by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
In 2016, Donald Trump’s message of busting political correctness won him the White House. Rejecting the Democratic Party’s identity politics run amok was a sneaky good strategy, working like a charm among working-class voters in America’s heartland. Trump, though he had just become a Republican five minutes ago, better sensed than the party’s established leaders the emotional needs of rank-and-file Republicans.
For all his faults, this is Trump’s superpower — sensing cultural undercurrents and reflecting the emotions of his target audience. He often says what regular folks are thinking but don’t feel they are allowed to verbalize.
Today, a great many Americans feel angst about their children inheriting a country that allows for the indiscriminate destruction of reputations via “cancel culture” and promotes narratives over truths in the name of political correctness. In 2020, Trump can rekindle his old strategy by giving voice to these concerns to overcome serious political headwinds.
Extreme uneasiness exists in middle America over cancel culture, the practice of journalists and woke activists unearthing old utterances of celebrities, athletes, and even some regular people for the purpose of embarrassing them and ruining their lives.
Do some human beings say or tweet dumb things? Yes. Does it often happen when a person is younger, less experienced in the world and not enlightened enough to know that at some point in the future someone might find their thoughtless tweet offensive? You bet.