Douchebags, Thugs, Bullies, and Donald J. Trump: The perils of wounded masculinity

May 25, 2016

Last summer when I began pointing out the parallels between white supremacist tactics, fascist movements and the rhetoric of Donald Trump I felt like a lone voice in the wind. Now the concern that Trump is bringing a populist form of fascism to America is bouncing around the mainstream, from the Village Voice to the Brookings Institute. Of course, last summer I thought the Trump crazy-train would derail by Thanksgiving as Bush or Rubio became the rational choice of the Republican Party. I have never been so wrong in my life. I completely underestimated the number of deluded people willing to dive into a cult of personality. They aren’t a silent majority, they are a very noisy minority. A very noisy white minority.

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Much has been made of the fact that the core of Trump’s base is “undereducated” (Trump’s word) white males. Yeah, many of those are whites who think Latino youth in the streets of Albuquerque protesting Trump are the shape of things to come. But as important is the “male” part of the phenomenon. According to a recent Gallup poll, 7 in 10 women have a negative view of Trump. Another poll found that almost half of Republican women can’t see themselves voting for Trump. Trump doesn’t really want the minority or female vote and heaven help us all if he wins the White House without it.

I’ve been writing about how Trump reminds me of the white supremacists I’ve studied for thirty years. He also reminds me of another idiot I’ve studied; myself. He reminds me of myself before I became a feminist. Before I grew up. You have to ask yourself one question, why do women hate Donald Trump so much? Are they just “dumb bitches” who don’t understand politics? Should they just be seen and not heard and vote the way their men tell them? I think I get Trump and the thugs who love him. I used to walk in their shoes.

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Much has been written about Trump’s horrible treatment of women, especially since the recent New York Times article, “Crossing the Line: How Donald Trump Behaved With Women in Private.” As soon as he declared his candidacy, his voluminous amount of sexist comments were trotted back out. The guy who said, “You know, it doesn’t really matter what [the media] write as long as you’ve got a young and beautiful piece of ass” might become president. Women are just eye candy for his beauty pageants and women who oppose him are “ugly.” His first wife implied that he raped her before he dumped her for one of his lovers. His groping of women is Cosby-level. And it goes on and on and he, oh, he just won another state. What the hell is going on? (And don’t dare suggest that he has small hands!)

The larger answer relates to the concept of backlash. There’s a white backlash similar to the one that Ronald Reagan, with his mythical tales of black welfare queens, rode to the presidency in 1980. They see Black Lives Matters protestors and Latino protestors threatening their special rights as whites (aka, white privilege). But there’s also gender backlash, the same one that Susan Faludi wrote about in her bestselling 1991 book. The advancement of women threatens male power and so the war on women begins again. Trump doesn’t want to have to be “politically correct” and neither do his followers. And nothing is more threatening than the prospect of a female president. After eight years of a black president, then a lady president? What’s next, a gay president? It’s hard out here for a straight white man. Save us Donald! Our essential masculinity is under attack!

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I used to buy into that kind of thinking, the zero-sum game between men and women. We were opposite sexes. I performed the role of masculinity I was taught, defending any attack by “manning up.” Then I took out a loan on a clue and went to college. Women are not the opposition, they are the salvation. Instead of dismissing them (and raping them), we should be listening to them. I tell young men the most revolutionary thing they can do is ask the women in their lives what they think and then actually listen to their answers. Donald Trump has never done that (or at least the Trump caricature he performs for his flock). And his beauty queen wife stands behind him. “He’s not Hitler!” she promises.

Here’s what makes Trump the king of the douchebags. It’s not his endless lies that his followers ignore, dismiss and excuse like battered wives who will put up with the abuse as long as the husband promises to take care of them. (“Believe me.”) It’s the simple fact that Trump cannot admit that he’s ever made a mistake. Even the bashing of Heidi Cruz was not really a mistake to him, he just wishes he’d done it differently. He routinely says he has no regrets. He as no ability to share his internal monologue because his internal monologue probably just sounds like, “Tits, ass, tits, ass, tits…” What does Donald J. Trump have to regret anyway? He’s the perfect American, he says.

