Saturday Reads: Let the Record show that Donald Trump is a textbook Misogynist and RacistPosted: May 14, 2016
It seems we’re finally getting a few journalists to investigate the appalling human relations history of Donald Trump and his well-documented racism and misogyny. The Republican party is lamenting this because he’s their official standard bearer now. They would love to continue using code words instead of blatant bigotry. The rest of us better hope and pray that a few of the lemmings stop long enough to read up on the man that is prepared to lead them over the precipice. There is absolutely nothing redeeming about him.
I’m going to focus on some fairly long and intense investigations of Trump’s treatment of women as well as the astounding role that white identity politics is playing in this race. None of these links are easy to read but every one should read them and share them.
Donald Trump’s campaign cannot stop attracting white supremacists. Last week, David Duke argued that he would make a great Vice President candidate and “life insurance.” It’s very difficult to ignore that politics of “whiteness” and white resentment is an essential part of the Trump campaign. (H/T to Jslat for this great link.)
But then, there’s the liberal commentator Jonathan Chait’s recent essay at New York Mag, “The Real Reason We All Underrated Trump,” in which he openly wonders whether Republican voters who’ve fallen for Trump are “idiots”:
“Most voters don’t follow politics and policy for a living, and it’s understandable that they would often fall for arguments based on faulty numbers or a misreading of history. … As low as my estimation of the intelligence of the Republican electorate may be, I did not think enough of them would be dumb enough to buy his act. And, yes, I do believe that to watch Donald Trump and see a qualified and plausible president, you probably have some kind of mental shortcoming. As many fellow Republicans have pointed out, Donald Trump is a con man. What I failed to realize — and, I believe, what so many others failed to realize, though they have reasons not to say so — is just how easily so many Republicans are duped.”
It’s telling that Chait finds it easier to imagine that huge swaths of Republican primary voters are childlike and naive, rather than folks who quite rationally dig Trump’s direct appeals to their interests — their racial interests. Among Trump’s most notorious policy proposals is a moratorium on Muslims entering the country. He has called Mexican immigrants “rapists.” Maybe we should concede that these declarations are not incidental to his appeal among his supporters, but central to them. Calling them “idiots” posits that they’ve been duped, when perhaps Trump is saying precisely what they want to hear.
When Trump’s supporters aren’t being written off as intellectually incapable of knowing a huckster when they see one, their motivations are often ascribed to their being “working class.” But the working class today is nearly 40 percent people of color — and among people of color, Trump is profoundly unpopular. His coalition is nearly entirely white. Even the class part of the “working class” narrative is inaccurate; Trump’s supporters are wealthier than most Americans, and have higher incomes than supporters of Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders. The “working class revolt” explanation for Trump’s rise is overstated — and it can be a useful dodge to avoid talking about explanations involving racial grievance.
There have been outlets and pundits this election cycle who’ve shown they’re willing and able to dig into the role that racial grievance plays in How Trump Happened. Others haven’t, and continue not to. And that’s a problem.
The one thing that both the Sanders campaign and the Trump campaign have done for those of us that can see intersectionality of gender identity, sexual preference, religion, and race with justice, jobs, and opportunity is demonstrate that we have a serious problem in this country. White, christian, male grievances are on display in each of those campaigns to the detriment of discussion of actual issues. White straight male privilege shouts, screams, and violates everything that this county built on the idea of a melting pot based on representative democracy, and the idea of liberty and justice for all.
Trump’s treatment and characterizations of women should’ve been an automatic disqualifier for any political candidate. We’ve seen elected officials lose elections for all kinds of incredible comments about rape, women’s reproductive organs, and the role of women in society. Donald Trump’s misogyny is part of his overwhelming appeal to white men who resent women.
Whiteness has always been a central dynamic of American cultural and political life, though we don’t tend to talk about it as such. But this election cycle is making it much harder to avoid discussions of white racial grievance and identity politics when, for instance, Donald Trump’s only viable pathway to the White House is to essentially win all of the white dudes.
This is piggybacking on Trump’s racist and bigoted comments on Mexicans, Muslims. and Black Americans. Trump holds special contempt for women. (The first two cartoons come from the mind and pen of claytoonz.com .)
Republican frontrunner and presumptive nominee for president Donald Trump once said that “smart women” act “feminine and needy” but that on the inside, they’re “real killers.” It is, he advised men, “one of the great acts of all time.”
On Friday, CNN pointed out that the description comes from Trump’s chapter on women from his 1997 book, The Art of the Comeback.
“The smart ones act very feminine and needy, but inside they are real killers,” wrote the erstwhile reality TV star. “The person who came up with the expression ‘the weaker sex’ was either very naïve or had to be kidding. I have seen women manipulate men with just a twitch of their eye — or perhaps another body part.”
Trump has taken heat for his sexist attacks on women over the years from comedian Rosie O’Donnell — who he called “fat,” “disgusting” and “a dog” — to Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly, who the candidate said was unfairly “aggressive” with him in a televised debate and then accused her of being on her period.
