Spiked Magazine Panel – “Is Political Correctness Why Trump Won?”

Spiked Magazine Panel – “Is Political Correctness Why Trump Won?”

Hello, everyone, and welcome to this very special Spiked U.S.
Unsafe Space tour event, “Is Political Correctness Why Trump Won?” My name’s Tom Slater. I’m Deputy Editor of
Spiked, the online magazine. I’m coordinating this tour, and I’ll be moderating this evening. Thank you all for coming, and thank you, of course, as well to Conor Healy and all of his team at the Open Campus Initiative
for making this happen against all odds, it’s fair to say. So, thank you very much to them. For those of you who might not know, Spiked is a radical humanist magazine, and we argue and campaign for more freedom in all areas of life. It’s because of that and the fact that it seems like freedom, and in particular freedom of speech seems so under attack, not just on campus but throughout society, that we launch this tour. But the question that all begs is what does that have to do with Trump, and really that’s what we’re going to be discussing here tonight ’cause one year on from Trump’s inauguration
I think it’s still fair to say that a lot of
commentators and pundits are still grappling with
what the rise of Trump, the support for him, really means. Amongst people who campaign
for freedom of speech, who care about freedom of speech, a common explanation is
that it had something to do with political correctness,
however defined, the kind of demonizing
of certain viewpoints, the kind of hysteria that
often confronts people who might transgress P.C. etiquette, had something to do
with fueling the desire for someone who would just
break all of those rules. What we want to discuss tonight is did P.C. get Trump elected, or is there something more going on, and is, indeed, that just one of the many kind of pat explanations that we want to fall down on rather than actually grappling with this problem. Also, looking at the question
of whether Trump’s rise represents a real challenge
to political correctness, or, indeed, whether it’s the case that considering this
backlash has delivered President Trump, someone
who blithely dismisses the First Amendment and who is probably as thin-skinned as any
Women’s Studies major (audience laughs)
or have we just replaced one form of authoritarianism with another. So, all of those things we’ll
be getting into tonight. I’m delighted to say that I’m joined by really the perfect panel
to be discussing this with. I’m gonna introduce them in the order in which they’ll speak,
and then we’ll get going. First off, to my immediate
left we have Wendy Kaminer. Wendy is a lawyer and social critic. She’s written about law,
liberty, feminism for The New York Times, The Atlantic,
The Wall Street Journal, Spiked, also, I’m pleased to say, and the author of eight books, including, “Free For All: Defending
Liberty in America Today.” Speaking after Wendy, we have Robby Soave. Robby is the Associate
Editor at Reason Magazine. He’s also a columnist for The Daily Beast. He’s written for The New York Times, New York Post, CNN, many others, and, most pertinently for this evening, he’s currently on
sabbatical writing a book about protest in the age of Trump. So, it’ll be fascinating
to hear his thoughts. After Robby, we’ll be
hearing from Brendan O’Neill. Brendan is the Editor of Spiked and a regular columnist for Reason, as well as The Spectator. He’s written for The L.A. Times, The Sun, The Australian, many more. This year he was named
Best Online Columnist at the MAGGIE Awards, and he’s the author of the
book, “A Duty to Offend,” which we’ve got some
copies of here as well. Finally, on my far left there, we have Professor Steven Pinker, known to many of you, I’m sure. Steven is a Johnstone Family Professor in the Department of Psychology
here at Harvard University. He’s written for The New York
Times, Time, The Atlantic, and is the author of ten
books, but, most excitedly, he’s got a book coming
out very soon called, “Enlightenment Now,” which
is out February next year. Each of the speakers are gonna speak for about eight to ten minutes max, and, panel, I’m gonna be
quite tight on those times ’cause as soon as possible
we’re gonna bring it out to the audience for questions
and comments from the floor. So, without further ado, Wendy, would you like to kick us off? – Thank you. I’d like to start us off with a caveat. At the risk of stating the obvious, elections are over-determined. There are multiple reasons
for Trump’s victory and Clinton’s defeat,
not the least of which are their respective
personalities and reputations. Even for people who try
to isolate one factor, one controlling factor, like, say, Comey’s last minute letter of intent to re-open the email investigation, they still have to contend
with quite a lot of what-ifs. What if Clinton had simply
been a better candidate, a more polished candidate,
a more appealing candidate? What if she had campaigned
harder in Wisconsin? What if she hadn’t given
talks at Goldman Sachs for lots of money? What if she hadn’t used
a private email server? What if voters on the Left
paid as much attention to federal court appointments, especially the Supreme Court,
as voters on the Right? What was the role of
sexism in the election? There was a fairly substantial gender gap, and I think you can talk about sexism, not just in terms of possible resistance to a female President,
but also in the embrace of a retrograde notion of
masculinity that Trump embodied. What was the role of racial tensions that was evident in controversies over Black Lives Matter, over police shootings, and the festering resentment
of the Obama presidency? What do we think about Democratic pollster Stanley Greenberg’s critique
of the Clinton campaign for focusing too much on identity and not enough on economics? Now, of course, that
ties into our theme here. If she focused too much on identity, that might have something to do with a backlash against political correctness. What was the role of Russian
propaganda in social media, which we now learn also
reached into very respectable mainstream publications
like The Washington Post. So, there are a great many factors that contributed to this election. I expect that historians will
be debating it years from now. That being said, I still think that we can confidently speculate
about contributing factors. I do believe that a backlash
to political correctness from the Left to progressive notions of offensive speech and identity politics played a not insignificant
role in Trump’s election. I do want to note, though,
that I think this term political correctness
is decreasingly useless. I prefer to talk about political phobias because I think we’re
now seeing real phobias about hearing certain words
uttered or even quoted in any context about
hearing disagreeable ideas, just hearing these ideas, hearing these words is
considered traumatic. Expressing them might be
considered an act of violence. As I say, I prefer to talk
about political phobias and language phobias. I think that’s what
we’re dealing with now, but I’ll use the term
political correctness simply because it’s the one
that we are all familiar with. Now there is some polling evidence about attitudes towards political correctness, and I’ll read you just
a few of the findings, if you’ll excuse my reading for a moment. I should add, though, another caveat, which is that if polls
were reliably accurate Hillary Clinton would be President, but let’s go with what we have. A recent Cato survey on
free speech and tolerance, which I recommend to all of you, it’s got a lot of very
interesting findings in it, found that some 70% of Americans agree that P.C. is a big problem and say that it silences important discussions. 58% of people surveyed felt that they couldn’t say what they believed. Cato found striking differences between the impulse to self-censor among Democrats, Republicans, and Independents. A small majority of Democrats, 53%, said they did not feel
the need to self-censor, as opposed to a strong
majority of Republicans, 73%, and 58% of Independents, who said that they do self-censor, keeping some of their political opinions to themselves. Maybe these are the people to whom Trump was speaking when he said, I’m so tired of this
politically correct crap. The Pew Research Center has also some survey evidence on
attitudes towards P.C. It found that most Americans, 59%, say too many people are
easily offended these days over the language that others use. Like Cato, Pew found
some notable differences between Democrats and Republicans, and also between Trump
voters and Clinton voters. 78% of Republicans say people
are too easily offended, as opposed to 37% of Democrats. 83% of Trump supporters say
people are too easily offended, as opposed to 39% of Clinton supporters. Pew also found that
Democrats with more education were more worried about offensive speech than Democrats who are less educated, which is not surprising
considering trends on campus. Finally, and how much time do I have? How am I doing on time? – [Tom] You’ve got a whole three minutes. – I’ve got a whole three minutes. I wanna provide just a little context for political correctness. Keep in mind that, while it’s
gotten a lot of attention in recent years because
it’s become, I think, quite extreme, it dates
back 25 years easily. There’s a book on my shelf
called, “Debating P.C.,” which was published in 1992. But, as I say, it’s gotten extreme. Now it applies to civil expressions of what might be mainstream opinions, opinions that a lot of Americans harbor, like America is a land of opportunity, America is a meritocracy. Statements like that were
considered microaggressions by the University of California, though Cato found that a majority of African-Americans and Hispanics weren’t actually offended by them. But, again, a lot of people
harbor these opinions. They probably don’t like
being called racist. Trump told them that they were not racist. Now I do think, though, I
just wanna add one more, a couple more, points that
when people complain about being censored by political correctness, or when they talk about
being self-censored, I think that we should ask whether or not they are abdicating their own
responsibility to speak up, instead of quietly submitting
to the loudest voices or to whatever they
consider the majority view. I think we should consider whether P.C. and a backlash to P.C. is, in some ways, being scapegoated for individual timidity, and I think we should also consider that while Trump made his attack
on political correctness it was central to his campaign, probably resonated with a lot of people who also felt sick and tired of this politically correct crap. But I think we should ask
what were they tired of not being able to say. What was it that they
felt constrained to say? At the end of the day, I think it might be difficult to separate progressive notions of offensive speech and
the backlash to that, that I think contributed
to Trump’s election, from the white identity
politics that also fueled it. Thank you.
– Thank you, Wendy. (audience applauds) Robby, your thoughts, please. – I agree very much with
almost all of Wendy’s comments, but I have some different sources, some different evidence to make the case, which I believe that political correctness did certainly play a role in helping Donald Trump become President. I think it’s helpful to try to
define political correctness, though it’s very hard to do. Some people will define
it in such a narrow way that you would say,
well, maybe that didn’t actually have much of an
effect on the election. I think one way that many Americans who don’t like political
correctness think of it is articulating an idea,
the content of the idea, the message of the idea, might actually not be insensitive or offensive. It might be a perfectly fine message, but the way you said it, there was something about the form of how you articulated
it, that isn’t current, that isn’t considered polite or acceptable amongst the highly educated or the media or our societal elites,
and you don’t know that. So, what you say is politically incorrect, even though the message might be fine. It’s probably useful to try
to have an example here. A member of my grandfather’s generation might make a statement
about racial equality, but say it like, “The blacks
are okay,” or something. The sentiment is actually fine. I’m glad that that person thinks that people of different races are a-okay, but the way they would say it, obviously, is tin ear to me. I would kind of groan. I would go, “Well,
don’t say it like that.” But then, you know, if you
call out someone like that, they feel like you’ve made them feel racially insensitive, not
with the times, behind, and it creates a definite
sentiment of dislike. I think this has happened
to a lot of people, to a lot of Americans who
were really fed up with it, and I think that because
many of them told me that when I asked people why
they voted for Trump. So many of them have said this to me. It’s probably helpful to
share a little bit more of my background. I’ve been writing about college campuses, the free speech issues on college campuses for many years now, and many
of you in here are students and have probably encountered
incidents like these, but it certainly seems to be the case that over the last few years there have been increasing
numbers of incidents that touch on political correctness that involve people being punished, either formally or, in
many cases, informally for saying something
