FacebookTwitterRedditEmail

Manifesting the Worst Old Norms

A half-century ago I was a 17-year-old who had just been hired to do door-to-door canvassing for the Minneapolis Housing Authority to inform people in the poorest neighborhoods that they could nominate community members to serve on the board of the agency. We held trainings and exercises to develop our team and one of the supervisors, a very nice and somewhat chubby fellow, said he hoped in 10 years that the acceptance of heavy build—fatter—would apply to women as much as it did then to men.

I had certainly never thought about that but it made total sense. Overweight men were not nearly so rejected as were overweight women, and that of course would be a double standard that would evaporate as we created a new world based on equality.

Now, all these years later, we have the bizarre spectacle of Donald Trump as a viable candidate for the highest office in the land routinely expressing all the bad old values we hoped and assumed were headed for righteous extinction or at least extreme marginalization. Is this Trump’s fault that he cannot go a day without saying that Miss Universe is “Miss Piggy” because she gained weight after winning her crown, or that another woman’s face is unacceptable, or that Rosie O’Donnell is a “slob”?

No, Trump is who he is. I have personally never watched him on TV before this campaign and never patronized any of his businesses in any way. He’s in a world I have been able to ignore as crass, gauche, boring, patronizing, atavistic, juvenile, and shallow. Now it’s clear that he is deeply hypocritical, racist, and misogynist.

And now I’m faced with the sad truth that millions of my fellow Americans support these views. The levels of voter incompetence and horrific mores revealed make me question the goodness of a huge swath of my own countrypeople. Seeing his support is what is painful, not his own puerile adolescent behavior and character. That this spoiled brat born into privilege and clearly raised about as well as Uday Hussein can garner so much support from supposedly freedom-loving Americans is simply depressing. Rich boys who love to intimidate others have run the world far too long. Hillary is problematic but Trump is absolutely unacceptable.

I hope we begin some self-reflection soon in our country. The worst sexist and racist values of the 1950s are on full display and need to be soundly rejected. Trump stands for unfairness and he should be standing alone, not on the shoulders of real people who work for a living, who scuffle to make ends meet, and who know what unfairness feels like.

Leave Trump to his own devices. Let his poor values wither on his patriarchal bully vine.

More articles by:

Tom H. Hastings is core faculty in the Conflict Resolution Department at Portland State University and founding director of PeaceVoice

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

Weekend Edition
April 19, 2019
Friday - Sunday
Andrew Levine
What Will It Take For Trump to Get His Due?
Roy Eidelson
Is the American Psychological Association Addicted to Militarism and War?
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Time is Blind, Man is Stupid
Joshua Frank
Top 20 Mueller Report “Findings”
Rob Urie
Why Russiagate Will Never Go Away
Paul Street
Stephen Moore Gets Something Right: It’s Capitalism vs. Democracy
Russell Mokhiber
Why Boeing and Its Executives Should be Prosecuted for Manslaughter
T.J. Coles
The Battle for Latin America: How the U.S. Helped Destroy the “Pink Tide”
Ron Jacobs
Ho Chi Minh City: Nguyen Thai Binh Street
Dean Baker
Fun Fictions in Economics
David Rosen
Trump’s One-Dimensional Gender Identity
Kenn Orphan
Notre Dame: We Have Always Belonged to Her
Robert Hunziker
The Blue Ocean Event and Collapsing Ecosystems
Theodore C. Van Alst, Jr.
Paddy Wagon
Brett Wilkins
Jimmy Carter: US ‘Most Warlike Nation in History of the World’
John W. Whitehead
From Jesus Christ to Julian Assange: When Dissidents Become Enemies of the State
Nick Pemberton
To Never Forget or Never Remember
Stephen Cooper
My Unforgettable College Stabbings
Louis Proyect
A Leftist Rejoinder to the “Capitalist Miracle”
Louisa Willcox
Aldo Leopold’s Land Ethic and the Need for a New Approach to Managing Wildlife
Brian Cloughley
Britain Shakes a Futile Fist and Germany Behaves Sensibly
Jessicah Pierre
A Revolutionary Idea to Close the Racial Wealth Divide
George Burchett
Revolutionary Journalism
Dan Bacher
U.S. Senate Confirms Oil Lobbyist David Bernhardt as Interior Secretary
Nicky Reid
The Strange Success of Russiagate
Chris Gilbert
Defending Venezuela: Two Approaches
Todd Larsen
The Planetary Cost of Amazon’s Convenience
Kelly Martin
How the White House is Spinning Earth Day
Nino Pagliccia
Cuba and Venezuela: Killing Two Birds With a Stone
Matthew Stevenson
Pacific Odyssey: Guadalcanal and Bloody Ridge, Solomon Islands
David Kattenburg
Trudeau’s Long Winter
Gary Olson
A Few Comments on the recent PBS Series: Reconstruction: America After the Civil War
Ellen Lindeen
What Does it Mean to Teach Peace?
Adewale Maye and Eileen Appelbaum
Paid Family and Medical Leave: a Bargain Even Low-Wage Workers Can Afford
Ramzy Baroud
War Versus Peace: Israel Has Decided and So Should We
Ann Garrison
Vets for Peace to Barbara Lee: Support Manning and Assange
Thomas Knapp
The Mueller Report Changed my Mind on Term Limits
Jill Richardson
Why is Going Green So Hard? Because the System Isn’t
Mallika Khanna
The Greenwashing of Earth Day
Arshad Khan
Do the Harmless Pangolins Have to Become Extinct?
Paul Armentano
Pushing Marijuana Legalization Across the Finish Line
B. R. Gowani
Surreal Realities: Pelosi, Maneka Gandhi, Pompeo, Trump
Paul Buhle
Using the Law to Build a Socialist Society
David Yearsley
Call Saul
Elliot Sperber
Ecology Over Economy 
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail