The ascendancy of Donald Trump in American politics says little positive about the nation, but is particularly telling in the manner in which it shows the misogyny that reigns among white males, especially those who are poorly educated. Having two daughters, Trump is the antithesis of what I see as a decent, moral individual, most certainly when it comes to his treatment of women. His views on minorities, and I suspect gays as well, are little better. One can only hope that the women of America and minorities hated by Trump and his Neo-Nazi like supporters will see the danger that the man poses and get out and vote. Michael Gerson, a long time Republican and former White House staffer looks at the ugliness fueling Trump's support. Here are highlights:
What do most of the chief advisers and surrogates of the Trump campaign have in common? I’m thinking of Chris Christie, Roger Ailes, Stephen Bannon, Rudy Giuliani, Newt Gingrich.
What could possibly unite this diverse group? They are white, middle-aged (and older) males — not that there is anything wrong with that. They are almost psychotically sycophantic. (According to Gingrich, Donald Trump won an “enormous, historic victory” in the first presidential debate. Both Christie and Giuliani have called Trump a “genius” for avoiding federal taxes.) They are very forgiving about certain foibles (“everybody” commits adultery, explains Giuliani) and rather tough on others (Miss Universe Alicia Machado, says Gingrich, was “not supposed to gain 60 pounds”). They apparently lack the gene for irony (“America’s mayor” is smitten with a candidate who has flirted with 9/11 conspiracy theories).
The ascendance of people such as Gingrich, Giuliani and Trump in the Republican Party, from one perspective, is succeeding. A campaign of shouting, apocalyptic, white men has undeniably appealed to white men. A recent Post-ABC News poll found Trump up 40 points against Hillary Clinton in this category. Up nearly 60 points among white men with no college degree. These results are remarkable, indicating both the limits of Clinton as a candidate and the fury in portions of middle-class and blue-collar America.
If the United States is truly in the midst of a wave election, fed by the fears and discontent of white males, it will have enormous consequences in a country that has moved considerably in the direction of diversity, tolerance and inclusion. A very real culture war will be in full swing, not between social conservatives and social liberals, but between a movement of white economic and cultural grievances and a party of social elites and ascendant minorities. This struggle — rooted in race and class — would be far more bitter than the old culture war of ideas.
Trump’s version of Eden is lounging at the grotto at the Playboy Mansion or smoking cigars in the back room at the Sands, with a little Studio 54 thrown in. This is the man who reportedly pressured his future wife Marla Maples to appear in Playboy and negotiated the deal; who appeared in a soft-core porn video himself (not naked, thank goodness, but breaking a champagne bottle over a limo); and who recently took to Twitter to urge Americans to view a sex tape. This is the man who boasted about his penis size and made amenstruation joke during debates and has a consistent history of demeaning women as “pigs” and “dogs.”
I wonder how Trump evangelicals explain to their sons and daughters that this man is a suitable leader for a great country. I know that people in some minority groups are genuinely frightened by the possibility of Trump’s election. . . . . I also know that if Trump ends up losing in November, it will be because women rallied in large numbers to defeat him.
Conservatives oriented toward reform and outreach — longing for the leadership of Nikki Haley, Tim Scott and Marco Rubio — are largely waiting in shelters for the storm to pass. But what of the Republican Party will be left?
I truly believe that the Republican Party needs to die given its open descent into racism and hatred of so many fellow citizens. The irony, of course, is that the poorly educated white males supporting Trump will likely be even worse off over time if Trump wins the White House and implements his tax breaks for the wealthy (including himself). I find it difficult to have sympathy for these men. Perhaps less fixation on sports - the current opiate of the lower classes, in my view - and more focus on schooling and education would have allowed them to have found better lives. But that would mean taking personal responsibility rather than blaming others for their state in life.