Map of life expectancy at birth from Global Education Project.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

The Bully

Josh Marshall discusses the Republican presidential candidate's attitude toward women, and his specific attacks on Hillary Clinton, which in Marshall's view are not based on tactical consideration but are rather a direct expression of the Trumpian id. Excerpt:

Listen to Trump's words and you hear repeated lines about hurting Clinton, warning her to back off and not forcing him to hurt her again. Cut and paste them out of the context of a campaign article and they read like dialog from a made for TV movie about a wife-beater. . . .

As I've written in similar contexts, when we look at the messaging of a national political campaign we should be listening to the score, not the libretto, which is, like in opera, often no more than a superficial gloss on the real story, mere wave action on the surface of a deep sea. You're missing the point in trying to make out the logic of Trump's attacks on Clinton. The attacks are the logic. He is trying to beat her by dominating her in the public sphere, brutalizing her, demonstrating that he can hurt her with impunity.
I think that this, as much as his racism and xenophobia, his hyper-aggressive nationalism, and his anti-intellectualism, explains his appeal. Many working and middle class white men are stinging from loss of privilege. Even as their economic status is stagnant or declining, the racial and gender privileges they once took for granted are eroding. The election of Barack Obama obviously drove home the loss of racial privilege, and we have seen the intense backlash. Now along comes the prospect of a woman president and it's the end of the inheritance to which they felt entitled.

The nation, and the world, are in grave danger. I am sufficiently distressed by this that it's been hard for me to post here. I'll get back to it.


robin andrea said...

I think I am feeling a similar distress. I am utterly dismayed by the current political climate.

roger said...

i read less and less current event news stuff lately. our comment about wife beaters is "bitch made me do it." the whole world seems to be having fits.