that was just not quite perfectly right or articulated. Many times from a position of ignorance, from coming from a background that is less privileged than the people who said that’s insensitive, that’s
politically incorrect. An incident that really
brought my thinking, made me think that this was much worse, that kind of encapsulates
what I’m talking about, at Oregon, I was going
through a list of things that students had
reported to the university using its bias reporting system, which is a new tool in
place at a hundred different colleges and universities for students and professors and people on campus to basically report politically
incorrect statements called microaggressions,
which you were talking about. This one was someone had reported a sign in the cafeteria
that had triggered them, that had made them feel microagressed. The sign said, “Please
clean up after yourself. “We are not your mother.” Can anyone guess why this was offensive? It was offensive because it relies on the patriarchal assumption
that only mothers clean up after people, that it would not be the
equal father’s right. I’m sure the person who posted this flyer was a minimum wage paid,
perhaps not college educated cafeteria worker who has
more things to worry about than learning the latest P.C. lingo to appease the very
privileged students of Oregon. That and hundreds more incidents like that made me think that, hey, there might be a political correctness
problem on college campuses, and then there was a
backlash to it on campus. In fact, the people who didn’t like this increasingly began relying on people like Milo Yiannopoulos and Ann
Coulter and Lauren Southern and bringing them to campus and wanting to hear from them solely for the reason that these people were against political correctness, and really for almost no other, not for the depth of their ideas, not for their interesting
conservative philosophy. These are empty characters
who are solely defined by their opposition to
political correctness. I watched this happen very
inaugurally on college campuses, and I wondered, could the same thing happen to the nation at large if political correctness is also a problem in the lives of people who
are not on college campuses. I very much think, I thought,
at the time last year, that that helped explain why
Donald Trump was elected. I wrote an article
right after the election elaborating on the parallels between this and the campus situation, and it was the most popular
article I’ve ever written. People emailed me, dozens of people. People never email me about articles. Dozens of people emailed
me to say, you’re right. That is why I voted for Trump. I will read you a few of their emails. They’re fascinating. This was from somebody who emailed me. My reasons for voting for
him were as you stated. Political correctness is one term for it. Lying is another. If people can’t use plain
language and honesty to refer to things, we are done. Another said, I too am sick of the antics of the P.C. crowd telling me what to think while they cheerfully
dismantle freedom of speech. Best regards for a Merry
Christmas, happy holiday, or whatever our betters
tell us to call it. (audience laughs) It goes on and on. Another person said, I
am not by any stretch of the imagination your target audience. I am old. I’m a Tennessee hillbilly. I’m not affluent. So, what I say has no
real value in your world. That said, your article
hits the nail on the head. I try to be a good person, to treat everyone I meet with respect. The problem is I did not grow
up the way young people did, and I do not know the things they know. I don’t have the time to educate myself. I have three jobs. (audience laughs) Another said, I am always kind. I have impeccable manners. What political correctness is to me is an unreasonable
expectation on your fellow man to expect him to arrive where you are, while having had completely
different experiences. It says that it’s okay to be different in the way they are, but
not in any other way. I’ve taken these things to heart because when enough people tell you that that’s why they voted for
Trump, you have to concede, okay, maybe that’s why
you voted for Trump. There is evidence beyond
just the anecdotes. A mathematician, Spencer Greenberg, found that people who
thought we are too P.C., people who thought we are
too P.C. as a country, that was the second
most reliable indicator for whether you were
likely to vote for Trump. The only more powerful indicator was whether you were actually Republican. It’s also important to note that Trump was the candidate of resistance
to political correctness, not just as a general election candidate, but as a primary candidate. He was the one who tells it like it is. His response to the horrific
Pulse shooting was to say we can’t afford to be
politically correct anymore. He complained that he was
named Person of the Year, rather than Man of the Year. The woman who emailed me about not being able to say Merry Christmas, that’s the kind of, you know,
these are similar things. We’re talking about tens
of thousands of voters in two states, essentially,
that changed the course of the election, in
Michigan and Pennsylvania. I’m from Michigan. I’m from Macomb County, a county that voted twice
for President Obama, and this time for Trump. This is the county that both Eminem and Kid Rock are from actually. (laughs) The kinds of voters that
Trump did better with, the white working-class, are the exact kind of
voters I would expect to like the appeal to destroy
political correctness. I cannot claim that
this is the sole factor or even the most important factor, but in an election that was very close in, essentially, just two states, I think the evidence strongly suggests, we can certainly make the claim
that political correctness is among the four or five
reasons, most important reasons, for why Trump was elected, and this should inform how we, for those of the audience, myself included who don’t like President
Trump and didn’t vote for him, it should inform the resistance to him because if you’re going
to send Lena Dunham to white working-class voters to tell them why they’re racist
for voting for Trump, we will have him in office a lot longer. (audience laughs) – Thank you, Robby.
(audience applauds) Brendan, your thoughts, please. – Yeah, I still think
that if you want to know why Trump won, you only have to look at the response to Trump’s winning. You only have to look at
the meltdown of the media, the ongoing meltdown of the media that descend into daily hysteria. They’ve slightly given up
on the return to fascism, return of Hitler thing, which
they indulged for months. They’ve kind of drifted away from that, but they’re still
staying quite hysterical. You only have to look at the Twitterati, which every day is pumping out endless hand-wringing tweets
about Trump and his voters and how ridiculous they all are, or you only have to look
at the constant search by Hillary, her team, and all those people who like Hillary for some neat explanation for why Americans went so mad and voted for someone so unpalatable. There’s this real
mystification among those who are supposed to know about politics, this real sense of confusion among those who are supposed to have their pulse on the political realm
about why Trump won. I think that tells us a
lot about why Trump won. They have no ability to read the public, no sense of connection with
large sections of the public, no understanding of what might be driving some of these people and
what they might be thinking. The very tone in which
they ask that question, how on Earth did this happen, actually starts to
explain why this happened. I think this has got to
be the longest hissy fit in history, and it so grating. It is so incredibly grating,
and you can just imagine. I don’t support Trump. I would never vote for Trump, but can you imagine how
this sounds to people who did vote Trump and
who do support Trump? This ceaseless, daily Nazi
talk and the return of fascism, and the worst thing that’s
ever happened in America, or the worst thing. He’s the worst President ever. Worse than the people who
bombed Hiroshima and Nagasaki? Worse than Richard Nixon, who decided at three
o’clock in the morning to bomb Cambodia and
kill thousands of people? We need some perspective, and their lack of perspective is, in itself, incredibly revealing. I think the most
revealing thing about this longest hissy fit in
history is their search for an explanation for why
people voted for Trump, and it’s very interesting. If you read the media coverage, if you read the kind of
pro-Hillary hand-wringing over what’s currently going on, they will say thinks like, well, the nation is still beset by misogyny. Lots of people just don’t like the idea of women being in power. There’s lots of sexism. Or, they describe the support for Trump as a white-lash, all these white people lashing out against Black Lives Matter, or all the developments of civil rights, or whatever else it might be. Some commentators refer
to internalized misogyny as their way of explaining
why women voted for Trump, this deeply disturbingly patronizing idea, Victorian idea, in fact, that women don’t really know their own minds and have kind of been
brainwashed by the culture to think that they’re inferior, and then they kind of
just follow their men into the voting booth
and do as they tell them. This argument, ironically,
was being made by feminists, and it’s most anti-feminist
argument you can ever think of. Of course, they say we
live in a post-truth era. All these people have been
sucked in by post-truth. They believe demagogues.
They believe lies. They’re gullible, and so on. What all these explanations have in common is this incredible instinct,
this constant instinct, to pathologize what people think, to pathologize people’s political beliefs, to pathologize their voting habits. It was really summed up for me by someone on one of those anti-Trump demos that happened shortly
after his inauguration. Someone held up a placard that said, your vote was a hate crime, and I thought that really summed up where we’re going with this, which is that, you know, this sense that you suffer from a
pathology if you like Trump or you vote for Trump. It’s the only explanation. You’re effectively mentally ill. You have some deep-seated racial or psychological disturbance, and that’s what you’re expressing, and, in fact, we’ve seen
with all these analyses of the psychological
personality of the Trump voter, as if they were an
indistinguishable mass of people whose brains could be investigated like rats in a laboratory. That kind of commentary has
been going on for a long time, and I think that really cuts to the heart of the problem with political correctness and of the problem with the way in which the Trump phenomenon is being understood, or, in my view,
misunderstood because I think both Wendy and Robby have touched on the fact that it actually
is quite difficult to define what political correctness is. I completely agree with Wendy that the phrase is not particularly useful, and the way it’s used can differ
from one person to another. We tend, often, to focus
on the extreme expressions of political correctness,
like, for example, in Britain there was
recently a new publication of nursery rhymes, and the old classic, what should we do with a drunken sailor, was changed to what should
we do with a grumpy pirate (audience laughs)
on the basis that you couldn’t possibly have children
singing about drunkenness. That would be terrible. It’s those kind of things we focus on because they’re hilarious and actually do tell us something about
the society we live in, but it’s so much more than that. The policing of language
is never just about the policing of language. The policing of language is always, and you can trace this
back to what Orwell wrote and even before that. The policing of language is always about the policing of minds. It’s always about the
policing of attitudes, and it’s fundamentally about
the policing of behavior. The transformation of
words or the invention of new words or the
outlawing of certain phrases is always about controlling
how you view the world itself and how you interact with the world. It’s never so straightforward as simply replacing bad words with good ones. There’s always something else going on, and I think that something else going on, in my view, is pathologization. If I had to sum up what I think P.C. is, I think it is the increasing, growing, long-standing pathologization
of certain people’s views, which means the pathologization
of their beliefs, their values, and their lifestyles, and I think that’s the kind of thing that Trump voters are reacting against. I think the two definitions
of P.C. we are normally given, which is one comes from the
Left and one comes the Right, and particularly from the alt-right, both are unsatisfactory. So, the one from the Left, and particularly the apologetic Left, is that P.C. is simply
good ideas gone wrong. So, it’s anti-racism
and feminism and so on gone too far or gone a bit off track, and good intentions
are at the roots of it, but it’s a bit too over zealous. I don’t buy that definition of P.C. because, in my mind, P.C., in
terms of identity politics, and certainly the kind of stuff we’re seeing on campus at the moment, runs entirely counter to those values. It runs entirely counter to
anti-racism and feminism. Identity politics, the
celebration of difference, particularly racial difference, the institutionalization
of racial difference, the way in which you can be
