Is Trump right about "political correctness" ?

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Is Trump right about "political correctness" ?

Post Number:#1  Postby Dachshund » November 13th, 2017, 9:54 am

In June of this year after the deadly terrorist attack in London which claimed the lives of seven members of the public and wounded a further 48 Donald Trump tweeted:

" We must stop being politically correct and get down to the business of security for our people. If we don't get smart it will only get worse."

When,just a few months later, in early November another ISIS - inspired terror attack killed eight more people in New York City, Trump hit out again at "political correctness" with precisely the same message, re-emphasising that:

"We have to get much smarter and we have to get much less politically correct. We're so politically correct we're afraid to do anything."

By "We", Trump is referring to "We" who live in the advanced industrialised societies that collectively represent Western civilization today; "We" who embrace the values of a predominantly "white/European" Western cultural tradition.

I think Trump is right to observe that contemporary Western culture has become too "politically correct", that is, too tolerant and too liberal , in particular, with respect to critical issues like Muslim immigration that have , in my opinion, a very real potential to utterly destroy Western civilization as we know it today.

If any one is interested in debating this point, I would be grateful to hear what you think.

Regards,

John
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Is Trump right about "political correctness" ?



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Re: Is Trump right about "political correctness" ?

Post Number:#2  Postby Steve3007 » November 14th, 2017, 6:13 am

Political correctness is irrelevant to what should and shouldn't be done about crime. That's just Trump's way of saying that we should single out particular groups as being collectively responsible for the actions of individuals, but not other groups. To his credit he was very clear during the campaign what he wanted to be elected on: support all gun rights and resist any attempts to restrict gun ownership by anybody, and label all Muslims as evil. Among other things.

He is simply following through on those campaign promises, as the US population elected him to do. Hence, when a gunman shoots hundreds of people from a hotel window in Las Vegas he is a lone madman - it is purely about the individual. Nothing to do with any wider society or group. No collective blame there. But when a terrorist kills some people and pins it to Islam, it is the fault of the group. Despite the fact that, in reality, when you dig beneath the surface of both types of crime I suspect there is probably a complex mixture of personal grievances and societal problems.

If Trump was saying that we have to pragmatically look for solutions to our biggest problems without worrying about whether those solutions offend anybody, I would broadly agree with him. But he isn't saying that.
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Re: Is Trump right about "political correctness" ?

Post Number:#3  Postby Atreyu » November 14th, 2017, 8:39 pm

I basically agree with you, and can't imagine anyone not.

You can't maintain a nation if you have no control of what/who comes in and out. It would be like a cell trying to survive without a functioning membrane.
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Re: Is Trump right about "political correctness" ?

Post Number:#4  Postby Dark Matter » November 15th, 2017, 3:03 am

I think Steve drinks the politically correct Kool-Aid that's destroying Europe.
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Re: Is Trump right about "political correctness" ?

Post Number:#5  Postby Steve3007 » November 15th, 2017, 3:06 am

DM:
I think Steve drinks the politically correct Kool-Aid that's destroying Europe


I presume you're saying this because I proposed a particular policy with which you disagree. From my post, what was the policy that I proposed?

-- Updated Wed Nov 15, 2017 8:22 am to add the following --

Dark Matter, I know from past experience that you prefer to confine yourself to vague innuendo against the people who you see as your opposition, and hearty backslapping of your own side (football style). And I've seen from experience that if anyone tries to pin you down to actually saying something on a particular topic you back off and say "I won't bite" (despite the fact that you've already bitten, but are just reluctant to swallow.) But perhaps this could be an opportunity to change that? Perhaps, instead of commenting irrelevantly about my beverage drinking habits you could try actually saying something that is specific enough to be examined for its truth or falsehood by others?

Or perhaps not? Let's see.
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Re: Is Trump right about "political correctness" ?

Post Number:#6  Postby Dark Matter » November 15th, 2017, 4:05 am

I’m saying you can’t get a “should” from an “is.” You’re ignoring the reality of the situation. A solution is needed for for a real problem and you concern is for politically correct niceties.
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Re: Is Trump right about "political correctness" ?

Post Number:#7  Postby Steve3007 » November 15th, 2017, 4:12 am

DM:
I’m saying you can’t get a “should” from an “is.”