The Boston Globe went after Trump’s behaviors in the Beauty Pageant Business and the resulting stories are horrifying. This is a good summation of the evidence by The Daily Mail.
It begins with the recollections of a pin-up model named Rhonda Noggle.
Noggle joined Trump in his limousine with a group of scantily-clad girls as they left the Plaza Hotel’s Oak Room.
Upon hearing the ‘bimbos’ and the ‘gold diggers’ comments, Noggle decided she’d had enough.
‘I told him I would rather be with a trash man who respected me than someone who was a rich, pompous ass,’ she told the Globe.
‘And I got out. And I took a cab ride home.’
Trump, in an interview with the Globe, denied he had ever made the comments and doesn’t recall Noggle getting out of the car.
As the Globe put it, ‘Noggle’s assertion of sexist behavior by Trump foreshadowed allegations of misogyny, racial bias, and sexually aggressive behavior that would roil this brief and fractious deal – Trump’s debut in the pageant business in which he would in time become a major player.’
You can read the Globe’s April 17th expose at this link. It is amazing to me that stories of unwanted fondling and harassment actually were the basis of the only business where he’s had success.
Trump’s involvement in the calendar model competition came at a time when his reputation as an eligible New York ladies’ man was at its peak. He was between his first and second marriages, and his personal life was regular fodder in the New York tabloid gossip pages. Two years earlier, he had been featured on the cover of Playboy magazine.
The case of American Dream Enterprise Inc. v. Donald Trump, et al. — told through hundreds of pages of court records, several sworn depositions, and in nearly two dozen interviews — shows a darker side of Trump’s playboy image.
It foreshadows a reputation for sexism and misogyny that sticks with him nearly 25 years later, in his presidential bid, in which coarse descriptions of women and perceived sexist comments have left him with extraordinarily high unfavorable ratings among women.
The foray into the Calendar Girls pageant, however, also ushered in Trump’s interest in the business of entertainment. He later bought the Miss Universe pageant and gained national renown for his reality show, “The Apprentice.”
“I don’t believe there would have been an ‘Apprentice’ if there wasn’t a pageant first,” said Jim Gibson, a consultant and longtime pageant host who guided Trump into the pageant business and eventually to the Miss Universe event. “That got him in the higher hierarchies of the television business. And it did exactly what Donald wanted to do: It built his name.”
The coverage of Trump’s records of sexual harassment is well-documented in The NYT’s feature article “Crossing the Line.” It will bring back every horrible memory of every woman trying to earn a living and it will bring on every horrible nightmare every parent has of the kind of treatment they never want hoisted on their daughters.
Donald J. Trump had barely met Rowanne Brewer Lane when he asked her to change out of her clothes.
Donald was having a pool party at Mar-a-Lago. There were about 50 models and 30 men. There were girls in the pools, splashing around. For some reason Donald seemed a little smitten with me. He just started talking to me and nobody else.
He suddenly took me by the hand, and he started to show me around the mansion. He asked me if I had a swimsuit with me. I said no. I hadn’t intended to swim. He took me into a room and opened drawers and asked me to put on a swimsuit.
–Rowanne Brewer Lane, former companion
Ms. Brewer Lane, at the time a 26-year-old model, did as Mr. Trump asked. “I went into the bathroom and tried one on,” she recalled. It was a bikini. “I came out, and he said, ‘Wow.’ ”
Mr. Trump, then 44 and in the midst of his first divorce, decided to show her off to the crowd at Mar-a-Lago, his estate in Palm Beach, Fla. “He brought me out to the pool and said, ‘That is a stunning Trump girl, isn’t it?’ ” Ms. Brewer Lane said.
Donald Trump and women: The words evoke a familiar cascade of casual insults, hurled from the safe distance of a Twitter account, a radio show or a campaign podium. This is the public treatment of some women by Mr. Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee for president: degrading, impersonal, performed. “That must be a pretty picture, you dropping to your knees,” he told a female contestant on “The Celebrity Apprentice.” Rosie O’Donnell, he said, had a “fat, ugly face.” A lawyer who needed to pump milk for a newborn? “Disgusting,” he said.
But the 1990 episode at Mar-a-Lago that Ms. Brewer Lane described was different: a debasing face-to-face encounter between Mr. Trump and a young woman he hardly knew. This is the private treatment of some women by Mr. Trump, the up-close and more intimate encounters.
Michael Barbaro and Megan Twohey have documented a life long obsession with and oppression of women by Trump. Read it and prepared to be angry.
Documenting all of the horrible things that Trump has said about women on Howard Stern led Chris Hayes to tell Michael Steele that he really would love to read each one and ask each Republican on his show if it represents his beliefs and the beliefs of the Republican Party. The Stern comments are a case study in misogyny.