described as a white man, or the way in which black people are said to suffer from some kind of historical burden, historical determinism. Identity politics rehabilitates
the racial imagination in a very ugly way, whereas anti-racism, those good values of the old
Left or the old Liberals, was about destroying
the racial imagination or overcoming the racial imagination. Then the Right’s description of P.C. is not very useful either. The Right’s description
is that what we have is basically pinkos marching
through the institutions. They use the phrase cultural Marxism, which is my least favorite
phrase in the whole world, as I say to every single person of every friend of mine
who’s on the Right. If it’s Marxism you’re worried about, you should be delighted
by what’s happening on campuses right now because this celebration of female fragility, this stoking up of
differences between the races, this is the overriding
of any question of class so that everyone is
just described as white or black of whatever it might be. That is the opposite of Marxism. That is proof, hard proof, of the death of the Marxist imagination,
so you should be happy if it’s Marxism you’re worried about. So, neither of those
definitions are satisfactory. What I think P.C. really
represents over time through politics, through
institutions in everyday life, is the increasing
alienation of a whole sway of the society and the pathologization of what they think and what they believe. You can really see this with Trump voters on various different issues. So, the three issues I
think are most telling in relation to this are climate change, gay marriage, and concern about terrorism. Those are three issues
on which Trump voters have different views to Clinton voters. They are a bit more skeptical
about climate change. They are more likely to be
opposed to gay marriage, and they are more
concerned about terrorism and the threat it poses to America. What happens if you
discuss these issues now? If you’re skeptical about climate change or a climate change
denier, you’re pathologized as anti-expertise,
anti-intellectual, anti-science. You’re wrong. You should be expelled from public life. If you oppose gay marriage, or rather defend traditional marriage, you are homophobic, a bigot. Instantly. No discussion. It couldn’t possibly be
down to religious views or something legitimate. It’s utterly illegitimate. If you’re concerned about terrorism, or if you’re concerned about Islamism, or if you’re concerned about
Islam, you’re Islamophobic. You’re instantly written off as someone who has this phobic, i.e.
mentally ill, take on the world. So, I think a lot of the support for Trump is a reaction against
not simply the extremes that us guys write about all the time, the extreme expressions of P.C., but it’s a struggle against the relentless pathologization of an entire
sway of American society and an entire sway of Western society by a new technocratic elite that is increasingly intolerant of not only other people’s point of view, but points of view in general, and now wants to run everything
in an incredibly technical, managerial, supposedly expert-led fashion. That’s really what this revolt represents, but the great tragedy, as Tom indicated in his opening remarks,
is that if they think Trump will challenge this culture, then they’re in for a rude awakening, and that’s where, I think, those of us who still do hold onto
enlightenment values need to step in and provide them with some of the arguments that
Trump certainly won’t. – Thank you, Brendan. (audience applauds) Finally, Steven. – A number of the points
that I intended to make have already been made, so I’ll try to just stick to some ideas that
have not been voiced so far. One of the reasons that I think that Trump’s victory was legitimately
shocking to many of us is the degree of contempt for accuracy, objectivity, facts, often common sense, ordinary norms of civility, and decency. I don’t think this is an overreaction. I don’t think it’s a hissy fit. Organizations that try to monitor the simply number of lies and false statements have shown that Trump is quite an outlier. All politicians lie. That’s ’cause all human beings lie. All politicians bend the truth. All humans bend the truth, but Trump is clearly an extreme outlier. The question is of the people
who might be persuadable, that is, the people who
are not already bound by political tribalism to the Democratic or the Republican tribe, and most of the variance
is simply accounted for by whether people
consider themselves to be Republican or Democrat. The actual figures from the 2016 election are not a whole lot different from those from the 2012 election. I mean, a couple of states flipped by margins of a few tens
of thousands of votes, but generally the vast majority of people, the positions that are
advanced by candidates made no difference whatsoever. Most people, when asked, have no idea what positions their
favorite candidates espouse, but they know that a particular candidate represents their kind of people, and that’s really what
pushes the numbers around. The question is in those
few tens of thousands of people who are not already committed to voting Democrat come what may or Republican come what may, what pushed them in
this particular election over to the side of a candidate who is by many criteria patently
unqualified to be President. Imagine, and I would
never want to overestimate the overall level of rationality or respect for truth or
objectivity of homo sapiens, but just imagine that there are some small number of people who are really affected by common sense,
ordinary norms of respect, civility, decency, fact,
respect for truth, and so on. You’d think that it would be kind of a foregone conclusion to
what they would vote for. On the other hand, when you have these outrages on the Left that match, at least superficially, the
outrages from Donald Trump, it makes it kind of a
toss-up for those people who are simply going to vote
for the less crazy tribe. So, when you have the Chief Economist of the World Bank who is dis-invited from giving a commencement address or Ayaan Hirsi Ali called Islamophobic, when you have statements like America is the land of opportunity branded as microaggressions, when you have a residential
dean at an Ivy League College circulate a memo saying
maybe we should all chill out about Halloween costumes, and then you’ve got an angry mob that confronts her and her husband, Erika and Nicholas Christakis, screaming obscenities at them, when you have examples of white
people taking Yoga classes being denounced as cultural appropriation, then these are all risible. They’re patently absurd. They’re not as consequential as having a vindictive mendacious
bully with nuclear codes. So, I actually don’t mean to equate them in terms of the seriousness. For all of the silliness on campus, the old saying that
academic debates are fierce because so little is at stake, when it comes to politics,
a great deal is at stake, and so, ultimately, we
should be far more concerned with the absurdity of Donald Trump than we are of campus follies. But, nonetheless, in the eyes of people who are trying to decide which tribe they want to affiliate with, I think the politically correct Left has made it a toss-up. You think that it would be impossible to out-stupid Donald Trump, but a lot of the politically correct Left has been doing their best. It should’ve been a slam dunk. They’ve made it into a toss-up. The other way in which I do agree with my fellow panelists that
political correctness has done an enormous amount of harm in the sliver of the
population that might be, I wouldn’t want to say persuadable, but certainly whose affiliation
might be up for grabs, comes from the often highly literate, highly intelligent people who gravitate to the alt-right, internet
savvy, media savvy, who often are radicalized in that way, who swallow the red
pill, as the saying goes, the allusion from The Matrix. When they are exposed the first time to true statements that
have never been voiced in college campuses or
in The New York Times or in respectable media, that are almost like a bacillus to which they have no immunity, and they’re immediately infected with both the feeling of
outrage that these truths are unsayable, and no
defense against taking them to what we might consider to be rather repellent conclusions. Let me give you some examples. Here is a fact that’s gonna
sound ragingly controversial but is not, and that is that capitalist societies are
better than communist ones. If you doubt it, then just
ask yourself the question, would I rather live in
South Korea or North Korea. (audience laughs)
Would I rather live in West Germany in the 1970s or
East Germany or in the 1960s? I submit that this is actually not a controversial statement,
but in university campuses, it would be considered flamingly radical. Here’s another one. Men and women are not identical
in their life priorities, in their sexuality, in
their tastes and interests. This is not controversial to anyone who has even glanced at the data. The kind of vocational
interest tests of the kind that your high school
guidance counselor gave you were given to millions of people, and men and women give different answers as to what they wanna do for a living and how much time they wanna allocate to family versus career and so on. But you can’t say it. A very famous person on
this campus did say it, and we all know what happened to him. (audience laughs)
(audience member claps) He’s no longer, well,
he is on this campus, but no longer in the same office. (audience laughs) Here’s a third fact that
is just not controversial, although it sounds controversial, and that is that different ethnic groups commit violent crimes at different rates. You can go to the Bureau
of Justice Statistics. Look it up on their website. The homicide rate among African Americans is about seven or eight times higher than it is among European Americans. And terrorism, go to the
Global Terrorist Database, and you find that worldwide
the overwhelming majority of suicide terrorist acts are committed by Islamist extremist groups. If you’ve never heard these facts before and you stumble across them
or someone mentions them, it is possible to come to
some extreme conclusions, such as that women are inferior, that African Americans
are naturally violent, that we all ought to
be Anarcho-capitalists and do away with all regulation
and social safety nets, that most terrorism in this
country is the fault of Muslims. These are unwarranted conclusions because for each one of these facts there are very powerful counterarguments for why they don’t
license racism and sexism and Anarcho-capitalism and so on. The fact that men and
women aren’t identical has no implications for whether we should discriminate against women
for a number of reasons. One of them is for any traits in which the sex is different,
and two distributions have enormous amounts of overlap, so that you can’t draw
a reliable conclusion about any individual from group averages. Number two, the principle of opposition to racism and sexism
is not a factual claim that the sexes and races are indistinguishable in every aspect. It’s a political and moral commitment to treat people as
individuals, as opposed to pre-judging them by the
statistics of their group. Third, we know that some of
the statistical generalizations about races and sexes change over time. So, what is true now may not necessarily be true in 10 or 20 years. These are all reasons why you can believe that the sexes are different and be a very strong feminist, why you can believe
that differences between the races exist and be
very strongly opposed to any form of racism. In the case of, say,
rates of violent crime, it used to be, go back 100 years, the rate of violent crime
among Irish Americans was far higher than among
other ethnic groups. That obviously changed. There’s no reason that that can’t change in the case of current racial differences. In the case of terrorism, the majority of domestic terrorism is committed by Right-Wing
extremist groups, not by Islamic groups within this country. Of course, through much of its history Islam was far more
enlightened than Christendom. There was no equivalent
of the Inquisition. There was no equivalent
of the wars of religion in the classical history of Islam. Finally, in the case of the fact that capitalism is really a
better system than Marxism, every successful capitalist
society has regulation, has a social safety net, and, in fact, some of the countries with the
strongest social safety nets are also the countries that
are most market-friendly, that have the greatest
degree of economic freedom. These are all reasons why
you can believe all of these and not necessarily drift
toward extremist positions. In fact, why you can be a Progressive, a Centrist, a Liberal, even a Leftist, and believe all of these
because you’re exposed not only to the facts but
how to put them in context. Now let’s say that you have never even heard anyone mention these facts. The first time you hear
them, you’re apt to say, number one, the truth
has been withheld from me by universities, by mainstream media, and, moreover, you will be vindicated when people who voice these truths are suppressed, shouted down, assaulted, all the more reason to believe that the Left, that the mainstream media, that universities can’t handle the truth. So, you get vindicated
over and over again, but, worst of all, you’re never exposed to the ways of putting
these facts into context so that they don’t lead
