There's been a lot of fuss over Donald Trump's sexist comments in 2005. I share the distaste of many for what he said, but I also have to doff my hat to the man for the way he responded by bringing several of Bill Clinton's sexual victims to the Sunday debate as his guests. In so many words, he was warning Hillary, "You want to call me sexist? You've got just as much of that baggage in your background as I have. If you want to play dirty pool, remember, two can play that game." It was a political masterstroke. Bill Clinton's expression as he looked at his victims proved its effectiveness beyond any need for words.
That's not a happy man, right there . . .
Note that the entire 'establishment' - from other leading Republicans, to the Democratic Party, to almost every organ of the mainstream media - were frothing with excitement over Trump's potty mouth. They tried to use his indiscretion to knock him out of the race once and for all . . . and they failed. He's bounced back, and is fighting as hard as ever. I've no doubt that they succeeded in damaging him, and that this damage will be reflected in the polls over the next week or two. Quite frankly, he deserves it. He was way out of line, just as any man who behaves and/or speaks in that way is way out of line according to generally accepted standards of behavior in polite society. Nevertheless, many men who are not from, and do not move within, polite society do behave that way. In the same way, many women within those circles simply shrug and accept it, because they're used to it. That doesn't justify it, of course; but that's their daily reality, and they know and understand it. I suspect many of them are doing the same in their reaction to Trump's words.
That's what the establishment doesn't seem to understand. Such women live in the real world, not one manufactured by Hollywood or Ivy League expectations. Many of them live in environments where Trump's sexist comments are mild by comparison with what they must deal with every single day. Just listen to popular rap music, where women are referred to as "bitches" and "whores" in almost every sentence. Most women, I think, will judge the candidates by real world standards, not those the establishment is trying to shove down their throats. They may not like such comments, but they have to deal with them (or worse) all the time; so that's what they do. They deal with them and move on.
What I've found stunning over the past couple of days is the clear, unmistakable evidence coming out of Wikileaks that the establishment does, indeed, regard the people - those who live with that daily reality - with contempt, disdain and derision. We've always known this in theory, of course, but I've never before seen it admitted so plainly and with such bland assumptions of superiority. It's particularly evident in two of the Podesta e-mails. First, from this e-mail from Bill Ivey to John Podesta in March this year (bold, underlined text is my emphasis):
Well, we all thought the big problem for our US democracy was Citizens United/Koch Brothers big money in politics. Silly us; turns out that money isn't all that important if you can conflate entertainment with the electoral process. Trump masters TV, TV so-called news picks up and repeats and repeats to death this opinionated blowhard and his hairbrained ideas, free-floating discontent attaches to a seeming strongman and we're off and running. JFK, Jr would be delighted by all this as his "George" magazine saw celebrity politics coming. The magazine struggled as it was ahead of its time but now looks prescient. George, of course, played the development pretty lightly, basically for charm and gossip, like People, but what we are dealing with now is dead serious. How does this get handled in the general? Secretary Clinton is not an entertainer, and not a celebrity in the Trump, Kardashian mold; what can she do to offset this? I'm certain the poll-directed insiders are sure things will default to policy as soon as the conventions are over, but I think not. And as I've mentioned, we've all been quite content to demean government, drop civics and in general conspire to produce an unaware and compliant citizenry. The unawareness remains strong but compliance is obviously fading rapidly. This problem demands some serious, serious thinking - and not just poll driven, demographically-inspired messaging.
Can you believe it? An open, frank, unapologetic affirmation that the Democratic Party establishment has conspired to 'dumb down' the electorate. So much for respect for democracy!
Next, this e-mail from Jennifer Palmieri to John Podesta in April 2015:
I know [Hillary] has begun to hate everyday Americans, but I think we should use [a reference to her small business policy] once the first time she says I'm running for president because you and everyday Americans need a champion.
Again, a bald, unapologetic statement that Hillary Clinton has 'begun to hate everyday Americans'. Quite a contrast with her debate claims and other 'on-the-record' statements . . . yet one that was accepted without a word of dissent or complaint by those in the e-mail chain.
What's more, I'm willing to bet that the Republican Party establishment is currently reading those same statements and nodding their heads in agreement. They, too, appear to regard the electorate with contempt, seeing it as an entity to be manipulated in their best interests, rather than the country's. I think Hillary Clinton and her coterie are far from alone in their arrogant detachment.
