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Trump in Power Because He Reaffirms the Failing Worldview of White Patriarchists

Warning—I’m about to use the n-word.

Actually, Ta-Nehisi Coates uses it to put in the starkest terms his argument that white supremacy is the core of Donald Trump’s bitter Presidency:

For Trump, it almost seems that the fact of Obama, the fact of a black president, insulted him personally. The insult intensified when Obama and Seth Meyers publicly humiliated him at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner in 2011. But the bloody heirloom ensures the last laugh. Replacing Obama is not enough—Trump has made the negation of Obama’s legacy the foundation of his own. And this too is whiteness. “Race is an idea, not a fact,” the historian Nell Irvin Painter has written, and essential to the construct of a “white race” is the idea of not being a nigger. Before Barack Obama, niggers could be manufactured out of Sister Souljahs, Willie Hortons, and Dusky Sallys. But Donald Trump arrived in the wake of something more potent—an entire nigger presidency with nigger health care, nigger climate accords, and nigger justice reform, all of which could be targeted for destruction or redemption, thus reifying the idea of being white. Trump truly is something new—the first president whose entire political existence hinges on the fact of a black president. And so it will not suffice to say that Trump is a white man like all the others who rose to become president. He must be called by his rightful honorific—America’s first white president [Ta-Nehisi Coates, “The First White President,” The Atlantic, October 2017].

Damon Linker in The Week says white supremacy can’t fully explain the rise of Trump. Amanda Marcotte offers a second leg for the awful Trumpist stool: a reaction to the decline of the fundamentalist Christian white male patriarchy:

Trump may be an unrepentant sinner, but he is a supporter of this patriarchal worldview, where straight men are in charge, women are quiet and submissive and people who fall outside these old-school heterosexual norms are marginalized. Voting for him was an obvious attempt by white evangelicals to impose this worldview on others, including (and perhaps especially) their own children, who are starting to ask hard questions about a moral order based on hierarchy and rigid gender roles instead of one built on empathy and kindness [Amanda Marcotte, “White Christians Are Now a Minority—But They’re Getting More Isolated and Less Tolerant,” Salon, 2017.09.11].

We can hope that Trump’s brilliant ignition of these vile fires will burn out the fervor of the racists and sexists who propelled him to the White House… or at least ignite the political conscience of the growing majority who find white patriarchy unacceptable and propel a new, decent candidate to the Presidency in 2020.


  1. o 2017-09-13 12:50

    What continues to terrify me when I read analysis like this is not that it reveals President Trump’s paradigm, but that this abhorrent paradigm is supported – that it elevated him to the Presidency of the United States. This is not a revelation about Trump as much as it is a revelation about my neighbors. We can play the “he didn’t win the popular vote” game, but at the core, many, MANY citizens of the United States of America embraced this man because of this viewpoint. Nearly as bad, voters were aware of this and voted for him anyway – with some intellectual apologist stance that they support him on “some other issue.”

    I also hope we enter into the next round of political decision making with our eyes wide open and remember how difficult it has historically been to take power from an affluent, while, male power structure as we discuss moving forward. Is the GOP willing to risk political suicide as the Democratic party did 50 years ago by turning away from this path?

  2. Mr. Lansing 2017-09-13 12:59

    A martyr is killed for what he believes. The near daily death of Obama’s programs to help the middle class and below is martyr-like. We all know what happens to martyrs. REVENGE …

  3. bearcreekbat 2017-09-13 13:23

    This analysis is troubling but it seems to miss the big picture. During the campaign Scalia died and the Senate refused to consider Obama’s nominee. If a Democrat had been elected in 2016, Republicans could not realistically continue to refuse to consider a nominee for Scalia’s spot for another 4 years, making it likely that someone to the left of Scalia would end up on the Court, changing its balance for years to come.

