The Great Trump PC Jailbreak
How does American society break out of political correctness jail?
Just crash one outré extrovert from the Wharton School of Business, with $10 billion worth of brass and a showman’s sense of populist animus, into a private presidential party at a posh club of political bluebloods grown haughty thumbing their noses at the plebian body politic.
And all politically incorrect hell breaks loose.
Enough of the Adams family and patrician political dynasties.
It’s Andrew Jackson time in America again.
Hallelujah, it may be just that simple.
Barack Obama wasn’t the American apotheosis of critical theory’s social justice utopia. He was its fall from grace. And Donald Trump may just be the fresh political blood that revitalizes the incestuous 20th-century cultural delirium that most of us now call “progressivism” but German academicians between the two World Wars (and intellectuals here today) called “critical theory.”
That’s because political incorrectness is the one sure thing Trump has going for himself, political correctness is critical theory’s jailor, and mainstream America is ready to bust out of its PC jail.
“Critical theory” is the academy’s weasel phrase for nontraditional scholarship that seeks to change society instead of studying it. Traditional scholarship would, in other words, be “traditional theory” rather than “critical theory.” The “critical” has nothing to do with understanding and explaining society. It has everything to do with censuring and changing society. It’s the academic provenance of Obama’s political vow to fundamentally transform America.
That nexus should surprise no one. The academy’s the laboratory of culture. All politics are cultural. Obama’s the academic product of Occidental College, Columbia University, and Harvard University. And the modern American academy’s the leftist hotbed of domestic neo-Marxist social activism. Indeed, when the Nazis chased Max Horkheimer’s critical-theory Institute for Social Research out of Germany in 1933, Horkheimer in 1934 reformed the Institute as part of Columbia University Department of Sociology. That same year, Herbert Marcuse, an Institute colleague, followed Horkheimer to the reincarnated Institute at Columbia University before joining the CIA’s predecessor during World War II.
Karl Marx got the ball rolling: “The philosophers have only interpreted the world . . . the point is to change it.” But Marxism at the end of a rifle barrel didn’t work out well in the Soviet Union, and it was Horkheimer’s critical-theory Institute which restated neo-Marxism’s objective:
The Revolution won't happen with guns, rather it will happen incrementally, year by year, generation by generation. We will gradually infiltrate their educational institutions and their political offices, transforming them slowly into Marxist entities as we move towards universal egalitarianism.
But it was Marcuse himself who -- teaching from 1951-1976 at Columbia University, Brandeis University, and the University of California (where he remained a Professor Emeritus until his death in 1979) -- would go on to preeminently lead critical theory’s long march through the modern American academy (a fait accompli since chronicled by Allan Bloom, Roger Kimball, and Dinesh D'Souza).
Indeed the critical theorists have long-since fulfilled Horkheimer’s neo-Marxist prescription. And the academy-indoctrinated result is a generational cadre of establishment elites -- politicians, jurists, lawyers, journalists, teachers, bureaucrats, entertainers, and social-justice warriors of every stripe -- whose “universal egalitarianism” now plunders mainstream America at the behest of itself, the welfare dependency that votes for it, and the Wall-Street titans and crony capitalists who fund it.
Critical theory is but economic Marxism by cultural means, economic Marxism has failed for over a century everywhere it’s been tested, and cultural Marxism here will eventually implode America as inevitably as economic Marxism once did the Soviet Union. So what does critical theory’s cultural Marxism do when its own failure becomes empirically manifest? It shuts down discourse, as every utopian ideology everywhere has always done when it senses the proletarian pack hot on its trail.
“Political correctness is,” as Theodore Dalrymple said, “communist propaganda writ small.” Dalrymple concluded:
the purpose of communist propaganda was not to persuade or convince, nor to inform, but to humiliate; and therefore, the less it corresponded to reality the better. When people are forced to remain silent when they are being told the most obvious lies, or even worse when they are forced to repeat the lies themselves, they lose once and for all their sense of probity. To assent to obvious lies is to co-operate with evil, and in some small way to become evil oneself. One’s standing to resist anything is thus eroded, and even destroyed. A society of emasculated liars is easy to control. I think if you examine political correctness, it has the same effect and is intended to.
The secret of Trump’s Republican presidential political success is that mainstream America is terminally sick and tired of a culturally-Marxist political correctness that has squelched it into “a society of emasculated liars.” If Trump’s anything, he’s the antithesis of political correctness. And mainstream America is turning to Trump not because he’s a lifelong principled conservative but because he’s the living and breathing negation of political correctness. Mainstream Americans who empirically sense cultural Marxism’s deconstruction of their traditional society, but can’t object without being condemned as racists, sexists, homophobes, or simply mean-spirited reactionary rednecks, are in full-blown revolt against their critical-theory jailors. And Trump -- political incorrectness incarnate -- is their natural leader.
The Republican Party needs to wake up to this reality because the revolt involves much more than the working-class Republicans at whom the Party elites turn up their patrician noses. The revolt involves every man and woman in America -- liberal or conservative, male or female, rich or poor, Republican or Democrat -- whose disgust at cultural Marxism’s repression of their freedom to engage in a principled dialogue about the future of their society is now at the boiling point.
And Hillary Clinton -- the most grotesquely hypocritical politician in American history -- was a Goldwater Republican until she got into ideological bed with the critical theorists at Wellesley College and Yale University. She’d be President today if Obama hadn’t beaten her at her own game.
The great Trump PC jailbreak is about to go down.
And the jailors are getting nervous.