President-elect Donald Trump has won a glorious victory and the American People have rightfully chosen their President
Many will say Trump won because he successfully capitalized on blue collar workers’ anxieties about immigration and globalization.
Others will say he won because America rejected a deeply unpopular alternative.
Still others will say the country is simply racist to its core.
But there’s another major piece of the puzzle, and it would be a profound mistake to overlook it.
Overlooking it was largely the problem, in the first place.
Trump won because of a cultural issue that flies under the radar and remains stubbornly difficult to define, but is nevertheless hugely important to a great number of Americans: (political correctness).
I have tried to call attention to this issue for years.
I have warned that political correctness actually is a problem on college campuses, where the far-left has gained institutional power and used it to punish people for saying or thinking the wrong thing.
Ever since Donald Trump became a serious threat to win the GOP presidential primaries, I have warned that a lot of people, both on campus and off it, were furious about political-correctness-run-amok—so furious that they would give power to any man who stood in opposition to it.
I have watched this play out on campus after campus.
I have watched dissident student groups invite Milo Yiannopoulos to speak—not because they particularly agree with his views, but because he denounces censorship and undermines political correctness.
I have watched students cheer his theatrics, his insulting behavior, and his narcissism solely because the enforcers of campus goodthink are outraged by it.
It’s not about his ideas, or policies.
It’s not even about him.
It’s about vengeance for social oppression.
Trump has done to America what Yiannopoulos did to campus.
This is a view Yiannopoulos shares.
When I spoke with him about Trump’s success months ago, he told me, “Nobody votes for Trump or likes Trump on the basis of policy positions.
That’s a misunderstanding of what the Trump phenomenon is.”
He described Trump as “an icon of irreverent resistance to political correctness.” Correctly, I might add.
What is political correctness?
It’s notoriously hard to define.
I recently appeared on a panel with CNN’s Sally Kohn, who described political correctness as being polite and having good manners.
That’s fine—it can mean different things to different people.
I like manners.
I like being polite.
That’s not what I’m talking about.
The segment of the electorate who flocked to Trump because he positioned himself as “an icon of irreverent resistance to political correctness” think it means this:
(smug, entitled, elitist, privileged leftists jumping down the throats of ordinary folks who aren’t up-to-date on the latest requirements of progressive society).
A lot of people think there are only two genders—boy and girl. Maybe they’re wrong.
Maybe they should change that view.
Maybe it’s insensitive to the trans community.
Maybe it even flies in the face of modern social psychology.
But people think it.
Political correctness is the social force that holds them in contempt for that, or punishes them outright.
If you’re a leftist reading this, you probably think that’s stupid.
You probably can’t understand why someone would get so bent out of shape about being told their words are hurtful.
You probably think it’s not a big deal and these people need to get over themselves.
Who’s the delicate snowflake now, huh? you’re probably thinking.
I’m telling you: your failure to acknowledge this miscalculation and adjust your approach has delivered the country to Trump.
There’s a related problem: the boy-who-cried-wolf situation.
I was happy to see a few liberals, like Bill Maher, owning up to it.
Maher admitted during a recent show that he was wrong to treat George Bush, Mitt Romney, and John McCain like they were apocalyptic threats to the nation: it robbed him of the ability to treat Trump more seriously.
The left said McCain was a racist supported by racists, it said Romney was a racist supported by racists, but when an actually racist Republican came along—and racists cheered him—it had lost its ability to credibly make that accusation.
This is akin to the political-correctness-run-amok problem: both are examples of the left’s horrible over-reach during the Obama years.
The leftist drive to enforce a progressive social vision was relentless, and it happened too fast.
I don’t say this because I’m opposed to that vision—like most members of the under-30 crowd, I have no problem with gender neutral pronouns—I say this because it inspired a backlash that gave us Trump.
My liberal critics rolled their eyes when I complained about political correctness.
I hope they see things a little more clearly now.
The left sorted everyone into identity groups and then told the people in the poorly-educated-white-male identity group that that’s the only bad one.
It mocked the members of this group mercilessly.
It punished them for not being woke enough.
It called them racists.
It said their video games were sexist.
It deployed Lena Dunham to tell them how horrible they were. Lena Dunham!
I warned that political-correctness-run-amok and liberal overreach would lead to a counter-revolution if unchecked.
That counter-revolution just happened.
There is a cost to depriving people of the freedom (in both the legal and social senses) to speak their mind.
The presidency just went to the guy whose main qualification, according to his supporters, is that he isn’t afraid to speak his.
First part of this post written by Robby Soave.
First 100 Days
Donald Trump has promised that as president he will honour the pledge stitched into his white and red baseball caps: Make America Great Again.
The former television entertainer’s campaign has been a roller coaster of triumphs and pitfalls, but his love for hyperbole has never wavered.
With him in the White House, Mr Trump has said, his supporters are going to “win so big” they will soon be “sick of winning”.
When it comes to mapping out the details of a Trump presidency, the Republican candidate has been no less extravagant.
