically correct, Trump was addressing all Americans.
And he supported that when he made his victory speech, in which he appeared with unexpected humility: “For those who have chosen not to support me in the past, for which there were a few people, I’m reaching out to you for your guidance and your help so we can work together and unify our great country.”
Yet, the politically correct crowd wanted none of it — as reflected by the nationwide demonstrations against the Trump presidency. Donald Trump was elected with due, democratic process. Doesn’t their reaction show that there is something undemocratic about the whole PC phenomenon? And doesn’t that justify the one half of American voters who chose to elect the man who claimed to fight it?