to racism and sexism and extreme forms of
Anarcho-Libertarianism. So, the politically correct Left is doing itself an enormous disservice when it renders certain
topics undiscussable, especially when the facts
are clearly behind them because they leave people defenseless the first time they hear them against the most extreme and indefensible
conclusions possible. If they were exposed, then the rationale for putting them into proper political and moral context could
also be articulated, and I don’t think you would have quite the extreme backlash. – Thank you very much, Steven. (audience applauds) At this point, whilst we
rearrange Steven’s microphone, we’re going to go out
for audience questions. I’m gonna take a handful at times, so, panel, don’t feel the
need to jump straight in, even if something’s addressed to you, and then we’ll bring it back. So, let me see some hands. Who wants to be– Cool, so, mic man, let’s
go to this gentleman here. Have we got someone on this side? There’s someone also
there in a black shirt. – The guy in the back was the first person to raise his hand.
– Going back, cool. Yes?
– Wendy, you mentioned political correctness had
a previous peak in the 90s, and I was just wondering if there’s any pattern you see why it’s back, and why is it social media? – Thank you very much. Let’s go here, and then
can you just take the mic up to the gentleman up about there. Yeah? Shoot. – My question is where do we go from here? I’m already convinced
that this was the reason and you guys just said the same thing. You know? So, I’m like, where do we go from here? What is the next step? – Thank you very much. Yep, up there. You, yeah. – Thank you. What I find more and more these days is the sorts of people who you mentioned who might state that one of the reasons that they voted from Trump
was political correctness. Often, the critiques that they applied to the culture of suppression
and of thin-skinned snowflakes can be very easily reflected back on them. Do you not think that a lot of the time when people identify political correctness as the source of their grievance they’re often people
who resort to the same protections against offensive speech, and that it can often be used as a cover for naked identitarianism? You know, people on the Right are often offended by speech that offends their, say, white male, red-blooded
American identity too. – Excellent. Thank you. I’m gonna grab two more quickly. So, let’s take this gentlemen here and then this gentlemen here, and then we’ll come back. – Hi, so, sadly I don’t
think that most voters in the Midwest were working-class. Respect.
– It was a pity. – Maybe some reason, not many
probably read Campus Reform. So, my question is of all
these controversies on campus, how much of it filters
out into the consciousness of the average American? Some of us may be concerned
about political correctness on campus ’cause we experience it, but how much does that
affect the average voter, who we’re talking about? Related to that, what has changed with the internet and social media? Has that allowed, say, the consciousness of what’s going on in campus to migrate to people who otherwise
would’ve been unaware, perhaps because they didn’t
even go to college, for example. – Thank you very much, and just here. – I’m curious about how norms around political correctness bleed
into the conversation. I’m sorry, bleed into the conversation around free speech, and
there’s this sort of natural politicization of free speech whenever it’s brought up in
a politically correct context and that’s already sort of student, different travel directions,
and so there’s this also sort of unfortunate fragility to it where free speech is only brought up in a context where it’s
defending a position that somebody thinks is unsavory. So, there’s this question around how to avoid its politicization so
that it can be maintained, as well as sort of propagate better norms. So, I guess from a practical point of view I wanna know how to sort of improve that. – Thank you very much. Right, so there’s a lot there, panel. Most of these come back on everything, but, Robby, I wanna start with you, particularly this question about how much does this
actually fuel as a feud. Does your average Rustbelt trucker actually know there’s
people with blue hair running around calling him privileged. I mean, how much does that actually–? – I actually think the
answer to that is yes, not because they read Spiked
or Reason or Campus Reform, but they listen to Talk
Radio, they watch Fox News, and these two outlets in particular have been blasting this
issue out to their listeners for the last few years at a volume you could not possibly understand, unless you ask grandpa what
he’s listening to these days. Then it becomes a question of, well, is political correctness only a problem because we’re telling people about it, and they’re so outraged,
and maybe if we would censor ourselves we wouldn’t get into it. But I think it’s worth covering anyway because I do think it’s a
problem on college campuses, but then it’s over-hyped by these people, and, also, there are
people who, you’re right, have never heard of any of this but then encounter it in their daily life, encounter it with a
neighbor or with a client or customer or a boss or a coworker. You don’t hear about those incidents because there’s not a
corporate life reform website. I absolutely do think the voters are more educated on this
issue for these reasons. – Can I answer that?
– Yeah, of course. – I think that the Cato
and the Pew surveys, which I cited, also give
you some evidence of that. They really do find a lot of awareness in the general public about
political correctness, and I think what was
most interesting to me were the differences in the
way Democrats and Republicans thought about political correctness and the need to censor themselves. There was a question directed to me about political correctness in the 90s. I think you asked why
it reemerged recently. I don’t think it reemerged. It never went away. I would date what we now think of as political correctness
or speech and language and idea phobias back to
the late 1980s, early 90s. We saw the notion that speech is the equivalent of an act of violence coming out of popular therapies, popular personal development
movements in the 1980s. We saw, to some extent, reflected in the anti-porn movement, the
feminist anti-porn movement of the 1980s, and then in the early 90s we have universities
beginning to experiment with speech codes and
beginning to implement and enforce speech codes. We also see them trying to welcome much more diverse student populations and not really knowing how to do it, and I think speech codes
were partly a reflection of the move to diversify
American campuses. So, we start off with, I would say, more contained notions of
offensiveness in the 1990s, but as this grows over a decade, the notion of what’s offensive
becomes broader and broader. The notion of what constitutes bigotry or racism or homophobia or sexism becomes broader and broader, and starts to embrace a
lot of mainstream ideas. This list of microaggressions that the University of California issued, it involved criticizing
affirmative action. It involved saying things like if in America you work
hard, you can get ahead. It involved asking people
where they’re from. It’s now considered
offensive to ask someone where they’re from, and it’s interesting the way people react to that question. I was in a hotel in Miami recently, and there was this very
nice guy helping us out. I said, where are you from, meaning what part of
the country of you from. Where did you grow up? Did you grow up in Florida? Did you grow up in California? He said something like,
well, I’m an American. Well, that was my assumption
was that he was an American, but that question, where are you from, has become so loaded now. Political correctness has never gone away. It’s just gotten worse and
worse for a number of reasons, not the least of which are
probably the proliferation of Student Life
Administrators on campuses. – (laughs) Definitely, and Steve, sorry, was there something you wanted to say? – As someone who’s plotted
an awful lot of graphs tracking things quantitatively over time, I’m always suspicious of any argument that something is bad now, therefore, it’s worse than it used to be because often those claims
don’t survive fact-checking. I’m not getting any younger, but I have a good enough memory of what things were like in the 1970s when I was a college student, and things were pretty bad then as well. I remember my first week on
campus at a junior college. I was only 17. This was 1971. There was a guy behind a table, several people selling or giving away some sort of the Marxist,
Leninist, Trotskyist, People’s Workers United
Manifesto Party circular with a picture of Mao
and Stalin and Lenin, and he was getting into an argument with someone who was trying to
engage him in argument, and I remember him shouting him down, screaming, “Fascists don’t
have the right to speak.” This was 1971. Most people here weren’t born yet. So, this syndrome goes back a long way. In the 1970s and 1980s,
a number of psychologists who mentioned claims that by
now are fairly unexceptionable, like evolution might have
something to do with behavior, like there may be some genetic differences among individuals, were
shouted down, often assaulted. E.O. Wilson, Emeritus
Professor, still here, was shouted down by chanting students who said, “Racist Wilson, you can’t hide. “We charge you with genocide.” Dick Herrnstein was shut down when he tried to lecture on
pigeons back in the 1970s because of his Atlantic Monthly article, which did not mention race. This was well before the bell curve. These attempts at shutting down unpopular beliefs goes
back at least 40 years. I think one of the things that happened is that the generation that first tried to shutdown speech, namely, we Baby Boomers, got into power. We expanded the Student Life bureaucracy, and we created something
of an invitation to students who I believe
are getting far too much blame for this movement. The idea that millennials are snowflakes that can’t handle unpopular beliefs I think is totally wrong. It’s really our generation
that has kind of welcomed this, rewarded it, and used it. I think a better analogy than snowflakes who are traumatized might
be the cultural revolution in China in the 1960s in which one faction of the adult generation
mobilized the students to attack another faction
of their generation. A lot of the enabling was done by, not by the students, but by the
factions that egged them on. So, what’s to be done? I would certainly like to see, I would like to find out how much we are seeing a case of
pluralistic ignorance, where everyone assumes that
everyone else is offended, and no one actually is offended. (audience laughs) Everyone assumes that everyone else has these dogmatic
politically correct beliefs, but it may not necessarily
be a majority who do, and to crack this pluralistic ignorance you really do need people who announce that the emperor has no clothes, who say in public what everyone else might be believing in private. That’s gonna be a crucial
step in making it happen, in response to your question. – I wanna disagree with you
just a little bit, Steven, your description of what it was like on campus in the 60s and
70s, ’cause I was there too. I’m probably a little older than you, even though my hair isn’t gray, (audience laughs) and will never be. (audience laughs) – But I can’t ask you your age. – You can ask me my age. My age is not a secret. Of course, there are always people who are extremely intolerant of speech. That’s human nature, and there are always probably only a minority of people who are really strong
free speech advocates when it comes to protecting
the speech they don’t like. There are always people who
indulge in heckler’s veto. I think the difference on campus is that there are now administrative systems that are devoted to shutting down whatever somebody complains of as what we might think
of as a minor offense. – I agree.
– You didn’t used to get disciplined for telling a
joke that offended somebody. – The guy who said, “Fascists
have no right to speak,” is now a dean.
(audience laughs) – But I also think that
it’s not our generation as much as it is, you know, most of these Student Life Administrators
are not in their sixties. I think most of them tend to be, I don’t know, what? In their forties? What I’m seeing is a
real generational divide that, I don’t know, I think the cutoff is probably 45 or 50,
and that younger faculty, and by younger I mean under 45, and administrators are
people who were raised under these speech code regimes. They were educated under
speech code regimes, and that’s why it’s important to remember that they date back to the early 90s. So, the people who graduated from college in the early mid-90s are now middle-aged, and somebody can shut that phone off. (audience laughs) And they’re the people who
are enforcing these things. I also wanted to– – I just wanna quickly bring Brendan in, little bit of Robby, and
then we’ll go back out ’cause I wanna get some more questions in. – Yeah, so, I agree actually that this is not particularly new, and looking at the British context, the exact thing that
you described, Steven, in relation to people
wanting to ban fascism was happening on British
campuses since the 70s onwards. That’s really important because it really proves the argument that if you don’t challenge
