Lefty Robert Kuttner founded the American Prospect a while ago now, and as lefty journals go I usually find it worth reading as a portal into more serious liberal thought, even though it almost always ends up in Cliché Alley.
Yesterday Kuttner took to the pages of the Puffington Host to explain why Trump’s attacks on political correctness get so much traction. It makes for a case study of liberal cluelessness. Here are a few samples with some commentary:
Donald Trump and the rest of the Republican presidential pack have had a field day disparaging political correctness as an affliction of liberals that is resented by regular Americans. Some liberal commentators have suggested that political correctness has become a serious albatross for Democrats.
Nervous, are we? Anyway, after describing the emergence of the term “politically correct” in the 1980s and 1990s, Kuttner goes on to ask:
The interesting question is why Donald Trump’s resurrection of the term in the 2016 campaign resonates with so many people.
Just where has Kuttner been residing the last 20 years? The term—and the underlying phenomena—never went away. Trump has hardly “resurrected” anything, if you pay attention. But it gets worse from here. Kuttner goes on to attribute the rise of attacks on political correctness to—wait for it—downwardly mobile white males. Ah—the old “angry white males” excuse again. Only grudgingly does Kuttner acknowledge that maybe, just a little bit, campus radicals are . . . nuts:
Some of the ultra-P.C. stuff is silly and makes it easier for the right to lampoon liberals. . . The more extreme versions of identity politics do play into the hands of the right. There is not much that liberals can do about that. (Emphasis added.)
“There’s not much that liberals can do about that.” Let that sink in a bit. There, in one sentence, is a complete confession of the cowardly weak-mindedness of liberals today, who can’t even call out the most egregious campus nonsense. And since most campuses are run by supine liberals, we can expect that the campus craziness will only get worse.