By telling me what I drink? That's a funny way of saying it.

A solution is needed for for a real problem and you concern is for politically correct niceties.


Me:
If Trump was saying that we have to pragmatically look for solutions to our biggest problems without worrying about whether those solutions offend anybody, I would broadly agree with him.



-- Updated Wed Nov 15, 2017 9:21 am to add the following --

If we think that people killing other people is a problem then we need to find the solution that is most likely to prevent that from happening in the future.

If person X commits mass murder, I don't believe that banning the entry into the country of every member of group Y (where X is not a member of Y) is going to be a solution. For all of these mass murders, whether committed in the name of Daesh or just by some guy who feels alienated by society, has a personal grievance of some kind and feels able to objectify other human beings, there is no easy quick solution. But the reason why I think Trump isn't actually looking for solutions (and is simply throwing red meat to his core voter base) is his clear double standards.

If somebody commits murder in the name of Daesh he says "ban all muslims". A blanket ban. Fine. But if the debate is about controlling the availability of firearms, then suddenly blanket bans are apparently not the answer. Clearly this is about the constituency to which he has chosen to appeal in order to gain political power.

-- Updated Wed Nov 15, 2017 9:26 am to add the following --

Perhaps if he had remained a Democrat and chosen that party, instead of the Republican party, as the host to infect and consume from the inside (as it were) then maybe he would be arguing for gun control, not referring directly to "Muslim terrorists" and doing all those liberally things. Because, if he had chosen that route to power, those would be the buttons to press.
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Re: Is Trump right about "political correctness" ?

Post Number:#8  Postby Greta » November 15th, 2017, 5:06 am

I continue to be surprised by support for Trump - proven pervert, chronic outrageous liar, cronyist and delusional narcissist, whose only vision for the future is making more money for him and his mates and being aggressive towards coloured people.

The carry-on about political correctness by the right is exactly the same posturing self righteousness of the most precious and effete politically correct social justice warrior. The right are actually more PC still about God, their nation, guns and military. I don't know why more people don't point out the right's obvious glass house.

The whole game is utterly, utterly asinine, like almost everything Trump does and says. Vale intelligent public debate! Yes, people are intense regarding their sacred cows. Obviously. Everyone has their sacred cows. Obviously. So please, those of the right, please don't pretend that you are not just as politically correct as SJWs.

Surely we with an interest in the philosophical can move past the standards of the deeply unintelligent people who wouldn't know an examined life if it bit them on the bum? We are surely able to accept that humans are generally annoying, especially when they promote views we don't like. Funny about that. Let's not pretend that we are less annoying than "the other" because we are not.

Oneupmanship in the political domain that is based on real abilities and qualities is one thing. Playing oneupmanship based on hypocritical poppycock (such as being more or less PC than the other mob) ruins the public conversation, and then important topics are lost in the noise.
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Re: Is Trump right about "political correctness" ?

Post Number:#9  Postby Steve3007 » November 15th, 2017, 5:44 am

Greta:

I agree that political correctness is not the exclusive preserve of the "the left" or "liberals" or whatever they're called in various different cultures. As you've said, everybody has their sacred cows. To some people it's guns and God. (To Hindus, it's cows.) I agree that obsessing about it is simply a distraction from rational, intelligent debate. It just makes everybody into a member of the crowd at a football match shouting at the other side "you're not singing! you're not singing! you're not singing any more!"

But I don't so much agree with the first paragraph of your post. I don't think I'm surprised by Trump's success as much as you are. I think there is a large constituency who are, for various reasons, not happy with their lives and, as is the custom in our societies, they blame politicians for their woes. They think that there has been a procession of past political leaders who have failed to give them the lives that they deserve. So (as I saw it put recently) they've decided to say "We've tried nice guys. It didn't work."

They've decided that they don't care that Trump is a liar and a ludicrous self-aggrandiser. They don't care that he knows almost nothing about the country of which he is president. They don't care about the groping. They don't care about anything except results. He has sold himself as the deal maker. The guy who fights dirty but gets results. If he delivers what he promised (a country of rich, happy coal miners and car manufacturers) then nothing else will matter. The end will entirely justify the means.