censorship at the very start, then it will swallow you up eventually. When I was at university
in the early 1990s, I spent a lot of my time arguing against the censorship of fascists, and you were called a
fascist for doing that. You would be branded a racist and so on, even if you were involved in anti-racist campaigns at the same time. The argument that we made,
students made at that time, was that if we allow the campus police or the university
administration or student unions to ban fascists, then
we’re opening the door to censorship more broadly, and we were proved right on that because as soon as it was okayed for them to ban fascists, then they
moved on to banning Zionists. That was their next target because Zionism was seen as this racist ideology. Then they moved on from
Zionists to banning homophobes, and then misogynists
and all the other people that the student campaigners and certain university workers don’t like. A really important
turning point in Britain was in 2002, I think it was, when a campus banned Eminem’s music. They banned Eminem’s music on the basis that he uses the word faggot. So, the fact that they had a policy that meant that they could ban homophobia meant that it was perfectly logical that they could ban Eminem. You can trace it historically, this spread from censorship
that was targeted just on fascism to one that now can ban Germaine Greer because
she thinks there are men and women and a man
can’t become a woman, or Maryam Nemazee because she escaped the Iranian regime and is
very critical of Islam. All these people are being swallowed up by a logic that was there
at the very beginning. I think the logic is the key thing. Just one quick point on what to do next, I mean, it’d be really interesting to hear other people’s views on that, but I think, I completely
agree with Steven. I dislike this word snowflake so much and, in fact, we recently
banned its use on Spiked, (audience laughs)
not that we’re in favor of censorship, but it’s
such an useful term in terms of describing what’s going on, and this idea of uniquely
fragile millennials and so on, I think that’s a real cop out because what we really face is not simply a new generation that’s quite intolerant, and not simply campus craziness, in fact, but it’s really a counter-enlightenment, and then the challenge to all the ideals of the enlightenment, the
ideal of universalism, the ideal of self-government, the ideal of freedom of
thought and freedom of speech, of course, the ideal of
using moral reasoning to negotiate your way through the world. It’s all those things
that are under attack. You can’t blame that on some 20 year-old who thinks you shouldn’t wear a costume of Bruce Jenner on Halloween. They’re not responsible for this. It goes back much further than that. The reason they express it so keenly is because they’ve been socialized through childhood in school and so on into this new counter-enlightenment, into this new culture that
devalues freedom of speech, devalues due process,
sacralizes self-esteem, and so on and so on. So, they are only the
end products of a culture that I think has been growing
probably before the 70s, going back maybe even to, you know, I’d like to blame everything on the 60s ’cause I’m quite anti 1960s,
but maybe even before that. These students strike
me as the foot soldiers of the West’s own self-doubt, and I think unless we grapple
with the origins of that, then we will just end up
shouting at young people, which is not very productive. – So, Robby. – I actually have a slightly different perspective than that. I am constantly struck
by how un-ideological the opposition to speech is on campus, that it is purely psychological. This is an enormous difference and a very recent one
among college students that their hostility to
speech is based in discomfort to harmful emotions, and
this you can measure. I have students report
feeling anxiety and depression and trauma at off-the-charts higher rates than even ten years ago, even among kids who aren’t
even yet in college, who are in high school. Jean Twenge has some
fascinating research on this and how smartphone usage
might correspond with it. But when I talk to students, they describe their
hostility to offensive ideas in that it’s not really a
deeply philosophical opposition. It’s this idea hurts me or maybe it hurts people in my community. It hurts them emotionally, and emotional harm is the same as violence because it triggers my trauma, a trauma I’ve been taught to think I have by this enormous campus bureaucracy that really weaponizes this trauma, or permits you to weaponize it because then you can shut someone
down if you have it. So, there’s an incentive to make yourself be a victim when you really aren’t or you’re no more than anyone else that it is increased, I believe from looking at the data, is new and increasing and powerful and is the main driver of censorship. – I think at this point I’m gonna take it back out to some questions. We will return, I’m sure,
to many of those points. So, who else wants to speak? Let’s see some hands. Mic people, where are we at? Let’s take this lady
in the front row there, and then do you wanna take the
mic to this gentleman here? – Thank you. I’d like to take it back out of the campus and into the country at large again. I totally agree with
everything people are saying about the issues around being too P.C. in the campus context, but I’m wondering how we make a return to civility because what has happened,
and I’ve seen this both, you know, having just come from living in the U.K. I saw it as a result of
Brexit, and I’ve seen it here where now, thanks to these surprise votes, people feel like they have a license to say things that they
wouldn’t say before. So, whether it’s attacking
someone at a bus stop and saying, “So, when are you going back “to where you came from,”
and things that can escalate into quite frightening levels. So, I just wonder how do we get that level of civility
and a sense of the civic, if you like, and respect
for our fellow human back without going into these extremes that the political correctness takes us? – Thank you very much. Uh, gentleman there, yep. – Hi. What role do you think, perhaps, the first generation immigrants might play in bringing some sense back to the political correctness conversation, given that many of them
come from countries that may not have a tradition
of political correctness, and certainly many of
them come from countries that suppress free speech, and, therefore might be more likely to protect it, want to protect it when they come here. I myself have to tell many people wearing a bindi as a fashion item is fine. Recently, the M.F.A,
actual Japanese woman, when there was a protest
against having kimono tryouts and actual Japanese women came there to say really it’s okay, (laughs) (audience laughs)
and white people and Asian Americans were
protesting against them. So, yeah, that’s my question. – Definitely. Can I see
some more hands quickly? Yeah, do you wanna pass the mic to this gentleman down here. I do wanna go up there,
but you first, sir. Just in the middle there.
– Thank you. We’re sitting in the university that from its beginnings used to send people to Rhode Island if they didn’t agree with the principles being
maintained by the university. So, this goes back
probably beyond the 70s, (audience laughs)
and my own pet theory, and I wonder if it’s stupid or if you’d agree with it is that political correctness in some sense is the redefinition of
blasphemy for a secular age. – [Tom] Thank you very much. – I think a significant number of persons who voted for Donald Trump were very, very aware of his warts, but I think they felt that there were some fundamental problems
with what Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama wanted
to change America towards. One of those is that if
you look in a newspaper you will see priority given to women and minorities for jobs, for example. This is just an example. Well, what does that mean? That means everybody gets a push up except if you’re white male, and if you go around,
you can see women power, Latino power, black power, LGBT power, but if you say white power, then you’re labeled a white supremacist, and I would hope the panel would address these comments that I just made. – Thank you very much. I’m gonna bring it back to the panel now, but I’m gonna ask you guys to be brief ’cause we’ll try and pick
up the last ones here before we close, but, Wendy. – On the last point, there
was a political scientist writing in The Washington Post, analyzing the election, who said that the perception that white people are treated unfairly
relative to minorities was a particularly strong predictor of support for Donald Trump. That, I think, goes to
your point, briefly. – And, Brendan, on this point, which we’ve heard here,
but also at the top there is to what extent does
political correctness and the backlash against it become a cover for what is just old-fashioned
bigotry potentially, or how do we de-mystify
those two things, I guess. – [Man] Not seeing if we’re going to be limited resources, and it’s
just a powerful symbol. – Yeah, so, just on to that point. – Well, political correctness is bigotry. That’s what it is. The dictionary definition of bigotry is intolerance of someone who
has different views to you. It doesn’t actually mean
racism and misogyny. That can be encapsulated in bigotry, but bigotry is intolerance of people who do not share your views, usually your religious
views, but all views. So, political correctness is bigotry. A lot of the reaction
against Trump is bigotry because of the way it
talks about Trump voters and so on, and the intolerance
it has for their views. Whenever I hear people
calling someone a bigot, I always instantly think,
hm, maybe that person’s the bigot ’cause that’s often what’s– Under the guise of anti-bigotry, a lot of bigotry is currently
being expressed right now. I think in relation to– First, I wanna defend Brexit. Brexit is not the same as Trump. Brexit was the largest
vote in British history against an institution,
the European Union, which is incredibly undemocratic
and illiberal and racist. It has a two-tier immigration policy, which grants freedom of movement for largely white Europeans,
while paying African dictators to keep their people away
from our pristine shores. So, this is not a nice institution, and it’s certainly not one that anyone on the Left or on the
Liberal side should support. Brexit is a good thing. If Brexit licensed anything,
it was the contempt of the technocrats for
the idea of democracy and for ordinary voters. The bile that is being poured upon people who voted for Brexit in recent
months is extraordinary, and that’s another form of bigotry that we don’t talk about enough. One very quick point, I agree that P.C. is like
blasphemy for a secular age, but it’s kind of worse because blasphemy protected God
or Jesus or the Bible. What P.C. does, it turns all of us into little jumped-up Jesuses. So, we all deserve our own blasphemy law. We all have that protection that used to just be afforded to one book
or one church and so on. So, it makes it entirely
unwieldy and subjective, and anyone can say, well, that offends me, and, therefore, I don’t think
it should be allowed anymore. So, I really agree with Robby that the censorship we have now
is therapeutic censorship. We had religious censorship. We had political censorship. Now we have therapeutic censorship, which is censorship demanded to protect my self-esteem and my
feelings and my mental health. – We also have therapeutic justice, which is very dangerous. The notion that the justice system ought to be considering and privileging the feelings of these
self-identified victims. Where does this notion
“believe the women,” “automatically believe
an accuser” come from if not from the world of therapy. It may well be appropriate for a therapist to believe somebody’s story or a friend, but it’s really not appropriate
for the justice system. Can I very quickly just
respond to the guy up there who talked about political
correctness on the Right. I think that’s just
important to keep in mind that while we’ve been talking about progressive P.C. that there’s just as much censoriousness on the Right. Cato found, for example,
that majority of Republicans would strip the citizenship
of people who burn the flag. Now that was something that
was proposed by Donald Trump. Donald Trump is an
instinctive practitioner of P.C. and identity politics. That was a big part of his campaign, and, of course, he’s also
extremely thin-skinned. – Definitely, and just on that point, I’d be interested as well to pick up on this kind of identity politics issue, which was also raised there, which is if the currency in politics becomes all about this group,
that group, that group. Are you not gonna generate on some level some kind of backlash?
– I wanna address the back to civility. I think our watchdog
institutions of our society, our education system,
our media institutions, need to check themselves
before they wreck themselves and bring us all down with them. The media institutions need
to be much more responsible. They should call out Trump’s bad policies and explain why they’re bad. They can’t overreact. They should not treat him like Hitler because even in cases
where it’s justified, it turns people off. These institutions have to do a better job of having regular Americans believe that there is truth and there is
value in what they’re saying. Our school system should foster enlightenment values,