Donald Trump’s rise toward the Republican nomination has been fueled, in part, by his candid and often crude style — more Howard Stern, say, than Mitt Romney.
And the roots of Donald Trump’s rhetoric come, in fact, in part from The Howard Stern Show. Trump appeared upwards of two dozen times from the late ’90s through the 2000s with the shock jock, and BuzzFeed News has listened to hours of those conversations, which are not publically available. The most popular topic of conversation during these appearances, as is typical of Stern’s program, was sex. In particular, Trump frequently discussed women he had sex with, wanted to have sex with, or wouldn’t have sex with if given the opportunity. He also rated women on a 10-point scale.
“A person who is very flat-chested is very hard to be a 10,” he told Stern in one typical exchange.
Women make up a majority of the American electorate, and any of dozens of Trump’s remarks would be considered a severe blow to most candidates for public office. Trump has, in the Republican primary, proven largely immune to the backlash that the laws of gravity in politics would predict, but there are also suggestions that he has a deep problem with some women voters: 68% of women voters held an unfavorable view of Trump in a Quinnipiac poll released in December. In a Gallup poll also released in December, Trump had the lowest net favorable rating out of all the candidates among college-educated Republican women. And should he win the nomination, his comments are sure to become ammunition for Democrats against what they have long cast as a Republican “war on women.”
Trump has a history of making crude remarks toward women. He reportedly said of his ex-wife Marla Maples, “Nice tits, no brains,” and more recently, he has called Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly a “bimbo” and a “lightweight” and said she had “blood coming out of her wherever” during the first GOP debate.
It’s really hard to believe that one of the two major political parties can elect such an incredibly flawed, hateful, misogynistic, racists, and bigoted candidate. It is said that parts of the Republican Party are still trying to draft an independent candidate. The problem is that it’s not because of Trump’s statements towards women, people of Muslim faith, or people of racial and ethnic minorities. It’s because some of the things he says are seen as too liberal, to dove like, and not really ‘evangelical christian’ enough. This means they’re fine with the misogyny, bigotry and racism.
Two central figures in the draft talks are Kristol, who edits the Weekly Standard, and Erickson, a talk-radio host. While Kristol acts as a lone operator and has huddled privately with Romney and other Republicans, Erickson leads an organized group with former Senate staffer Bill Wichterman and others called Conservatives Against Trump, which has been meeting regularly for months.
Coburn, known for his fiscal conservatism, and Sasse have been atop the group’s recruit list for some time. Wichterman is among those who have reached out to Coburn. Friends of the 68-year-old former senator said he is listening but is unlikely to pull the trigger, in part because of health concerns.
Earlier this spring, Kristol had his eyes on Mattis, who is revered by conservatives for his public break with the Obama administration. The general, now a fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution, met for several hours in mid-April with Kristol, Wilson and GOP consultant Joel Searby at the Beacon Hotel in Washington to go over how a campaign could work.
But soon after, Mattis backed away from the idea because he wasn’t ready to risk politicizing his reputation with a campaign that had little hope for success, according to two people familiar with his deliberations who requested anonymity to discuss those conversations. Mattis declined through a spokesman to be interviewed.
Kristol then reached out to Romney asking for a meeting to ask for his assistance. The two met May 5 at the J.W. Marriott hotel in Washington where they talked about possible contenders. Kristol detailed their discussion the next day to The Washington Post, which irked some Romney associates.
When asked this week to comment on further developments, Kristol declined.
“These conspiracies for the public good are time and labor intensive!” he wrote in an email. “In any case, things are at a delicate stage now, so I really should keep mum. Suffice it to say that serious discussions and real planning are ongoing.”
Potential candidates include a newbie Senator from Nebraska who is really a horrifying person all in his own right. Sasse is an ideologue with some fairly strange ideas .
So what is a “Ben Sasse,” and how did he arrive at this wrong conclusion?
Sasse was elected to the Senate in 2014. In that cycle of Establishment vs. Tea Party Senate primaries, it was unclear in Nebraska which candidate, Sasse or former state Treasurer Shane Osborn,represented which side. It was such a muddle that FreedomWorks, one of the original national Tea Party organizations, switched its endorsement to Sasse after originally endorsing Osborn, prompting theresignation of one of its vice presidents. Since coming to the Senate, Sasse has amassed an arch-conservative’s voting record. He was recently the lone dissenting vote against a bill to combat opioid abuse, which he believes is a state- and local-government issue.
We’ve talked that the general election will get very ugly because it’s obvious that Trump is not shy about playing all the cards in his deck of hate. I hope this kind of information continues to get out to the public. Given Trump’s disapproval among women, women will be behind Hillary. There is very little chance that his racist comments and ability to attract white nationalists will appeal to any racial minority. This is the deal, however. Whatever are we going to do with those white men and the few hangers on among them? It’s not easy to ignore the privileged class.
What’s on your reading and blogging list today?
As always, this is an open thread. Please share everything and anything!!!