Harvard professor Harvey Mansfield, who’s authored a book (and spoken to Carolina Journal Radio) about “manliness,” devotes a new Commentary feature to an examination of President Trump.

Political correctness, originally from feminism, now applies to blacks as well, particularly to the way whites are required to address blacks. Blacks are allowed the privileges of vulgar manliness that are denied to the rest of the population. If only black men would preach manliness, refined or not, to the rest of the population! But they are content with their own freedom and, with manly contempt of others, do not seek to justify it more generally.

Thus it was left to Donald Trump alone to attack political correctness and come to the defense of vulgar manliness. He does this not with argument but with outrageous behavior meant to be offensive. As a demagogue, he seeks direct contact with the people. He wants to bypass the media, the parties, and the Constitution that try to control and limit his contact and claim the right, whether formal or informal, to stand between him and the people. As methods of direct contact, Trump used old-fashioned rallies in his campaign rather than informal meetings; he sends tweets to all indiscriminately rather than addressing people through the media; and he features shocking talk and behavior rather than conventional politeness and respect. His desire is to transgress normal boundaries, especially those of political correctness, and thus to capture attention.

His boastfulness seems stupid, and it is, but it makes people think that because he is bold, he is more honest and more truthful than those who hesitate and formulate. His offhand lies are not meant to be accurate but rather to display the lack of restraint that seems to be more truthful than the uptight rectitude of the fact-checker. His vulgar insults betray the absence of wit and the rejection of humor and irony in his flat soul; he is always serious and yet always exaggerates.

In sum, Donald Trump reflects and connects to the vulgar manliness in the American (or any) people.