multiculturalism, tolerance, and not just our college systems, but our K through 12 system. There is some evidence that the Southern Poverty Law Center has compiled. I don’t necessarily trust everything that they’ve suggested that people like Ayaan Hirsi Ali are hateful figures, but they have found that
there does seem to be maybe a minor bullying
in schools relating to incivility and Trump to kids bullying Latino students and black students. I’m skeptical that it’s necessarily this huge jump based on the election because kids always
are mean to each other, and this might just be the flavor, the way they’re mean to
each other right now. – The rates of bullying have come down. – Right, rates of bullying
come down over time. But schools can identify that. It’s perfectly fine to
do something about that, but we have to remember that the purpose of education is to make
people better human beings, not to shame them or scold them or suspend them or expel them or put them in jail for not getting everything right the first time. – To teach them how to
think and how to argue. I think technology is one of the biggest obstacles to civility. Call me a Luddite, but I
think in order to bring– I think civility requires human contact, person-to-person contact. People are much more civil when they have to face each
other as they speak. – Completely, and Steve, is there anything you wanna respond to
before we go back out? – No.
– No? He’s good. – You’re good.
– On that note, let’s go back out. Where are my mic people? Let’s go this gentleman here, and then, other person, there’s two
guys in the middle there. Start with the guy with the beard. – Yeah, I just wanted to talk to regarding the civility issue. I think actually P.C. probably
gets in the way of it. I’ll go back to when I was a
child growing up in Britain. The area in which I grew
up was kind of mixed. It was quite mixed. It was a working-class area,
but there was outward racism. I mean, people would call
you all sorts of things. The thing is, though, we kinda
had it out with one another. Someone would say something to me. I would say something to them. We would sometimes even scuffle, but we had it out, and we kind of had the space to have it out. I think to some degree what P.C. does is it gets in the way of that, gets in the way of you being there to– Pardon?
– That’s not good though. – [Tom] We’ll take you in a minute, but just finish your point. – I don’t know because I think we ended up in a better place by having it out. – [Tom] Okay, excellent. Thank you. Yes. – [Man In Hat] Is this on? – Yes, we’re good. – So, with the idea of
political correctness, I just wanted to point out I think there’s a philosophical idea that’s sort of at war here
between certain groups, between the Left and the Right, is the idea of collectivism,
which, I think, political correctness
and a lot of these ideas, you know, feminism and Black Lives Matter, is this idea that we
must treat individuals in a collective manner, and I think that that conflicts a lot with the first-hand American ideals of giving
power to the individual, pursuing the American dream, and if you buckle down
and if you fight hard and you fight through all of the different types of, I guess, oppressions
or whatever you wanna call it in your life
that you will succeed. As we’re kind of moving forward, these terms like cultural Marxism, sort of this parallel
between post-Modernism and all these different thoughts are starting to enter our society, and I think that really
it’s, like we said, it’s an ideological battle
between these two fields, and just something I think
would be interesting to address. – That’s great. Can I see some more hands? Right, there’s quite a lot. First of all, do you wanna pass the mic to the gentleman behind you, and then can you, sorry,
just come down here. So, just go jump in. Yeah, shoot. – I just wonder how you
think Democratic candidates in the future might thread the needle between maybe attracting voters who are opposed to political correctness, but also satisfying the voters who demand political correctness,
’cause it seems to me, I think in The Virginia, it seems to me the Left is walking away
from the Democratic candidate for not being politically correct enough. I think the whole thing might collapse. – Thank you very much. Take this gentleman down there. – Professor Pinker, you’ve
said that it’s important to talk about facts. As I’m sure you know, Charles Murray recently spoke on our campus, and one of your fellow
faculty members said, “Charles Murray is like
the Confederate flag. “You can invite him if you want, “but doing so says a
lot about our values.” So, I’m wondering how that squares with your perception that it’s important to have dialogue on college campuses. – Thank you very much. I’m gonna grab two more very quickly. This gentleman who’s
been waiting to speak, semi-patiently, but there you go. (audience laughs) – I just kind of shared my view, and an altercation, I
looked at that as progress but that’s just my perspective. I was just thinking of
political correctness. Is it a symptom perhaps of
a larger idea or a larger– I mean, there seems to be an emergence of other economies in the
context of globalization and tactile divide here. Could this just be a proxy battle and political correctness
is actually the symptom, and the true cold is just
not enough resources, not enough income, not enough growth and better quality of life. Is it just that it’s easier
to have these discussions ’cause the others are so complicated? You talked about kind of a rational act or doing a cost benefit analysis, the voters or the undecided
that could be won over. So, you’re talking about
them doing an equation. I don’t know how egregious
political correctness has come, but I gotta believe there’s
something substantial about political correctness
on a college campus that is beyond just
having a sign that says mother or father and it has
to be something fundamental that makes it a proxy battle, why it was so powerful
to have other people who are usually logical
decide to vote for Trump despite all his flaws
in reason and rationale. – Okay, excellent. Thank you very much. At that point, I think
we have to bring it back. We’ve got about five minutes left. So, panel, I’m gonna ask you to just offer a final thought, a minute or two, either to
answering these questions or just to ignore them and say what it is that you think is important. So, let’s do reverse order. So, Steve, do you wanna kick us off? – In response to the question that was directed at me, I’m
not sure which colleague you are referring to but, obviously, I strongly disagree with him or her. A great irony is that Charles Murray’s most recent book, “Coming Apart,” was very much about all of the issues we’ve been discussing this evening. Namely, there is a
cultural divide in America, two sides that barely
understand each other that have different
political affiliations, and that it behooves
us to understand them. The ultimate irony is that Charles Murray is the one who’s shouted down, given that he’s the one who had tried to explain these very cultural phenomenon that we’re discussing today. – Thank you very much, Steven. Brendan.
– Yeah, on how to convince Democrats or Left-Wingers to oppose P.C., I don’t know about the Democrats. I think they’re probably a lost cause, and I really agree with
the point Wendy made at the very start that there are many reasons for Trump’s victory. One is the crisis of the Democrats. I think there was a New York Times piece a few months ago saying the problems faced by the Democrats
are worse than you think, and it broke down the extent to which they’ve lost working-class support. My view is that the Left or Liberals, however you want to refer to them, should be at the forefront of challenging political correctness, and it’s a shame that
they vacated the field and left it to the Right, and the Right is not, in my view, a particularly convincing
defender of liberty. But it’s because the
Left has turned freedom into a dirty word that the Right can pretend to be that. The Left should be at the forefront. Liberals should be at the forefront because P.C. represents, in my view, P.C. is very reactionary. It sounds very Right-Wing to me. I always go back to the
values of the enlightenment, which are the values of universalism, the values of self-government, the values of freedom of
thought and freedom of speech, which are the values that P.C. attacks. One of the great ideas
of the enlightenment was the idea of universalism, the idea of everyone had a
shared capacity for autonomy and a shared capacity to advance in life. A famous French reactionary, who was very anti-enlightenment
called Joseph de Maistre responded to that by saying there is no such thing as man. He said there is Italian men, French men, black men, white men, rich men, poor men. There’s no such thing as man. That was his reactionary cry. That is the cry of the P.C. That is the cry of identity politics. There is no such thing as man. It’s a reactionary movement, and everyone who considers
themselves Liberal or Progressive or Left-Wing
or however you want to describe it should be
fighting against it every day. – Thank you, Brendan, and Robby. – I’ll just make two points
on the identitarianism that the man in the hat
mentioned and Black Lives Matter. Black Lives Matter is the best example of a group whose goals I support almost wholeheartedly to the extent that they’re to reform the
criminal justice system, to end mass incarceration,
to end the war on drugs, goals that I support that this group has, I think you could make
a very compelling case set back very badly,
that we were closer to having criminal justice
reform several years ago. Now we have a law and order President and a Republican party
pivoting massively away from the kind of Libertarian ideas
of criminal justice reform. I think Black Lives Matter has to shoulder some blame for that. It shows the dangers of making it about racial identity in a non-unifying way. Their goal had to be to convince people who are right leaning or white that they should support
criminal justice reform. If I was going to do this, I would say it’s wasteful
the amount of money we spend locking people up. It doesn’t work anyway. We don’t have the money. I would also say that
it’s racially problematic how we do it, and there’s
racism in the system. My lead argument wouldn’t be you are complicit in structural racism if you support this because
that turns people off. Unfortunately, I think Black Lives matter is sort of emblematic of the
problem we’re talking about, even though I wish they
had succeeded in this. What can we do to change
political correctness or stop it? Trump has shown that
surprising things can happen and that if there’s anything
that better explains how he was elected it is
simply the cult of celebrity in this country, the love of
T.V. stars, of reality T.V. I think a lot of journalists
didn’t understand this because they watch highbrow
television, prestige dramas. They don’t watch Kim Kardashian
and The Real Housewives, which are closer to Trump’s temperament and his celebrity personality. So, we could have a T.V. personality that is well-known to all
of America the way Trump was or movie star who challenges
political correctness but in a respectful, non-horrifying way. I sound like I’m fantasizing about this, but it could happen. It is possible, and so
I’ll leave it there. – Thanks, Robby. Kardashian 2020.
– Yeah. – God save us.
– Wendy, your final thoughts. – To the question of how
Democratic candidates can balance the need to appeal to tribal politics on the Left and at the same time appeal to people who are disgusted
with political correctness, if I knew the answer to that,
I wouldn’t be sitting here. I’d be making a gazillion dollars as a political consultant,
(audience laughs) and, of course, the answer’s
going to be different in every race, and it’s
always the challenge of a political candidate to try to persuade the greatest number of people while offending the least number. It’s a real challenge, and I think part of the challenge is that, and this is, I think, related to the problem of political correctness, is that there’s an awful
lot of purity out there on the Right and the Left, you know, an awful lot of political purity, which I think is very dangerous. I think it leads to political nihilism. If you can’t get exactly what you want, you’ll just accept nothing. You just won’t vote. We haven’t talked about the numbers of people who don’t vote. That is a huge problem, and, by the way, we have an election in Boston tomorrow, and I think probably
something like 10% of people, of eligible voters, are expected to vote. It is a serious problem. I also wanted to just comment
on the spread of this idea, the remarkable spread of the
idea that speech is violence. I think in one of the surveys
I’ve looked at recently, and maybe it was Cato, I think they found majority support for that notion, and that, to me–
– It was Cato. – Yeah, that to me is just remarkable, and it speaks to this failure to distinguish between metaphor and reality. I understand saying I feel
assaulted by your speech. If you’re saying it metaphorically, you expect it to be
understood metaphorically, but people don’t use it
metaphorically anymore. There’s no distinguishing
between metaphor and reality, and I think in some ways the sense that, this failure to distinguish
metaphor and reality is the Left-Wing version
of alternative facts. – Thank you very much, Wendy. Will you join me in thanking our panel? (audience applauds)

