Why do women support Trump?

I wondered why women continue to support Trump given his record of adultery, womanizing, misogynistic tweets, body shaming, and overall lechery. So I went online to look at statements from female supporters. I think I need a shower now. What I found was that women support him mostly for the same reasons men support him. They like the conservative policies he espouses, they don’t believe his critics in the mainstream media which they feel is biased against him, and they are willing to accept his character flaws because as one woman put it “he’s not dating my daughter.” They praise his bluntness, what they see as his candor, and the fact that he speaks directly to them. They believe he speaks the “truth” unlike the politicians who came before him. They excuse his “toxic masculinity” because they reason that all men, including their husbands, sometimes speak and think this way.

What to make of all this? First of all, anyone who believes that Trump speaks the “truth” is beyond arguing with. They are immune to facts, logic, different experiences, and anything that contradicts him. The Democrats think there is a spectrum of Trump supporters that range from the “true believers” to those who can be swayed and won over to centrist Democratic candidates. I do not think so. Secondly, his supporters agree with his racism even though some try to protest against the way he expresses it. I do not shy away from calling his followers racists although some argue that they are not all this way. Yes they are. Some deny it, some resent it, and some admit it when they are confronted with this label. Those who do not call him out on his racism, accept or condone it, or even deny it, are themselves racists especially when they do not admit it. Time and time again we see whites who feel that racism is a state of mind and if they do not have that state of mind then they are not racist. Racism is not just a state of mind, it is a series of actions. If you perform those actions, if you behave that way, you are racist whatever state of mind you are in. If you support Trump’s racism by inaction, silence, or looking the other way, then you are racist. How’s that for bluntness?

Some analysts believe that it is counter productive to call out their racism because it means they will stop listening to you. I would argue that they are not listening to you anyway. They see politics as a “holy war,” a moral crusade, with those who disagree with you as “the enemy” who must be defeated not compromised with. Normally I would try to reason with them, but that is impossible. The American political system is based upon the idea of a loyal opposition who will compromise with those in power to get things done, who believe in the same enemies, and will work for the country’s good. This is not the situation that we face. The “good” each side believes in is not the same. Trump’s lily white 1950 country with whites in charge is at odds with a reality in which people of color already outnumber whites in the under 15 age groups and will eventually do so in all age groups. The “good” the other side sees is a diverse America, where people of all races have opportunity, and live together in harmony. They differ in what will make America great and whether it was ever so. Working together for the country’s good has been replaced by win at all cost.  This is a battle, a holy war if you will, for who we want to be as a country. The Trump supporters realize it, the Democrats need to understand that too.

One of the things that was so striking in these interviews was the the normalization of “toxic masculinity.”  Trump’s female supporters give him a pass on his outrageous behavior because they feel he is like most men only more candid about it. Accusations against him and Brett Kavanagh for example are brushed aside and women are criticized either for coming forward too late or for coming forward at all. What saddens me is that this is accepted as just what women have to put up with now and in the past. The “Me too” movement is just women being overly sensitive and protesting too much. The resignation to this behavior in their husbands and towards their daughters is tragic.

Finally they feel that Trump’s policy have not only not hurt them, but have improved their lives and the country. This is white privilege at its finest. From the safety of their homes they criticize people who are running for their lives. They are not people of color who can be told to go back to their “shithole” home countries, they are not refugees who can be put in concentration camps, they are not illegal immigrants separated from their children, they are not the religious or ethnic minorities who they feel have gotten too much in the past, and they are not people who have to endure ethnic slurs, police intimidation, a biased court system, or high rates of incarceration. Trump supporters’ lack of empathy for non-whites is astounding. Instead they blame the victim, denigrate them as at best a different species, not human at all.  This behavior calls for us to do some soul searching. Who do we want to be as people? Who do we want to teach our children to be?

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