THE PROBLEM WITH TRUMP – THE NEW YORKER

new-yorker-cover-head

One of the more positive side-effects of this awful election has been that I have found myself back in the folds of “The New Yorker.” Not only because they have the best cartoons of any magazine anywhere and only partly because they have Andy Borowitz whose satiric pieces always make me laugh out loud. Good laughs have been hard to find this year and I think it will only get worse.

No, they also have some really good movie and book reviews plus political commentary. And above all, I agree with them. I know I’m not supposed to admit that I really like reading stuff with which I agree, but there it is. My guilty secret. If I agree with it, and it’s witty, well-written … and I wish I had written it … then it’s even better.

Take a look at this article by Adam Gopnik, The Problem With Trump Isn’t His Debating Skills. I found myself nodding and mumbling “yes, yes, yes” until I got to the closing lines. Then, had I not been sitting in my living room with only my dogs to wonder if I’d lost my mind, I would have cheered. Because he said this:

Pass over quickly, for the moment, Trump’s notion that contracts are to be respected depending only on the wayward autocratic impulse of the richest party to the contract. Think, instead, again, of one of the last subjects of the debate—his misogyny. By sexism, we mean something specific, not the business of appreciating beauty—if Trump wants to host beauty contests, let him—but the habit of conceiving of a woman as being a lesser species, one defined exclusively by appearance. His cruelty to Alicia Machado was unleavened by any apparent respect for her as a human being in any role other than as an envelope of flesh—an attitude he only doubled down on the following morning by complaining that she presented what he saw as an obvious problem as a reigning Miss Universe: she had gained “a massive amount of weight” (by Trump standards, that is). Again, this wasn’t a problem of how he chose to present his beliefs; the problem is with the beliefs. This wasn’t a question of preparation. It was that the things he actually believes are themselves repellent even when coherently presented. This was not a bad performance. This is a bad man.”

I couldn’t say it any better. I’m not sure anyone could say it better.



Categories: Election, Politics, Quotation

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22 replies

  1. Watching the debate, I came to understand many things that have affected my life since grad school — at least. I realized that one of the reasons so many people hate Hillary is because she’s a woman and that inchoate hatred isn’t limited to misogynistic men. Plenty of women also mistrust Hillary because she’s female. Misogyny is part of our culture. Why else are we one of the few developed nations in the world that has not had a female leader? Even many lesser developed nations have had female leaders who’ve served their countries well.

    I heard in Trump’s diatribes the voice of the Evil X saying, “Your trouble is you’re too independent.” I heard other Xs saying, “Without me, you’ll be in the gutter in a week.” Another X, “So many good looking women out there and here I am stuck with you.” A former boss backing me up against a wall in the office, in front of all the staff and the Dean of another College, yelling at me for something I’d “done to him” two years before — I’d been unable to present a paper at a conference because I’d had hip surgery and was still on pain-killers and couldn’t drive. I did that TO HIM. I heard all these horrible, horrible men and I SAW how many of Trump’s slams were ignored and realized it’s because THAT’S NORMAL BEHAVIOR. We don’t expect anything else from men. It’s why Archie Bunker was funny and we had a soft spot for him and we thought, “He’s a good guy under that crusty exterior.”

    That debate illuminated a dark spot in my consciousness. The women who hate Hillary might want to look at themselves and try to figure out why. Just as with my dislike of her, it might be based on something irrational and ingrained. In my case it was as simple and scary as, “Just be good, let him win, and you’ll be safe.” Yeah.

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    • I find it very, very disturbing. I have stories too, many similar to yours. Exes, former bosses, co-workers. We are “TOO competent, and “aggressive” and “pushy.” Mainly, what’s wrong with us, is that we aren’t men. That’s it. Our voices are too shrill, our manner too grating. We’re too assertive and aggressive, not supportive to “our men.” Ball busters and castrators. Whatever we are we are too much and too little. At the same time. It’s always a lose-lose.

      Yet I have always gotten along very well with other women and the people I have trusted the most over the years were always women. Maybe you had to meet my father to really understand.

