Of all of the mysteries surrounding Donald Trump, the fact that he is considered the friend of the working man, when his life has been about stiffing the working man, is the strangest and most inscrutable of all. Trump’s friend, Howard Stern, said it best: “The oddity in all of this is the people Trump despises most, love him the most. The people who are voting for Trump for the most part … He’d be disgusted by them.” Why don’t they get that? Or, if they do get that, why don’t they care? For reasons that are beyond most of us, working class males, who comprise the largest section of Trump’s base, approve of him, even though he flies in the face of all the traditional aspects of masculinity, being a draft dodger who’s gone bankrupt six times. But there is a theory which answers this conundrum of why a large swath of Americans, who would never get along with Trump in real life for five minutes, approve of him and vote for him. Tom Nichols, The Atlantic:

I am not a psychologist, and I cannot adjudicate the theories of male behavior that might explain some of this. Others have tried. Two researchers who looked back at the 2016 presidential election suggested that support for Trump was higher in areas where there were more internet searches for topics such as “erectile dysfunction,” “how to get girls,” and “penis enlargement” than in pro-Hillary areas of the country. (One can only hope that correlation is not causation.) The idea that insecure men support bullies and authoritarians is hardly new; recall that one of George Orwell’s characters in 1984 dismissed all the “marching up and down and cheering and waving flags” as “simply sex gone sour.” To reduce all of this to sexual inadequacy, however, is too facile. It cannot explain why millions of men look the other way when Trump acts in ways they would typically find shameful. Nor is arguing that Trump is a bad person and therefore that the people who support him are either brainwashed or also bad people helpful. He is, and some of them are. But that doesn’t explain why men who would normally ostracize someone like Trump continue to embrace him.

The author goes on to state that Trump is not honorable, he’s a “rich downtown bully, the kind that most working men hate.” As to whether Trump is courageous, another value of traditional masculinity, no, in fact hell no. He’s a known coward. He may have boasted about how he would have run into the school the day of the Parkland shooting, “even without a weapon,” but even the staunchest of Trump’s supporters probably saw that as the hype it was. Then the question was posed in this analysis, “Does Trump accept responsibility and look out for his team?” Here again, the answer would be laughable if it weren’t so tragic. Unlike the Ed Harris character in Apollo 13, “failure is not an option,” Trump has given us his memorable line concerning personal accountabillity as a leader, “I take no responsibility at all.” Not my fault, man, China did it. So what in the world do these guys see in Donald Trump? Here it comes, and actually, it’s as obvious as the nose on your face if you stop to think about it.

Trump’s lack of masculinity is about maturity. He is not manly because he is not a man. He is a boy.

To be a man is to be an adult, to willingly decide, as St. Paul wrote, to “put away childish things.” There’s a reason that Peter Pan is a story about a boy, and the syndrome named after it is about men. Not everyone grows up as they age.

It should not be a surprise then, that Trump is a hero to a culture in which so many men are already trapped in perpetual adolescence. And especially for men who feel like life might have passed them by, whose fondest memories are rooted somewhere in their own personal Wonder Years from elementary school until high-school graduation, Trump is a walking permission slip to shrug off the responsibilities of manhood.

The appeal to indulge in such hypocrisy must be enormous. Cheat on your wife? No problem. You can trade her in for a hot foreign model 20 years younger. Is being a father to your children too onerous a burden on your schedule? Let the mothers raise them. Money troubles? Everyone has them; just tell your father to write you another check. Upset that your town or your workplace has become more diverse? Get it off your chest: Rail about women and Mexicans and African Americans at will and dare anyone to contradict you.

Even Melania corroborated this after the Access Hollywood tape scandal broke. “Sometimes I say I have two boys at home,” she said. “I have my young son and I have my husband. But I know how some men talk, and that’s how I saw it.” 

Boys will be boys, or so we’re told. So just blow it all off, it’s just youthful hijinx. Except we’re tallking about the White House, not a frat house, and the guy who takes “no responsiblity at all,” is the most powerful man on the planet — again, we are told. After this debacle in American politics, our allies are busy regrouping and making contingency plans, and who knows what the permanent residual of having Trump in the White House will be? It does not speak well for our nation that something this outre happened in the first place. But maybe this is, in fact, who we are as a people. Maybe this is the slum to which the city upon a hill has degenerated.

Female Trump supporters were interviewed on national television and—in a tragic admission about the state of American families—seemed confused about why Trump would be considered any worse than the men around them.

I recall one woman telling a reporter that her son talked that way in front of her all the time. Part of how I was socialized into adult manhood was knowing that if I spoke like that in front of my late mother—an Irish American woman from an impoverished background—she would have made my ears ring with the slap she’d have given me.

So this is what happened, apparently. The GOP put a vulgar Peter Pan at the top of their ticket and then America elected him — with a little help from the electoral college, and Russian bots masquereding as the neighbors. And now we have the angry man-child, toddling around in his shoe lifts, with his remaining strands of hair glued in place and his spray paint tan, watching cable TV and rage tweeting, while America goes unled during a global pandemic and its concommitant economic meltdown. Swell. Just swell.

Please tell me that there are more adults in this country than children in adults’ bodies and that they will cast a ballot November 3 and straighten this mess out. Or, are we too far gone? Has America gone the way of Invasion of the Body Snatchers and although the others look to be adults, they’re really pod-people Trumpites and children, even as he is? Has the Pied Piper won? Because this is the most important election in American history, or at least since 1860. We have to get this under control or we are done.

