This Election Fight Comes Down to Common Sense Versus Political Correctness

By | 2016-11-02T17:10:05-07:00 November 2nd, 2016|
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Political correctness is an all-out assault on common sense, and 2016 offers us the opportunity to choose one side or the other in that war.

For example, it is plain common sense that importing huge numbers of refugees from the Middle East amounts to importing trouble and, in some cases, terrorism. But, we are informed by the ruling elite, importing Muslim refugees is the politically correct policy. When one candidate for president raises common sense objections to this radically unhinged policy, his opponent and the other members of the ruling elite do not address those objections. All they do, and all they seem to believe they need to do, is call on political correctness by accusing him of “Islamophobia.”

It is also plain common sense that a country must control its borders or cease to be a country. The grandees of the press and the other members of the ruling elite are beside themselves with outrage at the candidate who dares to make this common sense claim.

One candidate embraces every politically correct policy, while the other candidate, a political outsider, seems mostly immune to political correctness.

It is perfectly obvious that Trump’s resistance to political correctness has powered his amazing and improbable campaign. Political correctness explains Trump’s success. You might even say that the grip of political correctness on American political life made a political outsider who champions common sense a necessity. Because political correctness threatens the very survival of our country, those who believe we are on the verge of losing America have turned to the candidate who calls himself “a common sense conservative.”

To state this is to state the obvious. But we need to ask ourselves why the assault on common sense has reached the crescendo that made Trump’s rise possible, perhaps even inevitable.

The answer is not difficult to find. Common sense was once at the center of public life in America. The Founders put it there. According to the American Idea, the American people are sovereign. The Founders believed we the people are capable of political self-rule by virtue of our common sense. The Constitution is the Founders’ design for how we the people of the common sense nation would govern ourselves.

Today we live in an essentially post-constitutional America. Congress routinely passes legislation, the courts make rulings, and the President takes actions which violate the letter and the spirit of the Constitution. Once upon a time, Americans would have agreed that federal legislation requiring Americans to buy government-approved health insurance would require a constitutional amendment—and in those days, neither the amendment nor the legislation would have passed. 

But a post-constitutional America where those nods to consent are rejected is not enough for those who reject the Founders’ vision. Political correctness is on a rampage in our time because the progressives who reject the American idea are so confident of victory that they have moved on from attacking America’s Constitutional order to attacking the very foundation of that order: common sense. 

Everyone knows that ambitious government programs meddling in personal affairs are always and everywhere inefficient. It’s just plain common sense, and the result of everyone’s experience of the federal government where, as everyone also knows, one cannot even fire incompetent employees! Although the one thing government is really good at is wasting money, the ruling elite assured us Obamacare was going to save us money. Although the phrase “close enough for government work” is widely used and understood by all who use it to be an accurate summation of the inaccuracies typical of government work, estimates about how much lower insurance premiums would be were surprisingly precise during the “debates” surrounding the adoption of Obamacare. Those who were skeptical were, once again, correct as these government estimates were wide of the mark where premiums have ended up under Obamacare.

Yet neither the Constitution nor common sense could stop Obamacare.

Consequently, the political question we Americans must face is whether the common sense nation and its Constitution are only on the ropes or are already down for the count.

What America does in the very near future will answer that question decisively.

About the Author:

Robert Curry
Robert Curry serves on the board of directors of the Claremont Institute and is the author of Common Sense Nation: Unlocking the Forgotten Power of the American Idea and Reclaiming Common Sense: Finding Truth in a Post-Truth World, due out in September. Both are from Encounter Books.