That, I think, is in particular what the right-wing religious people tell themselves. If their particular agenda is to promote what they see as old fashioned morality (complete banning of abortion, outlawing homosexuality and all that) and if Trump enables the kinds of politicians that can make that happen, then his own personal morality is irrelevant. He's a tool for doing a job. Tools are often dirty.

I think that's the mindset that brought him to power.
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Re: Is Trump right about "political correctness" ?

Post Number:#10  Postby Rederic » November 15th, 2017, 8:24 am

In America 85 people per day are killed with guns. Terrorists don't have to do anything, Americans are doing it for them.

16 of the 9/11 terrorists were from Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabians are not banned from travelling to the USA. I wonder why? Wouldn't have anything to do with the fact that Trump has business interests there, would it?
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Re: Is Trump right about "political correctness" ?

Post Number:#11  Postby Steve3007 » November 15th, 2017, 8:35 am

I wonder why? Wouldn't have anything to do with the fact that Trump has business interests there, would it?


No, not that specific. It's because Saudi Arabia is useful. It's Realpolitik.
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Re: Is Trump right about "political correctness" ?

Post Number:#12  Postby Dachshund » November 15th, 2017, 11:33 am

Steve,

I think Trump is one of the best Presidents the US has ever had, for the simple reason that whether or not you personally agree or disagree with what he says, you can be confident, at least, what he says is what he actually means. With Trump there is no obfuscation, no sophistry, no labyrinthine rhetoric; he is a straight-shooter and has always been prepared to lay his political cards out clearly on the table for the world to see. An example of this is his position on Islamic terrorism. Trump promised during the 2016 election campaign that if elected he would take direct action to ban Muslim immigration into the United States. Shortly after he was elected, he kept his word, issuing an executive order in January of 2017 ( Executive Order 13769: Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry in the United States) immediately suspending the entry of aliens arriving from seven Muslim majority nations (Iran, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Yemen, Sudan and Somalia).

This executive order triggered large-scale demonstrations at airports across the United States orchestrated by refugee support organizations and groups like the American Civil Liberties Union. In addition to this, Trump's so-called "Muslim ban" s faced strident criticism and active opposition from many quarters of the liberal establishment in the US including: the Catholic Bishops, the US Justice Department, 1000 or so career diplomats, a number of universities and high-profile, left-leaning academics (including 40 Nobel laureates). Dozens of lawsuits were filed against Trump and eventually executive order 13769 was finally blocked by two federal judges in the US Court of Appeals in February of 2017.

The blocking of the "Muslim ban" executive order was a humiliating political set back for Trump's fledgling administration; it was also a very personal defeat for Trump,- he was embarrassed and angered, and saw those responsible as being his enemies in the "politically correct" establishment. I think this explains why he has explicitly condemned "political correctness", a number of times in the context of his public responses to the deadly Islamic terrorist attacks that have been perpetrated in the West over the past year ( for example ,at Manchester and in London and New York City). think Trump believes, in short, that violent Islamic fundamentalism is an innate characteristic of Muslim culture; that Islamic fundamentalism currently poses a clear and direct threat to Western civilization, and that in order to defend itself from this threat the West must now take a hard-line and apply strict practical measures to prevent any further Muslim immigration into its societies. In short,I think that Trump is genuinely alarmed by his observation that Western societies today are increasingly paralysed by a potentially self-destructive cancer of "political correctness", one that is preventing them from taking the correct, appropriate action to defend their own best interests in the context of an ongoing attack waged by a hateful and fanatical enemy committed to the absolute destruction of their culture.

So, it seems to me that there are two fundamental questions we need to address in debating this issue: (1): Is Trump right in claiming that the West today is afflicted by a pernicious culture of "political correctness" ?, and (2): Does this present a particular danger to the West in the context of Muslim immigration ? I think the answer to both questions is "Yes", and my reasoning, briefly, is as follows...

(1) To begin with we need to try and the define the meaning of the term "political correctness" as it is used in the West today. I think "political correctness" is currently a term of abuse in the West that connotes an overly tolerant, overly liberal attitude, a hypersensitivity to the prospect of saying, doing or even thinking anything that might be offensive to any of the minority groups that exist within advanced industrial democratic societies yet do not embrace/respect the core values that underpin the dominant, (nominally) Christian ,white/European, culture of Western Enlightenment rationality that defines these societies (for example, the United States, the UK, Australia, New Zealand and Canada among others).

