Donald Trump and indeed Ben Carson popped the valves on pressure that’s been building in the U.S., piece by politically correct piece, for 25 years. Since at least the early 1990s, a lot of the public has been intimidated into keeping its mouth shut and head down about subjects in the political and social life of the country that the elites stipulated as beyond discussion or dispute. Eventually, the most important social skill in America became adeptness at euphemism.That the Censorious Class has gotten so much wrong, from the economic stimulus and the foreign policy reset to the lowering of higher education means there's more than a cathartic middle finger salute in play.
The left goes nuts when anyone suggests political correctness has totalitarian roots. But the PC game has always been: We win, you lose, get over it, comply.That the weak economy and the global chaos share common origins bodes well. But it still takes substance rather than show to beat failure, particularly failure with lots of advocates in high places.
But people don’t get over it, and they never forget. For a lot of voters now, possibly a majority, their experiences with enforceable, politically correct behavior, speech and thought have bred a broad mistrust of elites.
Average people think individuals in positions of leadership are supposed to at least recognize the existence of their interests and beliefs. The institutions that didn’t do that or were complicit include the courts, Congress, senior bureaucrats, corporate managers, the press, television, movies, university administrators.
Somehow, the standard model of political comportment—represented by most of the GOP’s presidential candidates—just isn’t up to dealing with a degree of voter social alienation that isn’t particularly rational at this point. So voters turned to “outsiders”—people more like them.
The election’s two big issues remain: a weak economy and global chaos. But for many voters, the revolt against political correctness is on.