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Many people still don’t seem to get it. Or they wish it wasn’t so in any case.
Basically, a significant reason US President Donald Trump proved to be — and still proves — popular across Middle America, away from the east and west coast echo chambers that is, is that he speaks a straightforward language.
He tells/tweets it as he sees it — for better or for worse. Unlike ‘mainstream’ politicians, not everything, nay nothing in terms of tweets anyway, is precisely planned, framed in ‘must not offend’ diplomatic speak.
In the ‘politically correct’ West, where the leftist discourse has taken a strong hold in the universities, shaping in such a way many of our current and future key opinion leaders, somebody deviating from the accepted script is bound to find favour with those ‘not in the club’.
This is not to say that all Trump supporters are dumb hillbilly racists, the standard charge levelled at them. Indeed many ‘Trumpists’ I know find his controversial, excessive tweeting irritating. Neither do they agree with all his utterances — in fairness it can be hard to keep up with them in any case.
What happened to the ‘names will never hurt me’ stance?
Yet, it’s the feeling that despite his many flaws, he is about as honest as they come. He doesn’t hide behind political advisers. What you see is what you get.
In this day of carefully groomed, mannequin-esque politicians, this resonates. (That the US economy is performing well under Trump’s watch is another important plus point.) It’s a question of “Who do you really trust? Somebody who comes across as ‘holier than thou’ or a guy seemingly showing us his warts and all?”
Trump’s presidency and other similar eschewing of the standard political system elsewhere have been the inevitable backlash against the over-the-top political correctness we’ve had to stomach for the last couple of decades.
Where did our childhood act of defiance to ‘hurtful’ words go? You know, the old schoolyard rhyme, ‘Sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me.’
We realised back then that acts of real violence could be lethal, but name-calling? Whatever. We could rise above it.
Now, however, many of our law framers and influencers have become ‘too cool for school’. “You can have your free speech but you can’t say this and you sure as hell (OMG, did I just say ‘hell’?) can’t use that word.”
We’re in the process of creating an impotent, sterile bunch of human beings. Like the announcer at the bumping cars (do they still exist or have they become too ‘unsafe’, imparting evil habits in our young?) in a funfair used to say ‘one way round only’, now it’s ‘one discourse only’, even if it goes against biology, to name but one area of contention. (How many genders do we have now? It’s difficult to stay, um, abreast of the accepted pronouns these days.)
The British intellectual, amongst many other things, Stephen Fry has a refreshing approach to all this craziness. At a debate on political correctness earlier this year he said that if somebody wants to call him a ‘fagot’ — he is gay — then so be it. It’s not the end of the world. There are far greater things we should be crusading against.
Colombia has a refreshing approach.
It’s not the case where we want things to become overly verbally abusive — radicals or fundamentalists on all sides are adept at that already — but we don’t want people having to consult a lawyer every time they want to speak lest they offend some unsuspecting bystander.
Fry’s ‘common sense’ view is nothing more than we’d expect from a man of his standing. Yet, worryingly, he doesn’t seem to be in the majority in the ‘intellectual’ world.
In Colombia, one of the refreshing things about life here is how it’s normal to call somebody by their outward appearance. So you have people being affectionately called ‘fatty’, ‘blacky’, ‘thinny’ and so on.
Imagine how that would go down these days in most ‘First World’ countries. The courts would be on the go 24-7.
With all that in mind, we’re now just over two years away from the next US presidential election. The big question is, if he survives all the scandals and potential impeachment, can Trump get re-elected?
A lot, of course, will depend on who he’s up against. The danger for the Democrats is that in their desperate bid to win back the White House they’ll opt for an ‘everything for everybody’ candidate. A product of our ‘one size fits all’ globalised world. “Tell us what we want to hear, regardless of the reality.” Ah yea, that makes it all better.
The Democrats would be doing us all a favour, everywhere, if they look more towards the centre-ground.
Alas, the radical left will do their bit to make sure that doesn’t happen. Trump will happily toot to that.
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