Recently, David Duke endorsed Donald Trump’s candidacy for President. As a former Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan, David Duke is the epitome of “political incorrectness” and is therefore supposed to be shunned by all “politically correct” people, institutions and political candidates.
However, according to The Washington Examiner (“Trump won’t denounce KKK supporter David Duke’s endorsement”),
“Donald Trump refused to condemn racist groups that would support his candidacy, a few days after former Ku Klux Klan member David Duke endorsed him.
“I have to look at the group,” Trump told Jack Tapper on CNN’s “State of the Union” Sunday. “If you would send me a list of the groups I would do research on them and I would disavow.”
“He said that he knew nothing about Duke, a nationally-known former grand wizard of the Ku Klux Klan who said that voting against Trump is a vote against white heritage.
“Trump’s opponents, Senators Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz were quick to criticize Trump’s refusal to reject the KKK’s support.”
When I read that article, it was obvious that Senators Rubio and Cruz weren’t simply “quick” to condemn Trump’s latest bout of “political incorrectness”—they were conditioned by years on the political treadmill to do what was politically correct. They therefore criticized Trump’s failure to condemn KKK support.
It was grossly “politically incorrect” for Trump to accept support from David Duke. It was maximally “politically correct” for Senators Rubio and Cruz to condemn Trump for not rejecting Duke.
Then it dawned on me that much of Trump’s success may be attributed to the fact that he seems to routinely reject whatever is “politically correct”.
If it’s politically incorrect to reject illegal aliens, Trump says he’ll build a wall between the U.S. and Mexico. If it’s politically incorrect to reject Muslim refugees, Trump rejects them. If it’s politically incorrect to accept support from the KKK, Trump accepts that support.
Does the public love Trump because he’s persistently “politically incorrect”?
Are Americans so sick and tired of the Establishment’s “political correctness” that we’ll support any candidate who is clearly not “politically correct”. Are we so sick and tired of the Establishment’s “political correctness” that we’re drawn to support anyone who is persistently and openly politically incorrect?
Is being political incorrect a key to Trump’s success?
I think so.
Will Trump win the Republican Party nomination because he’s politically incorrect?
Will Cruz and Rubio lose because they have both been conditioned by years of politics to always be politically correct?
I think the answer to both questions is Yes.
It’s not that we agree with all of Trump’s statements and claims. Some of his comments make me squirm. Still, I’m excited and inspired when I hear Trump say anything I know to be “politically incorrect”—not necessarily because the substance of Trump’s comment was true or pleasing to me—but because Trump figuratively sticks his thumb in the eye of the Establishment every time he’s “politically incorrect”.
Every time Trump says something politically incorrect (contrary to the conditioning we’ve all received from government and the mainstream media), I can imagine members of the Establishment screaming “He can’t say that!!!” I can also imagine Trump grinning and saying, “Yes I can!” And I can imagine the American people in a state of shock and delight saying, “Yes . . . yes . . . Trump can say things that are “politically incorrect”. . . And if he can, so can WE!”
There is something liberating about Trump’s political incorrectness. There’s something about Trump’s candidacy that allows all of us to speak our minds. There’s something about Trump’s candidacy that’s exciting because it frees us from the Establishment’s rules of political correctness. Trump’s candidacy doesn’t just free us to tell the truth—it challenges us to do so.
Cruz and Rubio are boring because their comments are always predictable, always “politically correct”. Who looks forward to a speech by Cruz or Rubio? Who will be inspired or even shocked by their next comment? No one. All they can deliver is the same politically-correct canned crap we’ve heard from a hundred other politicians over the years. (“I’m Ted Cruz and the Council For Political Correctness has approved this message.”)
Trump excites and inspires because he’s unpredictable and often “politically incorrect”. We’re eager to hear him speak because we know he’s going to say something—we don’t know what—that’ll not only be surprising and shocking, but will also be a direct affront to the Establishment.
Trump’s candidacy, even his very being, is an affront to the Establishment and the Establishment’s rules of political correctness.
Trump is the “politically incorrect” candidate.
By being habitually “politically incorrect,” Trump doesn’t simply tell us (as Cruz or Rubio might) that he’s an anti-Establishment candidate. Instead, by being habitually “politically incorrect,” Trump shows us that he’s only real anti-Establishment candidate in the race.
Right or wrong, Trump’s brand of political incorrectness is helping him win.