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Meet the regret king, me. As you evolve, you probably look back at the last version of yourself and shudder. I was using the word “feminist” before I knew how to act like one. I was callous with the women I dated, used sexist language, and, worst of all, failed to really hear those I was in serious relationships with. I’d like to apologize to all those females, including a Facebook friend who’s bra I snapped in eighth grade. And I’m sure 2026 Randy will think 2016 Randy still had a lot of work to do. To be a decent person you need humility and to know that you’ve probably been wrong more than you’ve been right. You have to allow yourself to be vulnerable.

Instead we get Bully Trump who “hits back” twice as hard when he thinks he’s been hit. Maybe somebody should tell him about the guy to asked us to turn the other cheek. He wants to build a wall around America like the wall he’s built around himself. It’s the wimps that wanna listen and share their feelings. He just wants to knock the hell out of his enemies. He’s a sad man who reminds me of so many sad men I know and the one I once was.

The media has tried to create a similar narrative on the left, the “Bernie Bro.” Supposedly there are an army of Sanders supporters rioting in the streets who will use sexism to defeat Clinton. It’s a myth easily dispelled by the wide support Sanders has from women and minorities, but it’s still something to guard against. Clinton and Sanders and their supporters don’t benefit from the same lack of introspection that Trump celebrates. None of us do. And throwing rocks at cops just drives the sheep into Trump’s tent.

Screen Shot 2016-05-25 at 8.48.54 AMLook, there are plenty of white people who don’t understand the Black Lives Matter movement or Latino protestors taking to the streets. Are they racist? Well, some believe America is being handed to “underserving savages,” so those people are. Even more Trump men see their old-fashioned John Wayne masculinity threatened by empowered women, gay, lesbian and transgender people. They can’t even protect their females from the mythical transsexual predator in the Ladies Room. They’ve already surrendered the toilets at Target. What’s next? America? Where is the white man’s man who can make America great again?

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This election is going to be decided by women. Will they follow their men into Trump’s douchbag circus of doom or stand on their own, vote their interests and save the rest of us dumb-asses from ourselves?

Douchebag note: I have to be honest, I’ve never really known what an actual “douchebag” is. About a year ago a female friend suggested it might be more sexist language I should abandon. I listened but the sound of the word fits so well with who it describes, I held on to it. My friend Jen just sent me a note on the word and I defer to her feminist wisdom. She said, “This issue I have is that you are comparing a man to a dirty vagina that needs to be cleaned and in this scenario the vagina is a) dirty and needs to be douched to get cleaned which is obnixous and false b) he is lower than a dirty vagina and c) because he’s so sexist equating him to a vagina cleansing product implies that the worst thing he could be is a woman’s vagina which is in fact one of the most amazing things on the planet.” Agreed, vaginas rule! She also offered the other argument with this piece: Could “douchebag” be a feminist insult? Thanks, Jen!

Earlier Trump blogposts

Who the Hell is supporting Donald Trump?

I told you Donald Trump was a fascist!

Mr. Trump, kiss my anchor baby

Trump Part 2 – This is what fascism looks like

Donald Trump is the new face of white supremacy

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16 thoughts on “Douchebags, Thugs, Bullies, and Donald J. Trump: The perils of wounded masculinity

  1. Randy,

    I’ve been saying many of the same things about Trump, on my blog, to friends and family, and very carefully in public. Your points are spot on but there are other elements to the story that either have been forgotten about or are simply so buried in subculture (beyond the obviousness of the White Supremacist subculture) that when you start talking about them the very same people who believe themselves in the know, look at you either blankly, or like you are some sort of lunatic.