      Liked by 1 person

      • My dad was great; my mom was not. I think that sent me into the world with a great deal more trust for men than for women. And, the woman I looked up to most never married, had affairs, won a Congressional medal and left everyone in her family $20 when she died — a BIG family. I never before realized how much of our “personhood” has been negated and it’s not about pronouns and all that BS. It’s something else. It’s the recognition that we’re people just like men are people. But if I didn’t “get it” until now then what about all the women who aren’t independent, smart, self-reliant, etc.? 😦

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        • I think most people — men and women — never get it. I got it very early, but I had the father from hell and though my mother was in many way admirable and worth emulating, she was far from perfect. I had to grow up early and fast. I never got to be young. I so completely missed “youth” that I’m not even sure what exactly I missed. I had a very long adulthood and kind of hopped right past child and teenagehood. When I started working, the help wanted ads were divided by sex. Help Wanted Male or Female. No “either” column.

          Men of Garry’s generation are so typically insensitive to women’s issues that they can honestly say and mean it that they treat women just like men. But they don’t. Sometimes, they treat us better but they never treat us the same. They can’t. It’s in their wiring.

          It’s just like all the racist things people say when they are sure they aren’t racist. You know, when they talk about “those people” … Sometimes, WE are Those People. Sometimes, they mean those OTHER people. But they never mean people who are just like them. You know. White men.

          Liked by 1 person

          • I believe all people are racist. That’s from living in a hood where immigrants were first housed on their arrival to California’s golden shores. Poverty is an element of the race equation, in my experience, and it’s more intricately complicated (I think) than just White Men. But yeah. What disturbs me MOST is women who say that women who don’t like Trump have been ruined by “feminism.” I always thought (and still think) feminism has a deeply stupid and deeply flawed side. I still believe that individual human rights matter most; the rights of people NOT to be first and foremost their gender or their color, but I’ve learned that is a stance that can’t lead to mass action. Still, I believe it. I taught so many girls who’d been beaten by their boyfriends and sat with them for hours and talked about it and let them know it had happened to me, too. “You, professor? But you’re educated and you’re white!” like it was a Latino thing or a Black thing. There is a cultural thing to it, but transcending that is power.

            And no one ever gives away power. If that man wins I honestly don’t know what I’ll do. 😦

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            • I try not to think about it. Because when they start putting people against the wall and shooting them, pretty much everyone I know is going to be heading that way.

              As far as feminism goes. I’m not altogether sure what that means and never was. Am I in favor of equal pay for equal work? Absolutely. Does that mean that men and women are the same? Nope and viva la difference. I don’t want to be a guy, but also don’t want to be dismissed, bullied, demeaned, and held to an entirely different standards than men. So if that makes me a feminist, then yes I am. If not? Okay. Whatever.

              I think that poverty and race are not the same, thought they are frequently linked circumstantially. I think most racism is the result of ignorance, and because kids are not brought up in an truly integrated society. Those who do get to grow up in genuinely integrated social settings are color blind. They may have other prejudices, but when my kid was a kid, he could tell you what color car someone drove, but he had no idea what color their skin was. He literally didn’t see it.

              Liked by 1 person

  2. The best writing anywhere is in the New Yorker. Amazed every time I read it.

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  3. I love the cartoons from the New Yorker too. They can’t be beat.
    Leslie

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  4. I can not tell you how many people I have had to stop following because their views leave me unable to appreciate their talents. Maybe I shouldn’t admit that. I mean, I do admire Wagner, even though he was an anti-semite and his personal life was a mess. So I’m glad that your beliefs seem to mirror my own because I gain great pleasure reading your posts. 🙂 OK, and Garry’s, too.

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    • Garry and I were talking about this last night. Garry is very easy-going. He’s forgiving. He’s not judgmental or self-righteous. What religious views he holds, are private and personal.

      Trump pushes all his buttons. No more Mr. Nice Guy. He actually reaches high levels of incoherent rage on the subject. I don’t think I’ve ever seen him so intensely dislike ANYONE. And I’ve know him now for more than 50 years.

      Liked by 1 person

      • My wife and I cannot have a civil conversation about Trump because I’m like Garry and my wife keeps saying Hillary is just as bad. She lumps them both together and while I am not a fan of Hillary’s, it always sounds to me as if Lynn is defending Trump. Even though she isn’t. She just seems to have a much deeper seated hatred against the woman than the man.

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  5. I totally agree. Trump is a bad man and would be very bad for this country. I realize Hillary is no angel, but I don’t view her as the extremely narcissistic, bigoted, 5th grader that I see in Trump. He reminds me of a very rich version of my ex-husband, and that truly scares me. I hope on election day the majority of U.S. citizens are repulsed by his behavior and vote for someone else.

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