Heather McDonald, chief editor of City Magazine, has this to say about Trump, whom she calls the Coarsener-in-Chief:
Trump is the embodiment of what the Italians call “maleducato”—poorly raised, ill-bred. Indeed, judging by the results, his upbringing seems to have involved no check whatsoever on the crudest male instincts for aggression and humiliation. Trump is unfailingly personal in his attacks. Nor is his comportment merely a refusal to be politically correct. Trump was on solid ground when he responded to Fox News’s Megyn Kelly during the first Republican debate that he had no time for political correctness. A repudiation of political correctness means truth-telling, however. Trump’s personal sneers are not truth-telling but merely the self-indulgent gestures of someone who makes no effort to control his desire to humiliate.
Conservatives, of all people, should understand the preciousness and precariousness of manners. Boys in particular need to be civilized. That task will be more difficult with Trump in the White House. There is no reason to think that Trump will change his tone should he get elected; he shows no sign of a capacity for introspection and self-correction. Any parent trying to raise a boy to be respectful, courteous, and at least occasionally self-effacing will have a hard time doing so when our national leader is so reflexively impolite, just as it is harder to raise girls to be sexually prudent when they are surrounded by media role models promoting promiscuity. The culture has been coarsened enough already. It doesn’t need further degradation from a president.
I agree with the sentiments. What is the cost in social manners that a Trump presidency would exact against the cost in further degradation of the United States in most other dimensions: economic, political, and in foreign relations, that would follow from a victory by Hillary Clinton?
Concerns for the coarsening of culture are legitimate, but they have to take their place against a background where forces seek to destroy western culture entirely. McDonald’s criticism is of a type that a friend of mine calls “high Tory”, and it is a tone that comes easily to some of us who believe ourselves well brought up.
The counterargument, which attracts me maybe more than it should, is that we have reached the stage where someone has to be repudiate the political correctness that is strangling us, and rip up the giant telephone book-sized rules of comportment (the iron masks of political correctness) that are not allowing us to think flexibly and appropriately about the political menace of Islam, about fighting the global warming scam, about the malicious role played by the Left in ruining universities, and about the entitlement culture that demands special awards for natives, women, gays and whoever else composes the left’s mascot groups of the moment.
When I contemplate the insane rules the Trudeau government is imposing on pipelines in Canada, I grow more tolerant of someone who is ready to rip up the social agreement that makes it difficult for people in polite society to say that global warming is a pile of shit, or that Islam is insane, or any of the myriad social shibboleths about race, class, sex and culture that keep us headed down the road to social disintegration.