As I was waking up, the germ of a blog post started to grow in the back of my mind, one about the fundamental flaw in the reasoning that blames Democrats for not adequately appealing to persons who voted for Donald Trump. I was musing about how to frame an argument that such “analyses” overlook the tactics that Republicans used to attract those votes: venal appeals to selfishness, hatred, and bigotry. I question that persons welcoming such appeals would be receptive to anything the Democrats might offer.
When I got to my RSS feed reader, I found that Badtux had written the post for me. Here’s how he starts:
“We’ve never seen anything like this before,” said Maureen Costello, who runs the organization’s Teaching Tolerance program in schools. She noted that the group had coined the term “the Trump effect” earlier this year because it believed that divisive rhetoric concerning immigrants and race in the presidential campaign was getting picked up and mimicked by schoolchildren.
It isn’t the economy. It isn’t poverty or trade. It is the coming America in which white people no longer bear the stamp of demographic primacy, in which they will be reduced from lead actor to ensemble member.
At the Boston Review, Kate Manne explores the relationship between sexism and misogyny as manifested in Donald Trump and his supporters. She argues that misogyny can be thought of as the enforcement mechanism for sexism: sexism is believing that women belong “in their place,” which is inherently inferior to and servile to men, while misogyny is a means of putting and keeping them there if they dare step foot beyond their prescribed bounds.
It is a long and thoughtful piece that warrants your attention. Here’s a bit.
But his misogyny is, for better or worse, strictly limited. This is because of a striking and alarming limitation of Trump generally: he seems to lack a superego, or even the ability to mimic one. This explains both his remarkable shamelessness and the non-moralistic quality of his misogyny. It isn’t moralistic because Trump isn’t either. His normative words are simplistic and aesthetic terms of praise: “best,” “beautiful,” “great,” and “winning,” are some of his favorites. When he tries to engage in moral talk, he becomes uncharacteristically flummoxed.