Recently I can’t help but reflect back on a point that struck me early on when Trumpism first started to take hold in 2016. It’s something that has roots even further back than Trump himself and it has to do with the conservative fascination with political correctness. My observations have shown that they are not opposed to all political correctness, but rather they demand that their form of political correctness be observed by all.
For years before a Trump presidency was even a glimmer in anyone’s eye, Tennessee Republicans have been refining and enforcing their own type of PC. With their strangle hold on state government they have been able to codify their PC culture in attempt to make everyone abide. Examples in Tennessee include such things as preserving a reverie for statues constructed in the 1920’s to oppress African Americans or using state laws to strip control away from business owners to decide what is or is not allowed on their property. Nationally conservative PC is seen though their extreme sensitivity to Starbucks cups not being “Christmassy enough” or more recently, the hullabaloo when Obama tweeted the term “Easter Worshippers”. Never mind this was on a day when Trump failed to even mention Easter at all.
Yet, the term “snowflake” uttered by Trumpists to describe the overly sensitive left perseveres. It often pops up in the form of a memes that try to make liberals, moderates, or anyone who does not strictly conform to Trumpism, out as overly sensitive. However, it is clearly the Trumpists that are the hypersensitive types. After all, they are the ones that persistently have to reassure themselves with their childish memes and feel the need to bully everyone that doesn’t agree with them into submission. So strong is the pull of the “Trump PC” amongst followers that they cannot allow for even the smallest slight to stand. His feelings are their feelings. When he is offended, they are offended.
So, what is it that gets his supporters so exasperated by liberals and moderates? What is it that makes them feel that their America is being taken from them? At its most basic level, it seems to be their desire to act on their base instincts, and this is exhibited in their culture of childish memes. Trumpism is a doctrine of oppressing all people that do not think exactly like they do, and do not follow their strict adaptation of political correctness, while simultaneously using the most vulgar language and carrying out the most vial deeds. And it’s not surprising, as the tone set from the top is one of vulgarity. At their very core, his supporters aspire to be the type that takes the services of others (but does not pay for them) or sleeps with the adult film star (while their spouse is pregnant with their child). It’s the ideology that “we” can, and “we” should, take and do what “we” want…so long as “we” are proud American white males.
Once Trumpists perceive someone other than themselves being treated equally, it becomes a kind of political correctness that they cannot stand for. This is especially true when they feel emboldened in their authority to execute control over those that are encroaching on their ideals. After all the idea of MAGA revolves around a notion that there was a time that was a time of greatness in America, and it was when there was a more homogenous population, and white men executed control over all others. This time of greatness is the politically correct order that they hearken back to. Any attempt for “others” to assert control will always result in a breach of that politically correct society.
The fundamental difference between the PC culture that they see as a threat, and their own distinctly conservative PC culture. They see political correctness as a threat because it undermines their ability to apply control over others through language, and conveniently ignore that their own PC culture exists to preserve their own freedoms and ideals at the cost of everyone that doesn’t look and act just like them. They strive to reclaim their power from others, power that they feel is rightfully theirs, and has been stolen by the left and their sensitivities toward others. Make no mistake, the right’s fascination with political correctness does not mean they hate all things PC, they just hate mainstream PC culture and aim to belittle, discredit and ridicule the “snowflakes” into submission in an attempt to carry out their own base and misguided goals.