    The emergence of the alt-right, red pill, MRA and MGTOW subcultures brought together the sons of racists, misogynists and undercover bigots of all stripes with the grandfathers of the racist, misogynist culture of the post-civil rights era. Many of these guys are simply cellar trolls who are pissed that the “Alphas” are getting all the fine wimmin, but the men behind the curtain are truly the ones steering the boat. The Vox Days and Matt Forneys and Roosh Vs as well as more “reasonable alt-right bloggers, direct implicitly or explicitly, these angry white dudes to what either way this election goes, almost assured violence.

    These are the sons and in some cases daughters of that guy on Donohue, the one who whitesplained to Dave Chappelle (without irony) why he was angry to be forced into Affirmative Action. Who was, in turn, the son of the guy who claimed he wasn’t racist but used the N word so much that you thought it was a proper name.

    Trump is a boil, a boil festering in and feeding on the deep racism and sexism this country was founded on and ever since has been trying to alternately bury, erase and deny. In the 80s, when the obviousness of the new ethnic balance in this country became clear, these voices got louder, now that many working class Whites are feeling what many racial minorities and women have felt for a very long time they are being redirected to force even more downward pressure on the people who have been carrying it already.

    This does not make every White man a racist, nor does it make every ethnic minority a victim or without culpability, but what it does do is make for a very difficult conversation about all of the above. Yeah, this scenario sounds awfully, terribly, familiar.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Randy,

    I’m not going to disagree with you about Trump. As of late, he has been a “loose cannon.” I honestly think that because he is a very wealthy man, he can say and do whatever he wants (well, that’s pretty much any wealthy person). When it comes to the President of the United States, you have to be a little more careful about what you do and say, because America is indeed watching.

    I have heard people say the only reason why they are voting for Trump is because they don’t want a politician to win. We are currently a country $19 trillion in debt http://www.usdebtclock.org/ compared to when Bush left the White House in 2009 was $10 trillion http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2015/nov/1/obama-presidency-to-end-with-20-trillion-national-/?page=all. People want to see someone who can reduce that number.

    With that being said, it doesn’t matter who wins the White House, there is one thing we know for sure…the next four years are going to be very interesting. Not only do we have Trump, but there’s two other candidates: Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton. Bernie Sanders has been going around the country campaigning for free college and free health care. Sure, he’s mentioned about raising taxes to try and offset the cost. Problem is, college isn’t cheap anymore. At Portland State University, if a student goes full time for three terms in 1 year, that individual will pay $6,933 for one year. That equals to $20,799 for all four years and that isn’t including books and supplies. I honestly don’t see how free college for everyone would be beneficial for a country who is knee deep in debt.

    Then there’s Hillary Clinton. Only reason why she hasn’t been indicted is because of who she is. There’s no due process. Had it been another government official who did things the way she did, I’m willing to bet my 1 month military retirement check the outcome would have been different. You’ve mentioned many times that women are going to be the popular vote. Unfortunately, there are women who don’t support Hillary http://thefederalist.com/2016/03/11/women-have-good-reasons-for-not-supporting-hillary/.

    I’ve heard many times about the Black Lives Matter movement. As a Christian, ALL lives should matter. Jesus commanded in John 16:34 “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.” It’s not about showing favorites or anything else. We are to love everyone including our enemies.

    No matter who wins, this country is in for a roller coaster ride for the next four years. Hope everyone has their seatbelts on because it’s going to be a rough ride. By the way, even though we share different political beliefs, I always enjoy reading your blogs.

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    1. BLM is far from perfect, but it is very necessary. You have to look, again, at some of the people I mentioned in my initial comment and follow it back to those in the media supporting the idea that BLM is exclusionary in the same way as, say, the Klan. BLM does not call for Black lives to matter MORE than anyone else, what the movement wants is recognition of Black lives as mattering AS MUCH as anyone else. In case you haven’t noticed (despite what The Donald tweets) Blacks are increasingly the targets of police militarization and deadly force. Oh, and by the way, Blue Lives Matter too.

