Trump the Terrible

[Content Note: Racism; privilege.]

This fucking guy.

Yesterday, Univision and Fusion reporter Jorge Ramos was [CN: video autoplays at link] thrown out of a Donald Trump campaign event after asking a question about immigration out of turn.
Trump told Ramos, who was trying to ask about immigration during the event in Dubuque, Iowa, repeatedly to "sit down."

"You haven't been called...go back to Univision," Trump can be heard saying.
If "go back to Univision" doesn't invoke the familiar cries of "go back to Mexico" which are shouted at any Latin@ person, irrespective of their nation of origin (even when it is the United States), then you haven't been paying attention to the way Latin@ people are treated by nativist racists.

Less than an hour later, Trump "adopted broken English (and possible stereotypically Asian r/l slurring) in a campaign speech. Trump was apparently trying to mimic Japanese or Chinese businessmen."

Is that what progressive dudes mean when they tell me that Trump is "entertaining"? I'll come back to that.

In other Trump news, odious Republican pollster Frank Luntz [CN: video autoplays at link] convened a focus group of self-identified Trump fans and discovered that, in news that ought to surprise no one, they are a terrifically scary lot.
"I think America is pissed. Trump's the first person that came out and voiced exactly what everybody's been saying all along," one man said. "When he talks, deep down somewhere you're going, 'Holy crap, someone is thinking the same way I am.'"

..."When Trump talks, it may not be presented in a pristine, PC way, but we've been having that crap pushed to us for the past 40 years!" said another man. "He's saying what needs to be said."

..."We know his goal is to make America great again," a woman said. "It's on his hat. And we see it every time it's on TV. Everything that he's doing, there's no doubt why he’s doing it: it's to make America great again.”
It's on his hat!!!

Luntz showed the focus group a series of videos showcasing instances of Trump's "misogyny, political flip flops, and awe-inspiring braggadocio," and, far from diminishing their ardor, the videos only elevated their devotion: "At the end of the session, the vast majority said they liked Trump more than when they walked in."

As for Trump, he continues to bask in the golden glow of adoration from people like those in attendance at the focus group and called Luntz "a low class slob." Perfect.

* * *

Meanwhile, ostensibly progressive straight white cis dudes continue to be delighted by Trump's campaign. Here, for example, is actor and "staunch liberal" Owen Wilson in a recent interview:
"Like everybody, I watched the GOP debates—and I don't know the last time I watched debates," he marveled. "It's usually almost like a football game—when it gets down to the final two, now we're going to watch the Democrat versus the Republican. But to watch this early on, when they've got 15 people on the stage, it would never have happened unless Trump was there."

There's a reason Trump is winning the media game right now with his brash headline-grabbing wizardry. "You can't help but get a kick out of him, and I think part of it is we're so used to politicians on both sides sounding like actors at press junkets—it's sort of by rote, and they say all the right things," Wilson laughed. "So here's somebody who's not following that script. It's like when Charlie Sheen was doing that stuff—like, wow! He's answering a question completely honestly, and in an entertaining way. You sort of feel he could be a character from Network."

The Dallas-born Wilson got a shade more serious pondering Trump's problematic border politics. "I don't know if I'm not taking it as seriously as I should," he said. "But when he said he was going down to the border and he showed up at a press conference and said, 'Now I'm going out to the border and I hope I'll see you later'—sort of suggesting that it was so dangerous that 'Who knows if I'll see you later'… I don't know, it was just funny to me. The guy is a showman. You have to sort of get a kick out of the guy. It is entertaining, for sure. That's why people are tuning in."
That shit, right there, is part of how rightwing extremism takes hold in this country—the mirthful indifference of super privileged men, who see naught but the entertainment value in extremist rhetoric, because they will never be the targets of the social policies it underwrites.

Further, men like Trump who disgorge undecorated bigotry are seen, even by these progressive men, as telling the truth, as "answering a question completely honestly," while progressive activists—whether it's #BlackLivesMatter activists telling truths about their lives living under white supremacy, or pro-choice activists telling truths about abortion and contraception and their own experiences with reproductive healthcare services, or feminist/womanist activists telling truths about their lives in a patriarchal system, or anti-rape activists telling truths about the rape culture and/or surviving sexual violence, or fat acceptance activists telling truths about their lives and their choices and their realities in a fat-hating society, or anyone else—are incessantly questioned and challenged and disbelieved and audited by these same privileged progressive men who hail Trump as a truth-teller.

I can't get through a single damn day without telling the truth about my lived experiences and getting pushback from some progressive bro who thinks he knows my life better than I do, but Trump—Donald fucking Trump!—is a truth-telling hero whose refusal to sugarcoat his rank prejudice is an entertaining spectacle for the same bros.

Get your shit together, progressive dudes. Because I see you—and what I'm seeing is nothing that looks like someone who's on my team, despite the fact you're constantly telling me otherwise.

As I said recently, while calling out similar statements by Bryan Cranston: It isn't straight white cis men at whose expense comes Donald Trump's contemptible rhetoric about women, people of color, immigrants, and others (not mutually exclusive groups). Professing delight at being able to sit back and laugh at Trump's campaign is indicative of profound privilege which has not been subjected to the most cursory examination.

There are plenty of news stories about how Trump will tear apart conservatives, but I daresay he's straining the already-frayed seams among progressives, too.

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