“You know, I couldn’t say ‘Merry Christmas.’ And when we wrote things, we couldn’t even say ‘he’ or ‘she,’ because we had transgender. People of color. I mean, we had to watch every word that came out of our mouth, because we were afraid of offending someone, but nobody’s afraid of offending me,” the former administrator said.
All of which helps explain why the 63-year-old grandmother showed up at a recent Donald Trump rally in Hilton Head Island, S.C., where she moved when she retired a year ago.
The Republican front-runner is “saying what a lot of Americans are thinking but are afraid to say because they don’t think that it’s politically correct,” she said. “But we’re tired of just standing back and letting everyone else dictate what we’re supposed to think and do.”
This is the years and decades of resentment that Trump has tapped.
In an October poll by Fairleigh Dickinson University, 68 percent agreed with the proposition that “a big problem this country has is being politically correct.”
It was a sentiment felt strongly across the political spectrum, by 62 percent of Democrats, 68 percent of independents and 81 percent of Republicans. Among whites, 72 percent said they felt that way, but so did 61 percent of nonwhites.
And what does political correctness mean:
‘Political correctness’ are the two words that best respond to everything that a conservative feels put upon,” added pollster Frank Luntz, who has advised Republicans. The label is, he said, a validation that what many on the right see as legitimate policy and cultural differences are not the same as racism, sexism or heartlessness.
“Allegations of racism and sexism have turned into powerful silencing devices,” Galston agreed. “You can be opposed to affirmative action without being a racist.”
I recall being shouted at and abused at the press gallery party once because I had written that I thought the Maori seats should be abolished. I was told this meant I was racist.