If one broadly accepts this definition of "political correctness", is Trump correct in claiming that it has become a serious problem in the West in the context of the threat to Western culture/civilization that is posed by the Muslim/Islamic world? The answer, I would argue is a clear and unequivocal "Yes, it has". I say this because I believe that the West today is struggling in thrall of a "crisis of rationality" ( a crisis of Enlightenment reasoning) that has suffused its societies with a toxic cultural ( moral/ethical, epistemological and metaphysical) relativism. This predicament is, in my opinion, a consequence of the progressive cleavage in Western culture of the supernatural/Divine knowledge of (revealed) Christian faith from the knowledge that is afforded by human ("Enlightenment") reasoning alone, but this is a separate issue for debate and I will not belabour it here; suffice to say that I believe there is a general consensus of opinion among mainstream philosophers today that contemporary Western civilization is indeed beset with a widespread culture of moral/ethical/epistemological/metaphysical relativism and moribund skepticism about which there is the unmistakable stench of nihilism and self-destruction.This "doctrine" of cultural relativism and skepticism while it denies any values, is ironically, doctrinairre in its own enforcement. Faced with an onslaught from the Muslim/Islamic world that currently (and correctly) recognizes Western culture as decadent, we no longer know what it is we want to defend. We tell ourselves, that we in the West stand for human rights, freedom, democracy, tolerance, justice - and yet we also tell ourselves that we cannot uphold these rights because to prefer one culture over another is racist or xenophobic. So, a liberal society cannot by definition defend itself, but in the interest of equality must apparantly accept its own obliteration. This is Trump's point.

In short, we should be in no doubt following 9/11 that Muslim/Islamic world is waging violent war on the West, that it utterly despises Western culture and civilization and is fanatically committed to their absolute annihilation. At present, the West has been rendered weak and vulnerable by a pernicious cultural relativism and skepticism that has given rise to what Trump calls "political correctness". Trump is saying it is time for us to "get smart" and excise this cancer before it destroys us. In calling for a ban on Muslim immigration, he is simply saying "White man, defend your culture before it is too late". In my opinion , it is wise and timely advice.

Regards,

John
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Re: Is Trump right about "political correctness" ?

Post Number:#13  Postby Greta » November 15th, 2017, 5:13 pm

Dachshund wrote:I think Trump is one of the best Presidents the US has ever had, for the simple reason that whether or not you personally agree or disagree with what he says, you can be confident, at least, what he says is what he actually means.

The other day Trump said that he believed Putin's denials about interfering in the US election to keep Clinton from power. He added that some of his own service were "hacks" to explain why they believed in Putin's involvement.

News broke that Trump had supported the leader of a traditionally hostile, and allegedly covertly hostile, superpower over his own intelligence agency. By afternoon he'd completely reversed his position, praising his intelligence staff and expressing distrust of Putin. I was astonished at how brazenly he could reverse his story in a day, not to mention how people can still believe him to be honest.

Trump is the least sincere politician I have seen in my (long) lifetime. His lies are famous. The public has become so impatient with political dishonesty that they are now unable to distinguish between extreme and moderate lying. Without being able to discriminate degrees of lies we are helpless to make informed decisions.

Yes, politicians lie to hide their true motives. What are these motives that must be hidden from the public? The fact that individuals do not matter any more - only institutions. Politicians do not dare tell the public that they are harvesting their taxes as usual but spending is increasingly directed towards the interests of corporations, religions and other institutions rather than communities. Politicians also dare not tell the public that they are increasing immigration due to the demands of corporations seeking more customers and to increase the GDP (which makes them look good) - but they will never, ever tell the public that it decreases GDP per capita and quality of life (which makes them look bad).

However, Trump's lying is another class again. Nobody knows what he stands for - certainly not other world leaders - because he is constantly changing his positions to suit the situation. This is hilariously presented as wily Trump cleverly keeping his opponents guessing. In truth, he either says what he feels like or he says what he thinks will play well with his supporters, and then backtracks when he has to.

-- Updated 15 Nov 2017, 16:29 to add the following --

Steve3007 wrote:They've decided that they don't care that Trump is a liar and a ludicrous self-aggrandiser. They don't care that he knows almost nothing about the country of which he is president. They don't care about the groping. They don't care about anything except results. He has sold himself as the deal maker. The guy who fights dirty but gets results. If he delivers what he promised (a country of rich, happy coal miners and car manufacturers) then nothing else will matter. The end will entirely justify the means.

