During a town hall on MSNBC, Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-VT) said that Americans voted for Donald Trump because they were tired of hearing politically correct rhetoric. MSNBC’s reporter Chris Hayes asked Sanders last night, “Obviously, [Trump] said things that created tremendous controversy, offense, in some cases, real genuine pain for some folks, Muslim-Americans in particular. But there’s a sense he was violating some set of manners that shouldn’t exist. What do you make of that?”
Sanders responded, “I think he said he will not be politically correct.” He added, “I think he said some outrageous and painful things, but I think people are tired of the same old politically correct rhetoric, and they believe that he was speaking from his heart and willing to take on everybody.”
The Vermont senator, who is an Independent who caucuses with Democrats, defined political correctness thusly: “It means you have a set of talking points which have been poll-tested and focus-group-tested and that’s what you say rather than what’s really going on. And often, what you are not allowed to say are things which offend very powerful people.”
Hayes disagreed with the definition and said that most people understand the term to refer to unwritten rules concerning speech and sensitivity towards minority groups, rather than opposition to U.S. trade policy. He said, “When we talk about political correctness, they’re basically just rules about not being a jerk.”
The socialist Sanders answered, “I’ll tell you what else he was doing… he was talking about the media. Do people here think the media reflects the reality of American society?” The studio audience issued jeers in response.
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