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Let’s Talk About Pussy

First things first. Yes, there is an angry electorate out there that wants to blow up the political system, and they respond to the idea of making America great again — even though, by most standards, it’s doing pretty damn well right now. They’re sick of D.C. They’re sick of Wall Street. They have lost faith in their national institutions.

But there is something else at work in this historical win by outsider and rule-breaker Donald Trump. It’s something that goes well beyond politics and, I hope, will have a longer shelf-life than the anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant, anti-intellectual hogwash that Trump has been spewing from his increasingly orange-ish blowhole.

People are quite clearly fed up with political-correctness and the rules of public discourse. Think about. Six months ago, most of us would have assumed that a leading candidate referring to another candidate as a “pussy” would have been a guillotine-blow to his campaign.

When Trump did exactly this just hours before the New Hampshire primary, all of us knew it wouldn’t make any difference at all. If anything, people enjoyed the fact that he said this (even though, by all accounts, Ted Cruz is more of a dick than a pussy).

That is a key and critical change in American politics. We live in the era of apologies; when comedians are afraid to play college campuses, and a vast world of social media Schadenfreudians lie in wait for someone to say something wrong.

Trump says what he feels like saying (I’m purposely avoiding the phrase he says what he means, because I seriously doubt that’s the case). No matter how unctuous and repugnant the content of his message, his delivery is actually quite refreshing. (In a Pharma Bro sort of way.)

If you are a politician, a public figure or just someone sharing your views on social media, Trump has loosened the grip of the apology society. And that is a grip that probably needs to be loosened.

As Ezra Klein points out, there’s not much to be optimistic about when it comes to the rise of Trump.

So the no apologies attitude is about the only half-positive thing I can say about Trump’s win in New Hampshire. I’d call him a pussy, but I’m still too afraid of getting in trouble.

Dave Pell Writes the Excellent NextDraft Newsletter and App.

I write NextDraft, a quick and entertaining look at the day’s most fascinating news.

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