Donald Trump and the ‘Political Correctness’ dodge

So, Donald Trump thinks a reporter “behaved very badly” for asking Trump to justify calling women “fat pigs, dogs, slobs, and disgusting animals.”

Wait. Who behaved very badly? The reporter asking about the hateful, childish name-calling, or the name-caller? The blame-flipping maneuver sounds like it came right out of Alice in Wonderland:

“If I had a world of my own, everything would be nonsense. Nothing would be what it is, because everything would be what it isn’t. And contrary wise, what is, it wouldn’t be. And what it wouldn’t be, it would. You see?”

Like Lewis Carol’s fantasy world, in the world of Trump supporters, everything is upside down.   The reporter who inquired about the demeaning name-calling “behaved badly” rather than the name-caller.

Mr. Trump’s response to the question was typically silly. After first cracking up his audience by saying that he only said those ugly things about comedian Rosie O’Donnell – a line you could imagine the school bully using to get a cheap laugh at the expense of the heavy girl in the class – Trump added:

“The big problem this country has is being politically correct. (interrupted by loud cheers) I’ve been challenged by so many people and I don’t frankly have time for political correctness.”

“Oh, you’re just being politically correct.” It’s the lament of many who has been held accountable for their words.   Rather than defending the specific idea put forward, the offensive speaker dismissively flips the blame around, saying that the fault lies with the questioner rather than the instigator.

What does “politically correct” even mean? It’s very much in the eye of the beholder.  The Merriam Webster dictionary says one who is “politically correct” is:

“Agreeing with the idea that people should be careful to not use language or behave in a way that could offend a particular group of people.”

In other words, we really shouldn’t call fellow humans “disgusting animals” or say we would like to see how pretty our colleagues would look on their knees, because it’s hurtful, demeaning and insulting to them.

How do you know it’s hurtful, demeaning, and insulting? Because you wouldn’t like it if directed at you, or someone you love. The Golden Rule that is cited throughout Christianity and every major religion — Do to others what you would want them to do to you – is there to guide us as we look for how to be “careful not to use language or behave in a way that could offend.”

But the Urban Dictionary definition captures the meaning of political correctness that has been adopted by many modern conservatives.

“The ideology of weird left wing liberals who want society to be nothing but accepting of all perverts and freaks everywhere. The main basis is not to offend anyone with one little incorrect word.”

So, if the speaker believes the subject of the insult to be a “pervert and freak,” then calling that person a “disgusting animal” is justifiable, and the true fault lies with those who don’t understand that the person being insulted is a pervert or freak. Therefore, anyone who questions Mr. Trump’s demeaning of women can be cavalierly dismissed as being under the spell of the conservative supervillain Political Correctness.

Jesus taught his followers that “whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them.”  What do you suppose he would have said to a disciple who inquired about a loophole: “Um, that doesn’t apply to people I think are perverts, freaks, wrong, fat or unattractive, right?”

The “oh you’re just being politically correct” defense ultimately leads to a no holds barred society where the Golden Rule effectively becomes a dead letter.  Is that really what the devout followers of Jesus Christ attending last night’s debate stand for?

This post was written by Joe Loveland and originally published on Wry Wing Politics.

If you blog and would like your work considered for Minnesota Blog Cabin, please submit our registration form.

You can also learn about all our free newsletter options.

Comments (5)

  1. Submitted by RB Holbrook on 08/07/2015 - 11:23 am.

    Well Said

    The term “politically correct” is nothing more than a way of giving a pass to cruelty.The person who uses a slur or who denigrates a group isn’t doing it out of some good motive, they’re doing it because they can, or to show that they aren’t afraid to be insulting (their supporters will resort to “Hey, he’s just being honest about what he thinks.”). It’s an added insult: not only can I say any offensive thing I choose, you’re to blame for being offended by it.

    People who are resolute in their “political incorrectness” would do well to remember that they are talking about other human beings, and not just a group. Make fun of the overweight and you’ll get laughs and cheers from your audience, but you are also insulting individuals. A just respect for individual dignity should lead one to knock it off.

    (PS To all those who will be tempted to bring up the old “rappers can say the “N” word, why can’t I?”, my response is “Why do you want to?”)

  2. Submitted by joe smith on 08/07/2015 - 08:00 pm.

    Rosie fired away at Trump 1st. It was 2 celebrities that are used to people kissing their butts hammering away at each other. Big deal. Obama just called Republicans (I wonder if he is including the Dems who won’t vote for it) who are against his Iran deal identical to the hard liners of Iran who chant “death to America”. That should be of more concern to us. Talk about divisive.

    • Submitted by Pat Berg on 08/08/2015 - 08:01 am.

      She did it first!

      That’s your defense? Seriously?

      Didn’t your mama ever teach you that two wrongs don’t make a right?

    • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 08/10/2015 - 02:54 pm.

      We Can Always Blame Obama

      One of the “2 celebrities” is a candidate for the presidency who is polling strongly. Yes, it’s a “big deal.”

      Obama said that the Republicans who oppose the Iran agreement have made “common cause” with Iranian hardliners. That is not the same as saying they are “identical” to them. Inaccurate criticisms like that only muddy the waters of discourse.

      Aren’t these constant efforts at deflection (“She did it first! And anyway, Obama!”) divisive? Or is it only “divisive” when a Democrat does it?

  3. Submitted by Roy Everson on 08/10/2015 - 04:46 am.

    She was behaving “very badly”

    This event was promoted and consistently termed a “debate”. All the candidates should have been asked the same issue-based questions, equal time. A multi-candidate news conference with questions tailored to the individual is no debate. Rather it was clear the Fox agenda besides entertainment is to discredit Trump while pretending there is more than a dime’s worth of difference between The Donald and most of his rivals.

    The Fox reporter was unprofessional. There are countless other opportunities to challenge Trump’s assorted character flaws.

    That being said, sane discussions about PC are sorely lacking and much appreciated. Thanks.

Leave a Reply