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Thursday, August 11, 2016


"A bog of testosterone"

by Tom Sullivan

Donald Trump - Caricature by DonkeyHotey via Creative Commons.

Donald Trump has a problem with women. They dislike him. E.J. Dionne caught up with a few in Pennsylvania where polls show Trump 11 points behind Hillary Clinton. Susan Byrnes, a York County commissioner and a moderate Republican, for example:

“The way he interacted with the parents of a Muslim soldier and the way he talked about the Purple Heart — it almost made my heart stop,” she said in a telephone interview from a county commissioners’ gathering in the Poconos. “I can’t vote for someone like that.”

Kristen Fraser is a lawyer and businesswoman who wrote in Paul Ryan’s name in the primary and is exactly the sort of voter the Republican Party needs to cherish. She can’t vote for Clinton, she said, but added: “My social views are very liberal. I can’t bring myself to vote for Trump.”
Dionne concludes that Trump is an offense against the common decency conservative voters expect from their leaders.

The Guardian not long ago described British novelist Martin Amis this way:
Amis occupies a really peculiar position in our national life. He is the object of envy, contempt, anger, disapproval, theatrical expressions of weariness – but also of fascination. Has there in living memory been a writer whom we (by which I mean the papers, mostly) so assiduously seek out for comment – we task him to review tennis, terrorism, pornography, the state of the nation – and whom we are then so keen to denounce as worthless?
But of course Amis would have tasty things to say about Donald Trump. In this month's Harpers, Amis "reviews" bestselling books by Don the realtor ("by" in quotes, obviously). Amis deploys a retort I have been waiting to trot out for years against such as Trump. The question is not “If you’re so smart, how come you ain’t rich?”; it is “If you’re so rich, how come you ain’t smart?”

Trump has a predator's instinct for when the object of his desire has grown weak and vulnerable, Amis writes. The GOP, for example. "The question is, Can he do it with American democracy?" After a couple of weeks in the White House, Trump's brain would reduce to, in Amis' estimation, "a bog of testosterone."

Regarding Trump, women, and the election:
Trump’s sexual bashfulness is an interesting surprise. But where, then, does it come from — the rancor, the contempt, the disgust? It is as if he has never been told (a) that women go to the bathroom (“Disgusting,” he said of a Clinton toilet break), and (b) that women lactate (“Disgusting,” he said of a lawyer who had to go and pump milk for her newborn). Has no one told him (c) that women vote? And I hope he finds that disgusting too, in November. This race will be the mother of a battle of the sexes, Donald against Hillary — and against her innumerable sisters at the ballot box.

Visitors to the United States in an election year are touched by how seriously Americans take their national responsibility, how they vacillate and agonize. They very seldom acknowledge that their responsibility is also global. At an early stage in Trump’s rise, his altogether exemplary campaign staff decided that any attempt to “normalize” their candidate would be futile: better, they shruggingly felt (as they deployed the tautologous house style), to “let Trump be Trump.” As a lover of America (and as an admirer of the planet), I offer this advice: Don’t shrug. Don’t stand by and let President Trump be President Trump.
"A bog of testosterone"? He's already there.