100 thoughts on “Spiked Magazine Panel – “Is Political Correctness Why Trump Won?”

  1. Spike is actually in the Corbynite left side of the spectrum in the UK, just so you realise the massive differences in the US and UK discourse, that exist alongside strong parallelisms.

  2. Steve Pinko is out of his mind if he thinks Clinton would have been better for America. People do very well not judging the POTUS candidate by his speaking style or image. I'm not American but I think they did they right thing overall and absolutely don't buy into the press scaremongering about nuclear war and other nonsense.

  3. If you take a position and refuse to consider information that counters that stance, you are not basing your position on principle but ideology.

  4. For someone who is supposedly "thin-skinned" Trump tolerates more abuse than probably anyone else in history.

  5. Some of these people are delusional, "it was only 10,000 voters that won him the election ?
    He won 30 states and was not suppose to win 10 .
    You ignorant fucks just want to blame others .
    Brendan O'Neill nails it

  6. Note to Wendy Kaminer: "Phobia" is a diagnostic medical term and should not be used to discuss other people without medical training. Referring to people as having phobias is worse than "political correctness." Please don't confuse the issue by diagnosing people.

  7. PC is a Form Of Extremism and Extremism Should Never be Popular! Nor enjoy propaganda 24/7 and actually liking it like a Zombie who can't think for yourself! PC should be banned it's Opposed to Our Own Laws of Equality!

  8. 20 years ago we were told Men are from Mars. Women are from Venus. Today that would be considered planetary appropriation. ✌💖😄

  9. I was on the fence, but when Hillary came out with the "basket of deplorables" line and someone called me a "white supremacist" for expressing an opinion on something entirely unrelated, my vote was decided.

  10. Very encouraging to see and hear leftists challenge the more ridiculous ideas & people amongst them.
    Maybe there is hope for a greater future reconciliation?

  11. Dr. Pinker is right. The Alt-right is a reactionary group springing from censored ideas. I would like to hear a good explanation of group differences in outcome from Dr. Pinker. If this was addressed in an intelligent, rationale way backed by objective evidence, then this group would likely dwindle in number because they would have a viable alternative to grab onto. However, as long as there exists extreme identity groups based on race/gender/ethnicity who makes claims of supremacy and espouse disillusioned victimhood at the expense of another identity group, the targeted identity group has a moral obligation to defend itself (black-white, white-black, etc.). All of this white male christian conservative heterosexual hatred coming entirely from the far left is what creates a need for an opposition group. So Dr. Pinker, I would love to hear your thoughts on i.e. the MSU and the increased incidence of anti-semitism across college campuses. Give me a reasonable explanation that does not have to do with the tenants and leaders of Islam and I'd be all ears.

  12. It's not even that people are offended, it's that they think they are offended. When people hear an offensive word, whatever the word is, they seem to know that they are offended but they don't know why and to think about it would show that they are probably not offended.

  13. I think its interesting how the pannel focused on the trump voters irrationality, their desires and tried to explain why do they think like they think, yet they devoted little time as to how to deal with political correctness in more leftist, educated, political correct environments. To be clear, I gravitate to those groups, yet its very very difficult to discuss anything out of the scheme of political correctness. For example if you ask your collegues in a friendly discussing why men rape, most of them will say because of the patriarchy, yet it seems like cultural differences do no affect the rate at which men rape vs women rape, so if most rapes are done by men, one should ask if it isn't a biological question behind the issue. Yet if you do the backlash is inmense. I just wonder how do you navigate those situations. I bet pinker and the others had to deal with it, so it would be helpful to see their opinions on how to break those irrational shields.

  14. One difficulty with this is that Pinker is such a poor thinker,,eg he does not know what a fact is,His first example of a fact is ,,,capitalist countries are better than communist countries,How can a value judgement be a fact,Clearly he disagrees with David Hume,,,but what are his grounds His proof of this value judgement is the question,,,,which country would you prefer to live jn,,, North or South Korea etc But how can this question be a proof of his value judgement,For example Boris Pasternak chose to live in Russia during the Soviet era,,,is this a proof that Pasternak preferred communism to capitalism,Of course not,,,because we know that Pasternak preferred capitalism to communism,So Pinkers question is not a proof of his value judgement,But there are other problems with Pinkers value judgement eg China has a communist government and a capitalist economy,,,,so is Pinker saying that it is better to live in China than to live in China,Further does Pinker actually believe ,,,for it is a belief and not a fact,,,,,,that all capitalist countries are better than all communist countries,Does he actually believe that apartheid South AfrIca was better than communist Czechoslovakia,Life was bad for everyone in Czechoslovakia except the Party elite,,,but life was hideous for everyone in South Africa except the white minority,Now Jean Kirkpatrick argued that South Africa was better than Czechoslovakia,,does Pinker accept her arguments,If he does then I would want to argue that he does not know what the concept,,better,,actually means, I have tried to argue five things 1,Pinker does not know the difference between a fact and a value judgement 2Pinker does not know what a valid proof for a value judgement is3 Pinkers value judgement is self contradictory 4Pinkers value judgement is demonstrably false 5 Pinker may not know what the concept,,better,,actually means, Of course Pinkers statement also means that Hitlers Germany was better than Stalins Russia, Does he really want to go there,It is totally irrelevant for me to state that I am now and have always been anti communist One great problem in America is the inability of people to think and argue clearly,Pinker is just one example of this,

  15. 1 trump voter asks a question and they literally give a 6 second answer and move on from it. The hypocrisy is very evident with this panel.

  16. Trump wasn't the typical Republican candidate. The first real warning to democrats should have been both the 'sexism' tape and calling his supporters deplorable. What happened? In the past Republicans ran went on a defensive and got off a game of actually going after issues. This time, the sexism didn't stick, and the name calling of deplorable was adopted as a badge of honor. A second was calling someone a name if they didn't support Hillary. Here is a personal experience with a co-worker. When asked who I was supporting (at the time I honestly didn't know) when telling him that it was automatically I was sexist. I was against a strong female (despite the fact our boss was a woman). It wasn't about issues, their strengths and weaknesses, but I was sexist. I'm seeing it again with this election, the left didn't learn. There is a growing undercurrent the left is trying to suppress. Just look at the reaction of the #WalkAway movement, the lefts association with groups like Antifi who are viewed increasingly as little more than thugs and criminals. What is the democratic message? Anti-Trump and socialism pushed upon by the far left. The same far left who considered anyone who doesn't share their exact same narrow views as racist, sexist, or any other ism/ist they can throw and alt-right.

  17. "PC is the growing, increasing pathologization of the world views of certain people."

    I never heard this kind of line. It does echo the idea that speaking and writing is thinking.

  18. Pinker almost sounds like he's playing to the crowd in his treatment of Trump. Trump isn't near as bad as he's making him out to be. Isn't there a name for that?

  19. When you, in these days still proudly declare in your CV that you've written for NYT your an idiot. The quality coming from this so called "news"paper is lower then it ever was. Hiring biggots, rascists, supporters when it comes to identity politics to become editors, clearly having an agenda and lost almost everything what a true journalism should be, objective, neutral and integer… all gone. Just scrap it from your CV, it's embaressing

  20. Brilliant, brilliant panel. "This failure to distinguish between metaphor and reality is the Left Wing version of alternative facts." So true!

