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One of the predominant themes among the Republican contenders this election cycle is the specter of ‘political correctness.’ Donald Trump and Ted Cruz invoke it constantly, going so far as to say that one of the reasons ISIS is able to exist is because Barack Obama won’t say ‘radical Islam’ or ‘Islamic extremists’ or ‘butthole poophead.’ Additionally, there are plenty of people who are willing to blame political correctness for the rise of Trump, like Tom Nichols at The Daily Beast.

The American left created Donald Trump.

When I say “the left,” I do not mean the Democratic Party—or, solely the Democratic Party. Rather, the pestilence that is the Trump campaign is the result of a conglomeration of political, academic, media, and cultural elites who for decades have tried to act as the arbiters of acceptable public debate and shut down any political expression from Americans with whom they disagree. They, more than anyone else, created Donald Trump’s candidacy and the increasingly hideous movement he now leads.

Uh-huh. “Shut down any political expression from Americans with whom they disagree.” Which is why venues like Fox News exist where hosts tell their guests to shut up. Or how right-wing talk radio proliferated in the wake of the FCC doing away with the Fairness Doctrine. Or how there are more conservative op-eds than liberal ones. Oh, yes! The great leftist conspiracy of shutting down speech is disagrees with!

This happened more recently in North Carolina when Governor Pat McCrory dismissed criticisms of the state’s new anti-LGBT legislation as nothing more than ‘political correctness.’ It’s one of those phrases that doesn’t need to be followed by an argument—anyone who salivates at the desecration of ‘political correctness’ will already agree with it.

The right generally say something is ‘politically correct’ when they dislike something. Sticking up for the rights of LGBT people? You’re just being politically correct. Want to reinstate the Voting Rights Act because you think its repeal disenfranchises people? You’re just being politically correct.

Conversely, whenever anyone says something they disagree with, it’s because that person or group is pushing an agenda. Remember The Muppets Movie? It had a rich guy as the villain, so obviously it’s promoting communism as part of the liberal agenda:

The kids’ show Spongebob Squarepants apparently was giving a very one-sided viewpoint on environmental issues, so it’s clearly pushing a global warming agenda:

Remember when gay people couldn’t get married and so weren’t entitled to the same rights as straight married couples (which included things like hospital visitation rights)? Well, clearly they were all pushing a gay agenda! And hey, sometimes atheists have something to say, which is why they’re obviously part of the War on Christmas! But seriously, atheists don’t have to live here, and they say things Christians don’t like, so the solution is that they shouldn’t have rights:

Well, I guess the right has a point about liberal indoctrination in public education, right? Not exactly:

In a landmark vote that will shape the future education of millions of Texas schoolchildren, the State Board of Education on Friday approved new curriculum standards for U.S. history and other social studies courses that reflect a more conservative tone than in the past.

Texas standards often wind up being taught in other states because national publishers typically tailor their materials to Texas, one of the biggest textbook purchasers in the country.

Approval came after the GOP-dominated board approved a new curriculum standard that would encourage high school students to question the legal doctrine of church-state separation – a sore point for social conservative groups who disagree with court decisions that have affirmed the doctrine, including the ban on school-sponsored prayer.

Also:

Conservatives also approved to have a sociological focus on institutional racism and its presence in American society banned from the books, as well as removing important references of Latino and Hispanic figures throughout history.

So remind me, Mr. Nichols, what was it you said created Donald Trump? A political wing shutting down discussion of Americans with whom they disagree? And it’s the left that’s doing this by discouraging people from using, you know, racial slurs? You sure that’s what caused Trump?

It’s ludicrous to lambast the force that tries to get people to empathize and understand people who aren’t like them as being responsible for the political monsters on the right, especially when so many on the right tell their audience that they don’t need to empathize with people who are different from them; they’re different, which means they’re not like you, which means you don’t need to spare a thought about whether or not they deserve to be treated with respect.

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