At this point, it should be obvious that Donald Trump isn’t a conservative, and that his followers don’t care. Many of them like that he lies and that he’s vulgar – that means he fights! – but they don’t seem to care that he reflects precisely zero traditionally conservative viewpoints. At least he’s politically incorrect, Trump’s followers claim.
That is, perhaps, the greatest lie of all.
Trump isn’t politically incorrect. He’s just vile and stupid, and uses “politically incorrect” as a go-to excuse for being vile and stupid. When it comes to policy, he’s often just as politically correct as Bernie Sanders. Today, Trump called placing Harriet Tubman on the $20 an act of “pure political correctness.” This is an odd place to plant the politically incorrect flag, given that Trump also said today – in the same interview -- that North Carolina’s attempt to stop men from peeing next to little girls was “very strong, and they’re paying a big price. There’s a lot of problems.” He added, “People go; they use the bathroom that they feel is appropriate. There has been so little trouble.”
But yes, he’s a true culture warrior.
Political correctness to Trump extends primarily to treating people badly or signaling to his alt-right base.
Here’s Trump on cursing in front of children: “Oh, you’re so politically correct, your’e so beautiful. Oh, you’ve never heard a little bad language.”
Here’s Trump on insulting women generally: “I think the big problem this country has is being politically correct.” But he thinks Planned Parenthood does wonderful work.
Here’s Trump on his campaign manager grabbing and bruising a woman, then gaslighting her: “I don’t want to be politically correct.”
Here’s Trump on having police throw protesters out of his rallies: “In the good ole days, they’d rip him out of that seat so fast. But today everybody is politically correct.”
Here’s Trump on insulting former POW Senator John McCain (R-AZ) as a loser for being captured: “I will say what I want to say. And maybe that’s why I am leading in the polls. Because people are tired of hearing politicians, and pollsters telling the politicians exactly what to say.”
Here’s Trump on mocking a disabled reporter: “I don’t take that back because the person was groveling in terms of creating statements.” He added, “Never say a disable person or the disabled, say a person with disabilities. In other words, you say the other, you’re in trouble…So it’s so complicated out there, it’s tough. And we want to be politically correct, but a lot of us don’t have time to be politically correct.”
Every so often, Trump uses “political incorrectness” correctly – as a description of factual claims that aren’t tolerated by the left. He’s done this with regard to illegal immigration and Muslim terrorism, for example. But more often Trump uses politically incorrectness as an applause line, or as cover for saying ridiculous things. Trump isn’t a politically incorrect warrior. He’s a leftist. He’s always been a leftist. But he slathers that leftism with the gooey incoherent gravy of his “politically incorrectness,” and his supporters cheer.
And that, of course, is the great irony: the same people willing to ignore Trump’s leftism because he’s “politically incorrect” – the same people enraged at the lies of political correctness -- are willing to swallow Trump’s biggest lie: that he’s a politically correct warrior, even as he champions increased taxes, abortion clinics, and transgenders peeing next to little girls.