  21. 24:25
    I haven't heard this one, and it's a concerning attitude.
    But the claim that that happens isn't misogynistic or anti-feminist. It's about the reason why you'd be submitted to this that can be anti-feminist/misogynistic. Indoctrination is a thing. If someone claimed that because they're women they're susceptible to this that'd be arguable maybe. Without any form of proof it is.

  22. The guy who refers to Cultural Marxism must know the Right's conceptualization of the term, and it is quite valid as an operational phenomenon to get to economic Marxism.

  23. I think the "norms" that Pinker speaks of, is a facade, the same as CNN is covertly left, while FOX is overtly conservative. The "norms" reflect a pretense that was rejected by Trump voters who see through that nonsense.

  24. Leftists are not liberals, and since the Democratic party has gone off the rails with their progressively, leftist, illiberal rhetoric, including the culture of p.c., it makes no sense to expect them to assault the authoritarianism of p.c.

  25. Alas, I think the criminal justice system overhaul that has some merit, will probably simply result in later incarceration, for greater crimes, by the same men, who have nothing better to do than take, and sell, drugs.

  26. It seems as if the people in the comment section don’t know the difference between liberalism and libertarianism… just because you aren’t a conservative doesn’t mean you are a liberal

  27. Are you kidding me. Islam was started by war over religion. The crusades occurred only because the Muslims took Byzantine territory. Also Jews were oppressed through Islamic history. Far more enlightened lol

  28. PC came to us from Communist China. Mao used it, not to protect some disadvantaged minority, but to make everyone afraid, because unacceptable speech must be punished. The frightening part is, the American Left uses PC in the exact same way.

  29. Brendan O'Neill…"political correctness IS bigotry"…yes, absolutely!! The summation of why Trump supporters exist. I'm a new fan of Brendan.

  30. 'Decreasingly useless' means 'increasingly useful'… as in, the term political correctness is becoming that. Decreasingly useless & increasingly useful?

    Also, maybe partly why Trump got elected is cuz of the eight years of Obama, & all the anti-white anti-men sentiment which spawned during that time.

  31. Obama had all the power for two years, yet did nothing to reform the criminal justice system. Better chance Trump will.

  32. As an after thought, it begins to look like what tends to happen is an "upping of the ante" over time. Is it humans just being humans and working an angle? I guess the problem becomes when a large enough group works an angle covertly within established institutions. It's like a surreptitious takeover of respectable secular institutions by a special political interest groups. Its power is in networking and collaboration, which conservatives and anti-establishment individualists are less likely to engage in.

    Note to Pinker: It is because of the upping the ante factor that we tend to think things get worse over time. I understand you're an optimist. And certainly some metrics can improve. The problem is ulterior motives and lack of transparency.

  33. I went door-to-door and phone banked for Obama both terms and then voted for Trump. Why? The remake of Ghostbusters. It became obvious the agenda wasn't about equality it was about taking away anything they could get their hands on and shitting all over it.

  34. Trump and Brexit and European nationalists all connected. Brendan doesn’t know what he believes in, he Was a Marxist last week.

  35. All speech (other than speech used to incite violence) are concepts (ideas) not actions. Violence requires action, not just a dirty word! PC is a tool the Communist in China used to suppress and punish ALL speech outside the orthodoxy. Meaning speak the party line and only the party line or be punished. Sadly the American Left uses PC the same exact way. This is clearly a danger to our republic, and about as un-American as you can get.

  36. spiked magazine is dunded by the Koch brothers to further ecological destruction for the sake of profits for the already-rich:

  37. Trump won because we needed an authentic Anti-Obama who was Not-Hillary. Too many ruling elites have the same last name and alma maters.

  38. Some incredibly stupid points by Pinker at about 38:00 considering that communism has never existed. North Korea, East Germany etc. are/were NOT communist. They aren't/weren't even socialist for crying out loud, so it takes a special level of indoctrination for an educated person to go further and call them communist!

  39. Why are all the people in this talk so P.C. that no one dares mention the role of 'Feminism' as a leading cause of this incredibly divisive development?

  40. Of course the guy in the gay ball hugging jeans absolutely doesn't understand why Trump came to power lol. Loosen those fuckers up, and the blood will flow again.

  41. If you don't watch the whole vid, at least go to 1:08:34. When he said that, I blurted out, "Wow!" This whole program has been good, but that single statement will be the big takeaway for me. I will be thinking about it for the rest of my life.

  42. Oddly enough an alt-leftist who could learn about something and listening to stats & facts that back up why Trump won in order to possibly beat him in the next election they are more likely to just not watch or try to shout over these people. I am not a fan of Trump by any means, but I do think the overly PC left i somewhat responsible for his victory. The Left will be very quick to ridicule & shame Climate change deniers based on scientific evidence, but then turn a blind eye to the science that men & women are physiologically different in the case of men transitioning into women & competing as women for example. Never in my life have I seen such a massive gap between the Right & the Left. There used to be people that were more central minded. Were have all those people gone?

  43. Was wasn't mentioned (I'm quite sure) was the number of people who voted for Trump because they just didn't want the most corrupt POS in American politics in The White House. Hillary was a substantial reason why many democrats just didn't vote.

  44. Im 37 mins in and no ones touched on illegal immigration. I think he tried to say terrorism was a reason. PC censors that conversation. Ignoring laws, immigration reform, executive orders (or lack of in trumps case. Obama liked the executive orders) all caused by PC culture. Drag kids being celebrated. Social media censorship. Payment processors and banks denying business to individuals. Double standard on religious freedom (islam vs christian). Planned parenthood lies and more pro abortion propaganda. Gun rights. Victim culture= political correctness.

  45. political phobia, that is more descriptive, and you could ask yourself "do i have any political phobias?" no matter where you stand politically

  46. Steven Pinker makes no mention of Hillary's war hawkisness., pay to play with her and Bill and their foundation. Not shocked by that unfortunately.
    Also has never heard of the Ottoman empire either apparently.

  47. This is progress on the Liberals part, but I feel like, with the benefit of a year and a half more data, that there's a lot of things they assume pretty short sightedly about the moderate right and alt right. Nothing struck that feeling home more than the final statement of the British lad, talking about how the right is "poorly" representing Freedom of speech. I think they always have, with exceptions of blaspheming and a couple other points from the most conservative types.

    But the people championing free speech amongst the right the loudest, are Ex liberals, those who saw the writing, and got the hell out, across the partisan border, and to this day, are making a loud, protected stand against censorship.

    I hope there's some sort of follow up video, because so much has happened in the last year, and because of the break down in mainstream media (laughed countless times while watching this, if they ONLY knew how bad it got), the independent news sources sprouting up have covered so much of the censorship. I would love to see their views now, how much they've changed. I'm not expecting even a single red pill member of the group. But perhaps a bit less tenderfoot around the point, and more direct, no nonsense discussion. There's a reason people are fanning the warning of Trump 2020 so early.

  48. The peer pressure to reject social taboo's & virtue-signal about people they dislike, i.e."Trump" …is on full display here.
    PC Culture controls everyone's opinions & forces dissenters to conform. Or else, you'll be labeled a heretic …"racist Nazi" etc

  49. "Is PC why Trump won?" No. That is like saying my arm is broken because it hurts. What is broken in this country is the respect for free speech and differences of opinion. The reaction against PC is just a symptom of the illness that pervades our society. And it's more of a cancer than a broken arm.

  50. Miss liberal feminist: not even Bill likes Hillary… Killary was simply the worst candidate to run for the presidency to date. She failed the Americans who died in Benghazi, deleted her top secret, privately housed emails. Killary also received a lot of money from the Saudi government

  51. What if Hillary Clinton hadn't presided over the bombing of Lybia as US defense and further destabilisation of the Middle East, as US defence secretary? What if people wanted to believe Trump when he claimed he wasn't going to engage in any more foreign 'excursions' ? What if politicians hadn't persisted in peddling lies to get themselves elected, since forever?

  52. If obama, miss clinton or George bush juniors were Good enough candidate i fail to see why Trump could not be. Those pretentious intellectual type who prétends to snob Trump are the main reason why every times i heard them talk i ask myself this type of question – are they intellectual career type ? Who funded them ? Are they rich enough to not care about what the public think or the people who funded them ? Who owns the médias they appears ? Etc.

  53. The youth do not care about gay marriage regardless of what side the are on. It’s America no one cares.

  54. Yawn yawn – these wankers all have the compulsion to voice their dislike for Trump. Guess what? No one cares. The American people voted him into office end of story. Where's the Conservative Right perspective?

  55. Are there really any communist nations, or just dictatorial and oligarchical?
    To respond more to the general topic, I think another contributing factor is that, however vacuous his promises were, Trump at least identified some of the real problems that people were facing, while Hillary was kind of insulated in her fund-raiser bubble.

  56. Damn Pinker. I actually thought he would be the voice of reason as a psychologist… when he challenged Brendan's idea that the media is relentless in attacking Trump, I was disappointed. There is nothing normal about the media's relentless negative attack on the guy like him or not. It's like Brendan said, Trump Derangement Syndrome. Always impressed with O'Neill's logic and reason.

  57. Listening to the resumes of these individuals one wonders how they could have ever been against PC and made it to their elevated status working at places like Harvard, CNN, NYT, Washington Post. These are the centers of PC and have been since the 1980s at least. Perhaps they will give us stories of how after years embedded in these left-leaning propaganda mills they have been…born again, so to speak, to free thinking and arguing from fact and evidence rather than rhetorical and fallacious appeals. Not likely but we'll see.

  58. Steven Pinker's assertion that most terrorism in America is committed by white people is a non point America is 75% white and something like 0.08% muslim or something so thats an extremely dishonest statement. Its like me saying 99.99% of terrorism in Africa is carried out by black people . . .isnt that completely to be expected?
    For a more honest description of islam he should have chosen ANY of the numerous European countries that are now aflame with rape gangs and violence and terrorism and grenade attacks and honour killings and FGM and intolerance towards gays and Jews and women as a whole .. .I mean I could go on and on and on. .. .
    I am extremely disappointed at your dishonesty Steven.

    And also his assertion that Islam has mostly been enlightened is as blatant a lie as I have ever heard. I dont understand why Steven, which I really like, would tell obvious untruths like this.
    he really should talk to his friends a bit more and do the tiny bit of research required to find out how vile islam has been and continues to be.

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