Multiple explanations exist for Donald Trump’s popularity, but one stands out above all: his willingness to violate that taboos of Political Correctness and speak the unvarnished truth on such hot button topics as immigration and Islam. Nearly all Americans are angry at being lied to and having to watch themselves as if they lived in Stasi-run East Germany. Who wants to risk ending a career by admitting that some groups are more crime-prone or intelligent than others? Or announcing that men are naturally better suited to combat than women and having this self-evident pronouncement treated as an embarrassing gaffe that requires immediate groveling and begging forgiveness? In a nutshell, Trump is unafraid to speak truth about the overly sensitive, easily offended groups protected by the mendacious “establishment.” Now, at last, millions of potential voters long starved for honesty have a champion.
As Trump refuses to fold, it is inevitable that his rivals (and perhaps the Democratic nominee) will grasp the benefit of similarly embracing this anti-PC view. We can already see hints of this copycat strategy in the new “tough” Jeb Bush commercials.
But while it is all too easy to be anti-PC in the abstract, the proof of a candidate’s seriousness can only be displayed in the specifics. With that in mind, let me propose a five-question test to assess a candidate’s aversion to PC that could, in principle, devastate a political career. Destroying careers is not, however, our aim; rather, the goal is to calibrate the sincerity of those who condemn PC on the cheap. We do not expect perfect frankness; more important is how they hem and haw and run for cover when asked “offensive” questions.
The list is tentative and I invite suggestions.
One: Everybody from university president to military generals and corporate CEO’s insist that diversity is America’s strength. Do you agree? Can you provide specific examples of how government-imposed diversity, notably affirmative action and court-mandated school integration, has made us a stronger nation so as to compete with our foreign rivals?
Two: Is Islam a religion of peace, and if you agree, how do you explain the enduring, horrific internecine violence in the Middle East? Can this sectarian brutality be explained without recourse to the religious principles of Islam?
Three: For nearly half a century the governments at all levels have spent hundreds of billions to close the racial gap in academic achievement. Can this gap ever be closed? Given that all previous remedies have failed, what new solutions would you propose?
Four: America is currently experiencing massive immigration and to take a hypothetical example of how this impacts ordinary Americans, would the arrival of 1000 Hispanic immigrants improve the quality of life of a small Midwestern town of 5000 residents? Would community life be better or worse post arrival?
Five: Despite countless laws and endless litigation, women remain under-represented in top corporate jobs. Is this disparity due to sexism and discrimination, and if so, can the federal government create gender equality? What is the role of innate biological differences in this gap?