Two commenters appear to agree with me, one from the perspective of American politics, the other from a broader, international perspective. First, the Z-man has words of wisdom.
The beta male pansies in the managerial class don’t know anything about this, but normal men in private like to tell dick jokes, boast about women and reminiscence about their exploits. The faggots that take up space in Official Conservatism don’t know about these things.
Watching one traitorous fink after another decry Trump’s locker room talk from a decade ago, I was reminded once again that these people were never on my side. It was always a con, a grift, to fool otherwise decent people into putting down their weapons and surrendering to the Left. Buckley-style conservatism, whatever it was, is now just a tool of the managerial class to clear the field for nation-wrecking policies to benefit the ruling elite at the expense of the middle class.
Last night, I was reminded of why Trump was able to obliterate the GOP field despite being out spent a million-to-one. He is not a pussy. Any other Republican faced with the dirty trick pulled on Friday would have gone into the debate prepared to grovel and plead, begging for a second chance. It is not all all inconceivable that he would have offered to step aside. Trump went into the debate prepared to deliver a counter bunch designed to knock the old fat cow on her ass.
It was a sterling performance that turned the tactics and strategy of the government party back onto them. If the contest is going to be a referendum on Trump’s character, then Trump is going to make a big show of exploring the character of the Clinton Gang. Having Bubba’s many sexual assault victims at the event was a missile landing directly into the weapons cache of the Clinton campaign. His demand for a special prosecutor reminded everyone of the elephant in the room.
. . .
Trump probably will not win and even if he does, it’s probably too late to avoid disaster anyway. Democracies always murder themselves. That is the lesson of history and ours will do the same, sooner rather than later. If the worst is to be avoided, then the present arrangements must be de-legitimized in order for a reform effort to have room to grow. That’s the role of Trump in the election. He the destroyer of worlds that need destroying.
When this all started, I compared Trump to the character in the Asimov Foundation series called The Mule. One way of interpreting this character is as a destroyer that sweeps away that which must be swept away in order for something better to rise in its place. That’s the Trump campaign. By cracking the Conservative Industrial Complex and challenging the legitimacy of the managerial class, he is exposing the whole thing as a racket, one which the people can no longer trust.
There's more at the link. It's well worth reading.
Finally, Nigel Farage provides a transatlantic perspective on the people, the electorate, as a whole. Bold, underlined text is my emphasis.
As the rich get richer and big companies dominate the global economy, voters all across the West are being left behind ... In the American rust belt, traditional manufacturing industries have declined, and it is to these people that Trump speaks very effectively, since they have all but given up hope of Washington.
To them must be added the small businesses and sole traders ... Every small business feels put-upon by the sheer volume and weight of regulation. Our new hyper-regulated world makes it tough for the little people to compete with the business giants. These people want deregulation, and Trump is promising them that. Many feel they have nothing to lose in voting for him.
. . .
I met many people at the [Trump] rally in Jackson, Mississippi, who had never voted in their lives. They may produce an upset similar to Brexit. It does not matter what the opinion polls, bookmakers or markets say, because these new voters are hard to measure.
. . .
I believe we are witnessing a popular uprising against failed politics on a global scale. People want to vote for candidates with personality, faults and all. It is the same in the UK, America and much of the rest of Europe. The little people have had enough. They want change.
Again, more at the link.
Voters like those identified by Mr. Farage don't care about sexist comments. They see them as relatively minor flaws compared to what the establishment has done to their country over the past several decades. They understand (correctly) that the media fuss about Mr. Trump's comments is nothing more or less than an attempt to distract them from this reality, to whip them back into the politically correct line . . . and they want none of it.
I'm not sure whether Mr. Trump can win this election. I think the 'margin of cheat' that will be deployed to stop him will probably be overwhelming. I won't be surprised if left-wing, progressive activists ensure that electoral fraud reaches historic, overwhelming proportions. Nevertheless, I agree with Mr. Farage that the vast mass of disgruntled voters out there is, indeed, "hard to measure". If there are enough of them, in enough critical states, to make a difference in the Electoral College, we may yet see the biggest establishment upset since President Lincoln's election in 1860 . . . and we all know what happened after that. The industrial Northern establishment vanquished the agrarian Southern establishment that time, albeit at ruinous cost. Who knows what may happen tomorrow?