By Dr. Ray Kessler, who is, incidentally, a retired Prof. of Criminal Justice, former defense attorney and prosecutor is your host. I am also a part-time instructor in Criminal Justice at Richland College, an outstanding, 2-year institution in Dallas, TX.
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Tuesday, July 11, 2017
WHO LIKES TRUMPS OUTRAGEOUS STATEMENTS AND WHAT VALUES DO THEY SUPPORT?
Trump's statements and tweets encourage sick values our society has tried to minimize, esp. some attitudes toward women. The inane, dumb, embarrassing excuses Trumpistas make for his behavior is disgusting. They rarely address the issue. Mass delusions galore there. This behavior does not bode well for the future of democracy.
President Trump has triggered a predictable wave of outrage, this time over his
insulting tweets about the television host Mika
Brzezinski’s bleeding face-lift. We know who he alienates by this behavior —
and that includes many mainstream Republicans as well as Democrats. But who is
the audience he is playing to? And what are the implications when the president
flouts what used to be seen as taboos?
Mr. Trump and
his die-hard followers delight in the shock value of violating social and
political norms. They revel in the thumb in the eye. It’s intrinsic to the
president’s appeal to his base, and it’s increasingly clear that either
deliberately or impulsively, both his conduct and his policies are aimed at
that base and not beyond it.
is an equal-opportunity insulter, but let’s just focus on his posture toward
women — and the ecstatic response this evokes in some quarters. This was the
week in which Mr. Trump called an Irish reporter to his desk while talking to
her prime minister about her smile — only the latest of a stream of
pronouncements about women’s appearance. His jab at Ms. Brzezinski echoed his
comment that another television anchor, Megyn Kelly, had been bleeding from her wherever, that evocation of
menstruation, so unclean, so embarrassing, so primal.
something about his swagger, his unabashed embodiment of a time when women were
eye candy and arm candy. And there is something about the way he strikes back
at women who anger him that seems to resonate for some men — and which, at
least so far, has not cost him the support of the women who backed him. The
uncomfortable larger question is whether this president’s behavior is
encouraging and unmasking resentments about women’s place in society.
movement spent decades attempting to change attitudes among Americans so that
tweets like Mr. Trump’s would be out of bounds. Even a year ago, the
conventional wisdom was that comments like Mr. Trump’s taped boasts about forcing himself on women were
political suicide. That no longer appears to be true. And the fear is that much
as President Barack Obama’s election seemed to ignite resentments about race
that most people had been shy about expressing publicly, Mr. Trump’s election
may be unleashing latent anger toward women.
Theda Skocpol, professor of government and
sociology at Harvard, has been visiting eight counties around the country as
part of her research to monitor developments in the Trump presidency. “There’s
one example after another as if some button had been pushed and people were
openly saying to each other the tensions you’ve been feeling about gender
changes over the last 40 years — it’s just fine to uncork all those ambivalent
and angry feelings,” she said of national trends overall.
Matthews, veteran strategist and president of Bellwether Research
who has advised Republican campaigns, said that there is some polling data to
suggest Mr. Trump is tapping into anger among some men. “A subset of men whom
Trump appeals to is threatened by women in power,” she said. “They feel their
dominance in society is threatened. This is not coming — generally — from
college-educated men or those in suburban or urban centers with strong economic
Joan C. Williams, a law professor and author of
“White Working Class: Overcoming Class Cluelessness in America,” said that
unless other political leaders address class grievances, Mr. Trump’s appeal
will continue to resonate.
persistent insults to high-profile women play to that part of his base that has
long been incensed at a definition of political correctness that includes
women, L.G.B.T.Q. people, immigrants and other groups — but leaves out
working-class whites nursing the hidden injuries of class,” she said. “So long
as class remains unacknowledged as a key source of social disadvantage, Trump’s
insults will feel to some of his supporters like a delicious poke-in-the-eye of
Mr. Trump has
in fact turned politics into performance art. Some have likened what he does to
insult comedy of the type practiced by Don Rickles. But insult comics are quick to point
out that there is a crucial difference. “Insult comedy underneath it all is
about affection,” said Lisa Lampanelli, known for routines that both
insult and reveal what it feels like to be insulted. “I saw Trump be a
roastmaster at the Friars Club, but he doesn’t have the skill to do this kind
of thing with the right intention underneath it. Is it entertaining to some? I
don’t find these tweets entertaining in the least. It’s off-putting and it gets
to a scary bully level.”
offers another lens. It’s a medium Mr. Trump exploits brilliantly, and one that
has fostered and amplified a toxic subculture of misogyny. Today on Twitter,
there was glee about Mr. Trump’s tweet alongside the denunciations. Some piled
on with more insults about women. Others were overjoyed that Mr. Trump was
upsetting “snowflakes,” that derisive term of art for oversensitive liberals.
Still others believed that the president was justifiably striking back against
attacks on him from Ms. Brzezinski and her co-host, Joe Scarborough. Some
insisted there was no sexism involved, that women aren’t exempt from criticism
and have to learn to take it, just as men do.”