It is customary in American presidential elections that a candidate sets out a vision for their first term in the Oval office.
But ever keen to be “the greatest”, Mr Trump has slashed the timeline of his proposals from 100 days to one.
At an address delivered in historic Gettysburg last month, Mr Trump laid out a “contract with the American people” that would begin with a “very busy first day”.
He proceeded to detail 24-hours designed to erase traces of Barack Obama’s presidency and set America on a protectionist, nativist, track.
Mr Trump’s rhetoric on immigration came to define his presidential campaign.
Though slightly more carefully worded, his proposal once in office remains some of the most divisive legislation on the issue.
He has quietly dropped his call to remove all undocumented immigrants from the US, a move that, aside from being so impractical it might be impossible, experts have warned would damage the US economy by taking too many people out of the labour market.
Instead he would immediately begin the process of deporting illegal immigrants with criminal records.
Recent studies estimate there are fewer than 168,000 such people in the United States. But Mr Trump put the number at some two million, suggesting his calculations of “criminals”, people who have had minor run-ins with the law, such as getting a speeding ticket.
He will also “suspend immigration from terror-prone regions where vetting cannot safely occur”.
Though the terminology is vague, Syria would almost certainly be on this list. Mr Trump has claimed that the government “does not know” who the refugees it lets in are from the country, despite their being scrutinised for up to two years before being allowed to enter the US.
And last but not least there is the wall. This would not happen on his first day, he admits, but eventually a Trump administration would push through legislation “build a wall” along the southern border of the United States and make Mexico bear the costs.
He has not however, explained in detail how this would happen.
Donald Trump has promised to “drain the swamp” of big money Washington politics.
In one of his most popular campaign pitches, he has said he will “reduce the corrupting influence of special interests”.
Speaking in Gettysburg, at the site where in 1863 Abraham Lincoln delivered his famous speech to unite Americans, Mr Trump sought to mimic the legendary leader, promising to reinstate a government “of, by and for the people”.
His day one reforms include a constitutional amendment to impose term limits on all members of congress and a five-year ban on White House and Congressional officials becoming lobbyists after they leave government service.
In an effort to shrink the size of government the nominee called for a hiring freeze on all federal employees to reduce its workforce through attrition (exempting military, public safety, and public health).
A Trump presidency would break from the traditional Republican commitment to free trade, imposing a set of protectionist policies to close America’s economic borders.
He will immediately announce his intention to “renegotiate” the North American Free Trade agreement with Canada and Mexico.
He would cancel participation in the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a controversial trade arrangement with 12 countries.
The pact aims to deepen economic ties between these nations, slashing tariffs and fostering trade to boost growth. But critics argue that it will also also intensify competition between countries’ labour forces.
Donald Trump has said that as president he may not guarantee protection to fellow NATO countries who come under attack.
In an interview just before the Republican convention Mr Trump said America would help only if that country had fulfilled its “obligations” within the alliance.
It marked the first time in post-World War Two era that a candidate for president suggested putting conditions on America’s defense of its key allies.
Advocating an ultra “America first” view of the world Mr Trump has also threatened to withdraw troops from Europe and Asia if those allies fail to pay more for American protection.
Mr Trump has flip-flopped on key issues including Syria. Most recently the candidate implied that he sees Bashar al-Assad, the country’s dictator, as the lesser evil when compared with US backed rebel opposition groups, some of whom have Islamist leanings.
He has promised to “bomb the hell” out of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.
Energy and the environment
In a deeply disappointing development for environmentalists, Mr Trump plans to cancel billions of dollars in payments to the United Nations climate change programs.
He has said he would redirect the funds to pay for infrastructure projects in the US.
He has also promised to lift restrictions on fracking and boost American oil and natural gas production.
He would lift roadblocks to the Keystone Pipeline. Environmental activists fought hard to convince the Obama administration to stop the infrastructure project, warning against the effects of the increase in oil production.
Its path between Alberta, Canada and Nebraska in the United States was also said to damage fragile ecosystems.
Erase Barack Obama effects from the history books
One of Mr Trump’s first actions will be to try to erase the effects of Mr Obama’s presidency.
The Republican candidate has promised to cancel every “executive action, memorandum and order issued by President Obama”.
According to Stephen Moore, an official campaign adviser, the campaign has sought to identify “maybe twenty-five executive orders” that their candidate could reverse: “Trump spends several hours signing papers—and erases the Obama Presidency,” he said.
Chief among them is the Affordable Care Act. Also known as “Obamacare”, the president’s signature policy has brought health insurance to some 12.7 million people who would have struggled to afford medical cover.
But it has also pushed up insurance premiums for Americans not on government assistance.
Mr Trump would replace this with another system, the “Health Savings Accounts”. This plan would give more power to states over how to handle funds.
But beyond that critics have said that the Trump campaign has failed to explain how it differs significantly from Mr Obama’s healthcare plan, and how they would implement it.
Like with much of his presidential campaign, Mr Trump appears to be asking the American people to trust him and wait and see.