      The punditocracy, certainly the prevailing FOX News/Talk Radio elements, achieve fame by disseminating falsehoods like this for ratings. They know their audience is composed of a segment of the population that mistrusts government, is full of resentment and yes latent racism (which we all to some extent share) and they exploit those feelings for ratings and money. BLM is only the latest in a series of organizations mischaracterized and maligned by these folks (ACORN, Planned Parenthood, the IRS anyone?).

      Like

  3. I do agree with you about all lives matter including Black, Latino, etc. Everyone deserves an equal opportunity at life no matter what your race, ethnicity, or sex is. If you look at the date when that was published, it was done on October 10, 2015. If you go look at what our National Debt is right now, you’ll find that it is $19 trillion. But, with it shrinking by that much, it does help. Every bit this country can save the better. This country needs to get out from all this debt so we won’t keep arguing over what to spend and what not spend or who is safe from the chopping block and who goes to the chopping block.

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    1. Brian,

      A large part of the growing debt has taken place during Republican administrations and the fiscal policies of the republican lead congress. One thing pundits and voters alike don’t seem to understand is that policies created NOW affect us down the road and the shifting of the burden of taxation on the poor and middle class from the wealthy has been an ongoing tactic of Republicans and Democrats alike but largely Republican. Plus the rapid shifting of policies between Republican and Democratic presidencies and their long term results are not often felt until late in the president’s second term (if they get one, see Jimmy Carter for example).

      If you look at a direct comparison of income inequality to national debt you’ll see that one of the simple fixes for the national debt is not simply slashing spending and “saving” but raising taxes in a targetted fashion on those who can afford to pay them, not creating a two-tiered system of taxation that favors the wealthy.

      http://www.cbsnews.com/news/the-corrosive-impact-of-the-wealth-gap/

      I have to question sources like the Washington Times, who’s editorial board is less than non-partisan on almost anything when it comes to judging the Obama Administrations handling of the debt. PLUS you have to look at the national deficit to truly see how the current administration has reduced the amount we owe, the use of the debt is misleading in the fact that it continues growing as long as we have outstanding obligations whose interest rates are above a certain number. You have to look at the RATE of increase to see the real story and that rate has slowed during the current administration.

      Many people on the right and the left tend to misunderstand these terms and what greater context they serve.

      Like

  4. I agree with everything you said except for one thing. Abused women do not stay with their abusive husbands because their husbands promise to take care of them. That is complete nonsense and a very sexist view of domestic violence. Women stay for many reasons. It is complex. But they dont stay because they want someone to take care of them. I know. I am a DV survivor. If you want to be a feminist then you need to educate yourself about DV and violence against women. You are a good writer and an introspective person. Your statement may have been.a “throw away” line. But unfortunately many people still don’t understand DV.

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    1. I truly appreciate your comment and I understand it’s very complex. I think there are parallels with Trump’s followers and perhaps instead of an off-handed comment that issue should be an article all its own.

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    2. Suzanne, that may not have been one of your reasons for staying. But I worked in a domestic violence shelter for a while…and that actually was a common reason – out of several – given, concerning why many of the women said they stayed. And went back. Either way, still, it never works out well to cede executive control to – and allow ourselves to rely on – disrespectful, controlling, and abusive men to protect and provide for us. Even if we survive and aren’t overtly bruised and battered, we often will at least START to lose our own moral and spiritual moorings in the process. As well as deep-six our original strengths and authentic identities. Stepford partners and all that. Never a pretty sight…at least, not in the long run.

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  5. Why bother wasting so much time and energy into talking about Donald Trump? I think you have proven how you really feel about him. Is he really worth all that time you invest yourself into talking about him? There has to be other things more important they’re talking about Donald Trump. You can talk about your wife, daughter, teaching, music, etc.

    Personally I don’t care for or trust either person running for the President of the United States. No matter who wins this country is screwed for the next four years. Why not look into other avenues rather than on one person? I once did that. Then I found myself off Facebook, not watching the news all the time, and focused more on me and my family. Since then, my life has been so much happier since I’ve taken out all the negative speech and media. Give it a try and see how you feel.

    Like

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