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32 Comments on "Why Trump Voters Support the ‘Most Unmanly President in History’"

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Bareshark
Guest
I may have already mentioned this. Comic writer/artist Kelley Jones once told me in private correspondence “Man is arrogant to think he is the most important thing in the world but wise to realize he can be the most responsible.” Comic writer/editor Archie Goodwin: “We grow older. We don’t necessarily grow up.” All this is to say that the American concept of manhood is highly overrated at best. At worst, it is a toxic stew of resentment for the things individuals and society failed to do anything about. Seeing the iconography of 1980s themed video games in recent years puts… Read more »
Steve787
Guest

“But Trump is Captain Hook, a vicious coward terrified by the thing that took his hand who hides it by hurting others.”
Well said.

underwriter505
Guest

Are not Peter and Hook two sides of the same – well, un-man (there isn’t really a word for it)?

Bareshark
Guest
You might be interested to know the late Len Wein and Bernie Wrightson created a bunch called the Un-Men, misshapen Frankenstein style body parts who served the evil wizard/scientist Anton Arcane in the second ever issue of Swamp Thing. As to Peter and Hook, they do represent different types of immaturity, sure. But Peter still remembered to care about others. The Lost Boys, Wendy and Tinkerbell stayed around him because they wanted to. Hook only ever cared about himself and his crew, from Smee on down, stayed near him out of fear or hunger for whatever crumbs he’d throw them.… Read more »
Rolando Vilchez Gange
Guest
Rolando Vilchez Gange

when we compare our reality to cartoon fantasy, we must be living inside the TV…. “two side of the same… “coin”” is a more realistic and smart way of looking at it…. in the same coin but not the same picture

CAZ
Guest

Trump. The word is trump.

LDoza
Member

Ursula typo in last sentence ..

Linda
Guest

Excellent!!! To put it bluntly, he is a POS!!! How can I send this article to a friend?

Lone Wolf
Member

he is a pimp, a sleazy pimp.

gettin too old for this sh!t
Member
gettin too old for this sh!t

Ursula,Bareshark is right. We cannot let this POS live rent-free in our collective head. We can’t afford to waste the brainpower we need to plan. Plan how we’re going to get him out of our house. Because there’s one thing we all (should) know: He will NOT go gracefully.

Bareshark
Guest

Thank you, Old. But he may go more quietly than we think. Remember that when enough people stand up to him, he folds his hand. It’s only when we get trapped in the outrage cycles that he steps up the music. As long as we’re paying attention to him, he has what he wants. That’s why I proposed the forgotten Egyptian pharaoh treatment a few days ago: erase him, his name and everything about him from living memory.

p j evans
Member

My fantasy is him going into all the history books as “President Covfefe”. Forever.

LDoza
Member

OOPSY another one Para 2 :/ Here is (t) comes, and actually, it’s as obvious as the nose on your face’

Carroll Ann Robinson
Member
So glad you found and used that quote from Melania. I heard her say that initially and thought, “How sad that she is willing to settle for him and this behavior.” When she told us who he was, we should have believed her. She was in good company, after all. Maya Angelou said it before Melania did: “When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.” And Tom Nichols is so spot on. I wasn’t initially sure about his politics because they were conflated with his teaching responsibilities at West Point even as he declared that what… Read more »
Andrew Thomas
Guest

Very well said and I couldn’t agree more!
This manchild is out of control and should be removed from office!

LDoza
Member

TY SO MUCH Ursula… sharing on fb and twitter. and sharing full Tom Nichols with adults…
HERE is link to ERIKSON’s Stages of PsychoSocial Personality Development ..used by Professionals and Teachers.
#ERIKSON’s EIGHT Stages of #Psychosocial Development.. During each stage, person experiences psychosocial crisis with pos or neg outcome for personality
http://tinyurl.com/y8u84rx2
TRUMP got stopped at 5 Adolescence.

p j evans
Member

I would have said he got stopped earlier than that: remember, he thinks he’s competent at everything, even though many people can see he isn’t.

LDoza
Member

YES but what about the GOP that still support him? What is their excuse? to themselves and their families? Complete and total Abdication of their Responsibilities as ADULTS.History will be writing about this ad nauseam too.

Thanks to the Rick Wilson’s of the world. May he recruit a MILLION or TWO LIKE VOTERS on Nov. 3.

Cherl Harrell
Guest

I think the one thing he has in common with the GOP that support him is a set of priorities. Power and money and everything else doesn’t matter to them.

Bareshark
Guest

The ones who still support him are beyond our reach until they decide otherwise. Our time would be better spent engaging the Rick Wilsons in waiting, if you will.

D.Ann
Guest

He has the grumpiest look on his face….That’s your president…Unmanly is right!!!😠👿

LDoza
Member

FOR ANOTHER FUN TRUMPIE Story: See this HERE More Not Taking RESPONSIBILITY as an adult: #ChristopherKeys has been arrested and charged with solicitation of sodomy for attempting to hire a male prostitute. Unfortunately for Keys, his hoped-for night with the hooker cost more than he anticipated.
https://tinyurl.com/yax47xya

Cherl Harrell
Guest

This makes total and complete sense to me, the idea that Trump is a child and his followers the same. That is the basic mistake I and probably a lot of others have been making, is mistaking these people for adults. They clearly are not. They are childish, which is not the same having a child-like manner or wonder at the world.

timmah
Guest

You sheep are so gullible. This is citing an Atlantic piece. They wrote the exact opposite in 2016. Why do you keep parroting ppl that lie to you? https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2016/08/trump-masculinity-problem/494582/