Tuesday, October 18, 2016


I keep thinking about Melania Trump's much-maligned defense of her husband, in her interview yesterday with CNN's Anderson Cooper:
Melania Trump defended Donald Trump in her first interview since the Republican nominee faced allegations of sexual misconduct, calling those accusations "lies" and saying Trump was "egged on" into "boy talk" during a 2005 tape in which he made lewd comments about women....

"I heard many different stuff -- boys talk," she said. "The boys, the way they talk when they grow up and they want to sometimes show each other, 'Oh, this and that' and talking about the girls. But yes, I was surprised, of course."
"It's kind of two teenage boys -- actually they should behave better, right?" she said to Anderson Cooper on CNN as he interrupted her to say the real-estate mogul was 59 at the time of the 2005 tape. "Correct. I sometimes have said I have two boys at home: I have my young son, and I have my husband."
I like Amanda Marcotte's take:

But I wonder whether this is a major point for Trump supporters. When we talk about the Trump phenomenon, sometimes we talk about racism and the desire to turn the clock back to a time when white control was largely unchallenged; at other times, we talk about the Trumpers' fear of globalism and economic dislocation.

But I wonder if Trumpism is just about wanting the right to act out like a self-absorbed little boy.

I think hate is key to Trumpism, but I wonder whether any similar movement has ever been as much of a big party as Trumpism is. Let's wear tasteless shirts that call Hillary Clinton a c**t! Let's make a cartoon frog our avatar of racial purity! Let's scare people online with tasteless gas-chamber jokes!

I'm not sure these people want to be thugs so much as brattish pre-adolescent males -- they want to have fun saying shocking things to offend people and they resent being told that they ought to have consideration for other people's feelings when they speak. They want to annoy and harass females, and have no interest in actually making connections with them, just like fifth-grade boys. They want to play with guns, the ultimate adult toys.

The like the fact that Trump is a big child. That may be one of the things they like about him most of all.

That's just the men, of course. But female Trump supporters seem mostly to be women who like their men rambunctious and unsocialized and fond of big trucks, like boys.

The Trumpers talk about not being "politically correct," but maybe this is all it is: They don't want to grow up.


Dan said...

Yeah, I think there is a contingent of those people. That crossed my mind a while back.

Frank Wilhoit said...

Trump's people have an emotional age of ten seconds. They are fixated upon revenge for the birth trauma. They also feel that they are owed restitution for it and this is why they fight against any form of accountability, as an existential threat.

The system has failed them. This is not an excuse, or a mitigation, or a "to be fair, ...". Humans are born insane and the task of education is to heal them. In this time and place, the educational enterprise has been abandoned. So there is no system in place with the goal and the compentency of universal healing,. Where healing occurs, it is due to the self-interested effort of the individual sufferer. Anyone could do this (which is why it is not an excuse), but it will not be done if the need is not understood.

rclz said...


Swellsman said...

It isn't just Trumpism, though, or the Trump voters -- it's conservatism itself. I've been saying for years now that conservatism is the political philosophy of adolescents. They want a strong military and a government that does all kinds of (conservative) things, but they don't want to pay any taxes to fund it. They want absolutely freedom of speech for themselves, but get apoplectic if someone else even criticizes that speech. Their "closely held beliefs" (y'know, like the sanctity of "family values") go out the window as soon as it becomes politically expedient to rally 'round a nominee like Trump.

And on, and on, and on.

I recognize this point of view, because it was mine when I was 14 years old. Unlike conservatives, I outgrew it.

Victor said...

I grow tired of psycoANALyzing these "MORANS!"


Belvoir said...

There's an awful lot to this. I've noticed it before, that a lot of right wing positions and ideas seem like things I might have thought when I was perhaps six years old. People coming to our country who shouldn't? Build a wall! It's literally the magical thinking of a child. And it's really alarming there are so very many grown-as adults who still think this is a feasible option that will solve everything. We are a frighteningly dumbed-down nation.

jsrtheta said...

Amanda Marcotte is a treasure.

Feud Turgidson said...

So often I agree with Victor, but on this, I fear he fails to account for the chance they'd like it.

Mart said...

Boils down to punching hippies.