I have a confession to make. When late last year, on the ill-fated panel show The Verdict, I publicly declared my love for The Donald, I wasn’t talking about the fine detail of Trump’s manifesto. There are some policies I like (such as his stance on illegal migration) and others I don’t (such as his protectionist rumblings).No, our bromance runs deeper than that.My love for the man is cultural.He’s gloriously rugged, irreverent and highly amusing – traits we used to associate with the now-dying art of larrikinism. In fact, I’ve always regarded Trump as half-Australian, a whirling dervish of politically incorrect quips and laconic humour.
While the political class appears mortified about The Donald’s attitude to so-called minorities (and also majorities such as women), none of his statements over the past 18 months have caused me offence. I’ve heard them before, growing up and living in Western Sydney. A former Liverpool Labor Councillor, a crusty doyen of the local working class, told me (circa 1991) to be wary of guys parading long bars of medals on Anzac Day. ‘They got those medals by pushing their mates in front of the bullets and then coming home pretending to be heroes’, he said. It was hard to tell, but I assumed he was half-joking, half-serious.
So when Trump disparaged Senator John McCain by saying he preferred his war heroes not to have been captured, I yawned. And then belly-laughed as the outrage industry went into overdrive. Ditto for the rest of the Trump-inspired hysteria: the Khans, the funny looking journalist, the glutinous Miss Universe, the bloodied Megyn Kelly and so on. Heard it all before, I’m sorry. Not from bad people, but from Aussie larrikins who enjoy taking the piss out of others. Guys who work hard, who look after their kids, who support their local community and cause no harm to anyone when cracking jokes with their mates.
They fit the classic Millsian definition of liberty: exercising a freedom of speech that doesn’t hurt anyone else. Only the thought-police of the new Left are obsessed with language control.
The Big Kahuna of political incorrectness was the release of the Trump/Access Hollywood tape – sending the media elites into apoplexy. Always keen to repeat himself, the priggish Peter Van Onselen at the Australian can’t stop complaining about it. Perhaps he prefers Mentos to Tic Tacs. Van Onselen is a wasted resource, a would-be international treasure. Instead of torturing the terrorists in Guantanamo Bay with waterboarding, the Americans should have played PVO’s political commentary on a continuous loop. They would have found Bin Laden five years earlier. Van Onselen himself is an example of repetitive anguish. He keeps on writing about the impact of the Tic Tac tape on his children: ‘I could never look my daughters in the eye and defend having voted for a man such as Trump’. I could, because a big part of The Donald’s mission is to smash the double-dealing, sanctimonious media elites, of which PVO is Exhibit A. Let me assure the young Miss Van Onselens that their father is clueless about Trump. Locker room banter of this kind reflects the exaggerated sexual fantasies of men (plus lots of women) – bragging in private with their friends about conquests that never actually took place. Among my mates, we call it the 90 per cent rule: subtract 90 per cent of the material and you start to hone in on reality. In any case, The Donald was talking about consensual acts, as in ‘they let you do it’. The only offence I took during the presidential campaign was at the commentariat’s snobbery – its lofty, suffocating sense of moral superiority. Listening to scores of Trump’s speeches and interviews, I discovered a refreshing common man’s logic in his views. If there’s a problem with illegal migration across the Mexican border, then why not build a wall? Self-evidently, some of those coming into the United States are rapists and drug runners. Only the PC-class fails to acknowledge this basic truth. In defeating Islamic State, why should America’s leaders announce their military strategy in the media, forfeiting the tactical advantage of surprise? Having failed to export democracy into Iraq or through the Arab Spring, why should the US persist with an interventionist foreign policy? Doesn’t it make sense to pull back from its role as a global policeman and look after its domestic interests first?
If I took no offence from Trump, if I found him speaking common sense, if I felt repulsed by Hillary Clinton’s attempt to strap together an identity coalition that deliberately excluded men, if I detested the idea of a ‘basket of deplorables’, then it’s not too hard to imagine why American men of a similar cultural background voted for The Donald in vast numbers.
In 2008, McCain won 49 per cent of white non-college men for the Republicans. At this election, Trump won 68 per cent. For 150 years this had been the Democrats’ core constituency – until they committed electoral suicide with the madness of identity politics.
I’m not alone in loving The Donald. By the end of this stunning election season, everyman voters in the US had thrown a magnificent two-fingered salute at the elites and their hectoring political thought control. And much of our country wants to do the same. As a letter-writer to the Australian wrote:
Let me go through some of the reasons I would vote for an Aussie Trump. I am fed up with political correctness virtually every way I turn. I would like to say what I feel about society without having to be careful about the way I phrase things, to be able to say things straight out and honestly: no weasel words.
Long live The Donald.