My dad thinks Donald Trump is an idiot. But he nevertheless remains a vocal supporter of the man. Why? Why do millions of Americans support a man whose only redeeming quality seems to be an uncanny ability to spew emotionally charged rhetoric? Common justifications around the 5Cs explaining Trump’s lead in the polls include “it’s because Republicans are a party of racists” and because Trump panders to conservatives’ “infantile paranoia.” Others instead conclude that the rise of Donald Trump is simply the culmination of the decades of inequality and bigotry they consider to be inherent in the Republican constituency. While such blanket generalizations may make it easy to rationalize Trump’s lead and deride the opposition, the real driving force behind the ascendancy of Donald J. Trump is the ever-growing number of Americans who are beginning to resist the ideological left’s sweeping movement towards political correctness.
The 5Cs are a microcosm of what America is becoming. We go to schools where “Yacht Club” is rejected for being classist, “Mudd Goes Madd” is considered offensive, and being the top-ranked college in America is a bad thing. We are receiving our education at a place where opinions seen as outside of the status quo are smothered in a flurry of moralizing and politically correct drivel. And Claremont is just a sample of the vapid culture that has taken over America. Unsurprisingly, people are beginning push back.
An increasing number of Americans feel that PC culture has gone too far and has reached a level bordering on the absurd. And yet, these same people are often afraid to voice their own opinions. A person in America who goes against this current PC state of affairs is labeled any number of pejoratives. Many people who adhere to an even slightly conservative ideology feel stifled by such backlash, often altering or entirely curtailing their opinions so as to avoid being hounded by the PC establishment. The only person who seems truly unafraid to stand up and speak out is—you guessed it—The Donald. And people flock to him for just this reason. People do not support Trump for his policies, his business acumen, or his wealth. They do not even support him because they think he is the best candidate. They support him because he appears to be the only candidate who says what he means and means what he says.
No one can deny that Donald Trump is a man who speaks his mind and says what he thinks without any regard for whether it could offend someone. And even if he does end up offending someone, an apology is the furthest thing from his mind. Trump might just be the manifestation of all things anti-PC—and people love him for it. Millions of Americans are tired of constantly equivocating politicians; they hate to watch supposed political leaders beating around the bush in fear that they will offend the PC police. And millions of Americans respect Trump because he refuses to cave to those exact same pressures. They cannot help but voice their support for a man who stands up to the virulent culture that has silenced so many. Ultimately, they may not even like the things that he says; they simply love the manner in which he says them.
The American people are rational—even Republicans. I do not believe they will nominate or elect a megalomaniac. But their support for Trump in the interim is a telling sign that politically correct culture is suffocating an increasingly significant part of this country. America is a diverse country with a multitude of backgrounds and an even greater multitude of opinions. And every opinion, no matter how controversial it may seem, deserves to be heard. Understanding the reasons why someone believes what they do is a crucial part in finding common ground, and in showing them the merits of your own position. The typical knee jerk reaction by the establishment in both the 5Cs and abroad, calling any dissident some sort of “-ist” or “-phobe”, serves only to further divide this country and exacerbate its problems. Such impulsive responses lead to things like Donald Trump being a viable presidential candidate, and nobody really wants that.