There is only one way Trump can deliver based on current performance - to start a war and then ride a wave of nationalism into the next election.

Few nations will want to do deals with Trump because he famously only takes deals where he is well on top. There are plenty of less complicated and more reliable nations to deal with who are more interested in win/win solutions than a Trump-led US.

Steve3007 wrote:That, I think, is in particular what the right-wing religious people tell themselves. If their particular agenda is to promote what they see as old fashioned morality (complete banning of abortion, outlawing homosexuality and all that) and if Trump enables the kinds of politicians that can make that happen, then his own personal morality is irrelevant. He's a tool for doing a job. Tools are often dirty.

I think that's the mindset that brought him to power.

Yes, this sounds pretty close to the mark for mine - hire a thief to catch a thief. When one of the first acts of a new president is to immediately free up one of his own business's projects, however, you know that their thief has not reformed.

Trump and some other boorish politicians benefit from the assumption that rudeness is honesty. Why do people assume that? Because, usually, diplomacy makes for a more peaceful life and better relationships. However, Trump has branded himself as a scrapper. So, the situation is reversed - Trump benefits from fighting. This leaves him free to lie and misrepresent others and, instead of him being tainted by his own obvious dishonesty, his supporters keep on rationalising.

After such a gruelling pre-election and election process, with much hostility on all sides, admissions of mistakes are not going to happen - not for a generation at least, is my guess. A bit of a worry to see such a schism in such a powerful and influential nation.
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Re: Is Trump right about "political correctness" ?

Post Number:#14  Postby Steve3007 » November 15th, 2017, 5:49 pm

Interesting views from both Dachshund/John and Greta there. There's a lot to deal with. I can't possibly try to do it justice all in one go (and may not be capable of completely doing it justice at all) and don't have time to try right now. But I'll try when I can.

-- Updated Wed Nov 15, 2017 11:13 pm to add the following --

I'll start, in a very small way, at the beginning of the first post after mine.

John:
I think Trump is one of the best Presidents the US has ever had, for the simple reason that whether or not you personally agree or disagree with what he says, you can be confident, at least, what he says is what he actually means. With Trump there is no obfuscation, no sophistry, no labyrinthine rhetoric; he is a straight-shooter and has always been prepared to lay his political cards out clearly on the table for the world to see.


There is a sense in which I agree with you about him saying what he means. He absolutely does seem to say what he means at the instant that he says it. That's why Twitter seems to be the perfect medium for him - the instant-impact, short disposable message. I've said before on this forum that there is a kind of honesty in Trump's dishonesty. It's transparent. As you've said there is no sophistry or labyrinthine rhetoric. That's true. It's just good, honest bare-faced lies.

I've read that the ghost writer of his book "The Art of the Deal" came up with the phrase "Truthful hyperbole" and I've also read that Trump approved of this phrase as a description of his technique. Clearly a core part of his technique is to be the caricature of the used car salesman. To make the most ludicrously exaggerated claims that we all know that we're supposed to suspend our disbelief and enjoy the show. He's the greatest president in the history of the universe. He's passed more legislation than any president in history. He's more popular than anyone on Earth. Obamacare is dead etc.

And I can see why this technique appeals, because it is the Hollywood caricature of America. It's the myth that America, it seems, must tell itself about itself in order to keep going. It's the myth that we've all grown up with. It's the Las Vegas fake Eiffel Tower in the arid desert. And, crucially, it's the polar opposite of Obama - the real Eiffel Tower. The president that the French liked. The one that reminded them what they liked about America after Bush Junior's "freedom fries". That, I think, is one of the defining features of the Trump president. It's anti-everything-Obama.

Anyway, more later.

-- Updated Thu Nov 16, 2017 12:31 am to add the following --

---

OK. Enough of the flowery rhetoric. I'll try to deal with your post in a more factual way now.

A few points to consider:

he is a straight-shooter and has always been prepared to lay his political cards out clearly on the table for the world to see.


As I said, I agree. But we must remember that the cards in the hand that he lays on the table change frequently. For example, at the time of the invasion of Iraq he claimed to support it. Now he claims that he doesn't support it and never did. Again, nice honest bare-faced lying.

