By: S.E. Cupp
There are a few existential questions which man has struggled but failed to answer conclusively, despite Sisyphean efforts, such as: Why are we here? What happens when we die? And why do kids go ape for “Frozen”?
To these we may add another, which will go down as one of the great enigmas of modern American history: Why Trump?
His rise — and, more inexplicably, his durability — has baffled even the most open-minded of us. But when man can’t explain something, he settles for the next best thing: deciding who’s to blame for it.
To me, it’s obvious. Trump is the result of liberal political correctness run amok.
Sound crazy? Stick around a minute.
Conventional wisdom — and by that I of course mean Twitter — will tell you that Trump is the logical conclusion of 21st century conservatism.
This line of thinking actually has two strains, both of which absolve the left of any responsibility for the advent of Trump.
The first strain posits that Republicans are awful people, and Trump merely embodies this quality in its purest form. This idea is articulated largely by the far left, in representative tweets like:
@enigmaxtreme: “Fox News, you created this monster called Trump, you have only yourself to blame for the GOP crumbling…”
According to the other strain, the Republican establishment has so disappointed the conservative base that it created an opening for Trump to fill. This comes primarily from the far right, exhibited in tweets like:
@KurtSchlichter: “This condescending, hyperbolic establishment bullish (sic) is why Trump exists. Thanks, GOP squishes.”
As Adam Brandon at the Washington Examiner put it, after betrayals by Republican leadership, “Enter Trump, a straight talking, political outsider billionaire who’s not afraid of being politically incorrect.”
There’s probably more truth to the latter line of thought than the former. The conservative base, infamous for its dogmatic purity tests, probably isn’t behind the success of a guy who used to be a Democrat, once favored assault weapons bans and single-payer health care, and recently questioned the heroism of war prisoners.
I have a different explanation for ascendant Trumpism. It isn’t the result of conservatism but of liberalism. Thanks to unrelenting demands by the left for increasingly preposterous levels of political correctness over the past decade, people are simply fed up. Trump survives — nay, thrives! — because he is seen as the antidote, bravely and unimpeachably standing athwart political correctness.
The new era of liberal political correctness — in which colleges designate “free speech zones,” words like “American” and “mother” are considered discriminatory, and children are suspended from school for firing make-believe weapons — has reached critical mass. If not for the loony sensitivities foisted upon us by the left, someone like Trump would be immediately dismissed as unprofessional and unserious, an incoherent blurter. Instead, he’s the equally extreme response to extreme correctness — if everything is offensive in Liberalville, then nothing will be offensive in Trumpland.
It’s all absurd, of course. Trump says things that are unequivocally offensive, and regularly. But conservatives (and even comedians) have reached their limit on political correctness. And so Trump supporters will justify nearly everything he says, no matter how bizarre or unbecoming.
Remember, too, liberals taught us a valuable lesson about political correctness that many conservatives haven’t forgotten: It’s only offensive if you don’t like the person saying it. When conservatives tried to accept the liberal rules of political correctness, pointing out Vice President Joe Biden’s too-numerous-to-count slurs and gaffes, there was a collective shrug from the left.
So, if the rules are demonstrably stupid, and they only exist for the right, why play by them?
This is how Trump supporters came to be. They have taken the governor off the racecar.
It’s a shame because, as lamentable as political correctness is, voters can do better than Trump. Political ignorance isn’t the same as being politically incorrect. Calling journalists names isn’t the same as being politically incorrect. These aren’t acts of courage; they’re acts of kindergarteners.
But in a world in which nearly everything could be considered a microaggression, a macroaggressor like Trump is inevitable.
So, thanks, political correctness.