Why the shock and the awe?
Earlier on Thursday, in response to criticism from MSNBC personalities Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski, Donald Trump took to Twitter and offered up the following missive:
I heard poorly rated @Morning_Joe speaks badly of me (don't watch anymore). Then how come low I.Q. Crazy Mika, along with Psycho Joe, came to Mar-a-Lago 3 nights in a row around New Year's Eve, and insisted on joining me. She was bleeding badly from a face-lift. I said no!
His comments received the expected and designed outcome. The online commentariat, members of the professional chattering class and others responded with anger at his mean-spirited, childish, sexist and misogynist comments about Mika Brzezinski.
Trump is as Trump does. His comments about Brzezinski are a reflection of who he actually is. They should not surprise anyone. Donald Trump has bragged about sexually assaulting women by grabbing their vaginas without permission. He insulted Hillary Clinton during the campaign by making allusions to her menstruation. He has talked publicly about finding his own daughter sexually attractive and he overtly views women primarily as sex objects.
Later in the day, the White House doubled down on Trump's comments. Trump mouthpiece Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Trump was a victim who was just defending himself against the "liberal" media. She added, "You can't expect for that amount of attack and intensity to come on a president and he can never respond." Sanders added that voters "knew what they were getting when they elected Donald Trump." Melania Trump's press secretary also chimed in: "As the First Lady has stated publicly, when her husband gets attacked, he will punch back 10 times harder.”
Trump's professional sycophants are paid very well to defend the Great Leader. He can do no wrong.
Again — as he does on an almost weekly basis — Donald Trump reminds the American people that he was elected because of his sexism and misogyny, not despite it. Likewise, Trump was elected because of his racism and bigotry, not despite such traits. The mainstream media's many failures enabled Donald Trump's victory over Hillary Clinton. One of the greatest was normalizing Trump's racism and sexism by presenting them as coincidental to his appeal rather than traits central to his political brand. This miscalculation (and denial of reality) still informs how the media remains largely unable to understand Trump's almost cult-like control over his supporters in White America.
Race and gender are intimates along the color line. They cannot be neatly separated. Thus, it would be foolish to ignore the fact that more white women voted for Donald Trump than Hillary Clinton. As they have done historically in America, the majority of white women voters decided that racial loyalty, and protecting the benefits that whiteness have bestowed, were more important than standing with women of color against sexism.
This loyalty to whiteness and Donald Trump has hurt all women in many ways.
Trump and the Republican Party's health care bill is a crime against humanity that will harm women by severely cutting funding for reproductive services, hospitals and programs such as Medicare.
Donald Trump's administration has directed the Department of Justice and the Department of Education to not make enforcing civil rights and other protections against racial, gender and sexual discrimination a priority.
Since Trump's election in 2016, the Southern Poverty Law Center and other organizations have documented an increase in harassment and sexual assault against women and girls. Donald Trump sets the tone for a nation. It would appear that many men and boys are responding to his "leadership."
In her classic science fiction novel "Parable of the Talents" (Earthseed #2), Octavia Butler warned:
Choose your leaders with wisdom and forethought.
To be led by a coward is to be controlled by all that the coward fears.
To be led by a fool is to be led by the opportunists who control the fool.
To be led by a thief is to offer up your most precious treasures to be stolen.
To be led by a liar is to ask to be told lies.
To be led by a tyrant is to sell yourself and those you love into slavery.
Donald Trump is proof of her wisdom. Unfortunately, tens of millions of white voters decided that Trump was the embodiment of their dreams. His deficits and shortcomings of character, temperament, wisdom, intelligence and morality made him their avatar and thus an extension of themselves. In all, Donald Trump is but a symptom of a much deeper cultural and political rot in America.
It is long past time for those other Americans who voted against Trump by the millions to stop acting surprised or shocked by a boorish man who trolls the world on Twitter. They must resist Trump's regime every day in ways both small and large. Falling to the metaphorical fainting couch every time Trump says something outrageous online as a means of distracting the American people from his incompetence, greed, corruption and possible collusion with Russia in order to steal an election only serves to advance his cause.