An example of this is his position on Islamic terrorism. Trump promised during the 2016 election campaign that if elected he would take direct action to ban Muslim immigration into the United States.


Yes. The well known campaign-trail quote is: "I promise a complete ban on all Muslims entering this country until we figure out what is going on" or something similar to that.

But a little later you say this:

...In addition to this, Trump's so-called "Muslim ban" s faced strident criticism and active opposition from many quarters of the liberal establishment in the US...


Why "so-called"? You've just said he fullfilled his promise to ban Muslim immigration. So you clearly don't think it is "so-called". You think it's an honest fullfillment of the pledge to ban muslims, yes? Or no?

Although it isn't is it? It's a ban on the populations of some countries that contain a lot of Muslims (countries that can safely have such bans applied without upsetting trade relations):

...immediately suspending the entry of aliens arriving from seven Muslim majority nations (Iran, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Yemen, Sudan and Somalia).


The blocking of the ban by judges was on the basis of that campaign-trail quote. They argued that the quote reveals the true intention of the ban - to ban people based purely on their religious convictions - and that it was therefore unconstitutional. But the actual result of the ban failed to meet this unconstitutional aspiration.

A curious situation. Trumnp fails in his stated aim of banning all Muslims but, in stating that aim, causes the failed ban to be blocked.

The blocking of the "Muslim ban" executive order was a humiliating political set back for Trump's fledgling administration; it was also a very personal defeat for Trump,- he was embarrassed and angered, and saw those responsible as being his enemies in the "politically correct" establishment.


Yes, it was personal. He was indeed, it seems, embarrassed and angered. This, I think, is key. For him, it's all personal. That seems to be the cause of his railing against what he labels the politically correct establishment. I see no real evidence that the cause of his anger was that something good and useful was being blocked. It was about personal defeat.

There are many stories from people who have met him that suggest he is driven by this sense of personal vendetta. And his behaviour in office on other matters seems to support this, For example, with regard to the ACA (which, in tweets, he insists on calling "OCare" because, even though ACA would be shorter and more accurate, it's important to him to make it all personal - about Obama) he makes it clear that he doesn't care what "OCare" is replaced with. He neither knows nor cares about healthcare legislation. He didn't bother to learn much about the proposed replacement, It doesn't matter. All that matters is that it is not "OCare". All that matters is overturning his predecessor's legacy, whatever that legacy might be.

This very strongly suggests that he cares not a jot about doing what is right for the American people. He simply cares about Trump being seen to win,
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Re: Is Trump right about "political correctness" ?

Post Number:#15  Postby LuckyR » November 16th, 2017, 12:52 am

Dachshund wrote:In June of this year after the deadly terrorist attack in London which claimed the lives of seven members of the public and wounded a further 48 Donald Trump tweeted:

" We must stop being politically correct and get down to the business of security for our people. If we don't get smart it will only get worse."

When,just a few months later, in early November another ISIS - inspired terror attack killed eight more people in New York City, Trump hit out again at "political correctness" with precisely the same message, re-emphasising that:

"We have to get much smarter and we have to get much less politically correct. We're so politically correct we're afraid to do anything."

By "We", Trump is referring to "We" who live in the advanced industrialised societies that collectively represent Western civilization today; "We" who embrace the values of a predominantly "white/European" Western cultural tradition.

I think Trump is right to observe that contemporary Western culture has become too "politically correct", that is, too tolerant and too liberal , in particular, with respect to critical issues like Muslim immigration that have , in my opinion, a very real potential to utterly destroy Western civilization as we know it today.

If any one is interested in debating this point, I would be grateful to hear what you think.

Regards,

John


You bring up numerous semi related topics as one idea.

First, PC is a pejorative label the right uses against all things left leaning. Are there leftist policies that deserve criticism? Of course, therefore any simpleton can cherry-pick this or that ridiculous policy and stamp a PC label on it.

Similarly, there are many rightist policies that are equally open to legitimate criticism. For communication reasons, almost no one uses the PC label to describe them. What does it matter which label happens to be in fashion? Misogynist, anti-middle class, 1%er, antichoice whatever...

Neither side has a lock on policies immune to reasonable criticism.
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Last updated January 6, 2017, 6:28 pm EST