    Any Republican thinking about the Supreme Court would hold their nose and vote for Trump despite his objective flaws. In addition, there were the lower court appointments to consider, as Republicans held up many of Obama’s nominees. But for judicial nominations I doubt Trump would have had much of a chance.

    As it is, if we lose Kennedy or Ginsburg during Trump’s term Republicans will not need the House, Senate or Presidency to stop progressive legislation. The term “unconstitutional” will grow into a major club for Republicans with the stacked lower courts and a majority of conservatives on the SCOTUS.

  4. mike from iowa 2017-09-13 13:33

    bcb hits it out of the park. The new Scotus, as it stands today, will make new laws by political decisions rather than what is deemed constitutional and allowable. Wingnuts are appointed by lengthy litmus testing.

    And of course wingnuts deny having litmus tests.

  5. leslie 2017-09-14 17:15

    On top of it all, 1.) Pres Trump is holding HOSTAGE 800,000 DACA young people for a multibillion multi dimension “wall”. 2.) Democrats have done nothing to force accountability for Mitch McConnell’s stealing a supreme court justice space which republicans unsurprisingly turned over to Neil Gorsuch who is a handmaiden to the wealthy. And, 3.) NRA, Trump’s biggest supporter is openly promoting 3%er-type militias around the country heavily militarily armed, while NRA at the same time promotes its pretend “be kind to blue” ( blue clad policemen) ad campaign to back our blue clad policemen (as if we didn’t already, we just don’t back police abuse of the public and unnecessary militarization, and conservative politics of police, which is obvious).

    2016 in mid-August, as the campaign was buffeted by a storm of controversy surrounding Manafort’s ties to pro-Kremlin factions in Ukraine, Bob/Rebekah Mercer met with Trump at the Hamptons fundraiser and recommended a leadership change. Soon after that, the campaign announced the hiring of Bannon as the campaign’s CEO and Conway’s elevation to campaign manager. Now that Bannon is gone what’s next. The DACA distraction was likely a Trump tactic to find wall funding. We must stop this republican seige: Hostage-taking of DREAMERS. Illegal. Stolen SCOTUS seat, unconstitutional. NRA’s killing of mothers by their children, school children, theater goers, prayer groups, politicians. Domestic terrorism.

    Recent joke which captures conservative group think: there weren’t any hurricanes until we started taking down statues”.

  6. leslie 2017-09-15 20:33

    Incredible article:

    This is everything that has happened in the GOP death spiral we witness daily. Starting in 1979, Roy Cohn Introduces Trump to Nixon ‘Dirty Trickster’ Roger Stone, up through the present where Trump is gleefully squealing that “Putin thinks I am a genius.”

    Mueller is going to destroy him, I hope. Little of Trump’s squirming has been legal, all has been damaging and self administered, and the various investigations appear to be for the most part, aimed at his prosecution, impeachment or resignation.

    Hopefully George Cluny will make a great movie from the fodder.

    Highlights are his greed, casinos, mob connections, bankruptcies, and growing intertwining relationships with Putin, his oligarchs, Ukraine and Crimea and Syria and Turkey and Saudi Arabia; international banking and money laundering; and his merry tricksters, fellow millionaires, billionaires, princes and generals like Manafort, Stone, Page, Sater, Flynn, Kushner, and internationals like the Alagarovs, ambassador Kislyak, Rybolovlev, and the roles his family has and McConnell, Thune, Ryan, and other wanna be legislators, and of course, the heavy hitters, Bob and Rebekah Mercer, the Kochs and the many dead bodies, money tracks and attempted hits on players in the last few years.

    If our intelligence and law enforcement agencies are not able to square this whole mess up, we are in trouble. I have a good feeling about the result.

  7. leslie 2017-09-15 20:53

    Micro and macro views are now possible, of this money trail penetrating the US government by Russian conspirators, says Bill Moyers, and Trump’s constant devious distractions.

    Come on! 800,000 DACA Dreamers are being held hostage so the Trump wall can happen.

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