Does Trump Embody the American Ideal of Masculinity?

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    Oct 09, 2016 9:54 PM GMT

    NYT: One of the heartbreaking things about the Trump video is how many women see it as confirmation that this is just how men talk. More broadly, this election raises the question of what vision of masculinity Americans are going to endorse. Mr. Trump’s version clearly resonates with a segment of the American electorate. He tells it like it is. He gets results. Take that, political correctness police.

    In the primary, he scored by unmanning his opponents. He mocked them as wimps and effete elites (Jeb Bush), too weak to get through a debate without water (Marco Rubio) and – the ultimate insult – not manly enough to attract beautiful women (Ted Cruz).

    Even his mangled syntax can be seen as manly. “Part of Trump’s appeal is that he’s inarticulate,” said Jackson Katz, the author of “Man Enough? Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump and the Politics of Presidential Masculinity.” “He seems more real,” as opposed to the intellectuals that Republicans have long dismissed as weak.

    But in other ways, Mr. Trump is a caricature, even a distortion, of American masculinity.

    Despite the protestations, sexual entitlement — in words and deeds — runs deep in American culture. Stanley Kowalski, in Marlon Brando’s indelible portrayal in A Streetcar Named Desire, is another trope of American manhood. We don’t even have to look that far back. Even now, a string of professional and college athletes, celebrated as the epitome of manliness, have beaten, abused and raped women, often with impunity.

    This election presents many choices. Now it may also determine which version of manhood we believe in – or what we choose to invent going forward.
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    Oct 09, 2016 10:11 PM GMT
    The embodiment of the American ideal of masculinity? No.

    Neither masculinity nor even man comes to mind when I think of trump and his supporters.


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    Oct 09, 2016 10:23 PM GMT
    America cant afford another inarticulate.....................icon_rolleyes.gif

    “Part of Trump’s appeal is that he’s inarticulate,”

    Revenge of the Simple: How George W. Bush Gave Rise to Trump March 1, 2016
    Bush was just an appetizer — Trump would be the main course

    To hear GOP insiders tell it, Doomsday is here. If Donald Trump scores huge on tonight and seizes control of the nomination in the Super Tuesday primaries, it will mark the beginning of the end of the Republican Party, and perhaps the presidency

    But Trump isn't the beginning of the end. George W. Bush was. The amazing anti-miracle of the Bush presidency is what makes today's nightmare possible.

    People forget what an extraordinary thing it was that Bush was president. Dubya wasn't merely ignorant when compared with other politicians or other famous people. No, he would have stood out as dumb in just about any setting.

    If you could somehow run simulations where Bush was repeatedly shipwrecked on a desert island with 20 other adults chosen at random, he would be the last person listened to by the group every single time. He knew absolutely nothing about anything. He wouldn't have been able to make fire, find water, build shelter or raise morale. It would have taken him days to get over the shock of no room service.

    Bush went to the best schools but was totally ignorant of history, philosophy, science, geography, languages and the arts. Asked by a child in South Carolina in 1999 what his favorite book had been growing up, Bush replied, “I can’t remember any specific books.”

    Bush showed no interest in learning and angrily rejected the idea that a president ought to be able to think his way through problems. As Mark Crispin Miller wrote in The Bush Dyslexicon, Bush's main rhetorical tool was the tautology — i.e., saying the same thing, only twice.

    "It's very important for folks to understand that when there's more trade, there's more commerce" was a classic Bush formulation. "Our nation must come together to unite" was another. One of my favorites was: "I understand that the unrest in the Middle East creates unrest throughout the region."

    Academics and political junkies alike giddily compiled these "Bushisms" along with others that were funny for different reasons ("I'm doing what I think what's wrong," for instance).

    But Bush's tautologies weren't gaffes or verbal slips. They just represented the limits of his reasoning powers: A = A. There are educational apps that use groups of images to teach two-year-olds to recognize that an orange is like an orange while a banana is a banana. Bush was stalled at that developmental moment. And we elected him president.

    The Roves of the world used Bush's simplicity to win the White House. Once they got there, they used the levers of power to pillage and scheme like every other gang of rapacious politicians ever. But the plan was never to make ignorance a political principle. It was just a ruse to win office.

    Now the situation is the opposite. Now GOP insiders are frantic at the prospect of an uncultured ignoramus winning the presidency. A group of major donors and GOP strategists even wrote out a memo outlining why a super PAC dedicated to stopping Trump was needed.

    "We want voters to imagine Donald Trump in the Big Chair in the Oval Office, with responsibilities for worldwide confrontation at his fingertips," they wrote. Virginia Republican congressman Scott Ringell wrote an open letter to fellow Republicans arguing that a Trump presidency would be "reckless, embarrassing and ultimately dangerous."

    Hold on. It wasn't scary to imagine George "Is our children learning?" Bush with the "responsibilities for worldwide confrontation" at his fingertips? It wasn't embarrassing to have a president represent the U.S. on the diplomatic stage who called people from Kosovo "Kosovians" and people from Greece "Grecians?"

    And all of the Beltway's hooting and hollering about how "embarrassing" and "dangerous" Trump is will fall on deaf ears, because as gullible as Americans can be, they're smart enough to remember being told that it was OK to vote for George Bush, a man capable of losing at tic-tac-toe.

    We're about to enter a dark period in the history of the American experiment. The Founding Fathers never imagined an electorate raised on Toddlers and Tiaras and Temptation Island. Remember, just a few decades ago, shows like Married With Children and Roseanne were satirical parodies. Now the audience can't even handle that much irony. A lot of American culture is just dumb slobs cheering on other dumb slobs. It was inevitable, once we broke the seal with Bush, that our politics would become the same thing.

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    Oct 09, 2016 11:18 PM GMT
    I think what is interesting is Trump has only one strategy, and that is his ability to "unman" others. This is how he brought down nearly all of the GOP Presidential contenders. The problem is Hillary is not a man. His attempt to unman her has been disastrous. Perhaps, this is the reason why he is going after Bill Clinton. But he is not running for office.