Below is an email I sent in January 2016 (before I was fully on board the Trump Train) to Canadian journalist Heather Mallick, in response to a piece she had written for the Toronto Star.
Yesterday I read your “Republican Women’s Puzzling Embrace of Trump” piece on the Toronto Star’s web site. On the outside chance that you are genuinely curious, I thought I’d take a shot at sharing some rationale with you.
I think a lot of the attraction is primal. Many (certainly not all) women prefer strong, Alpha males. They want a man’s man. Chris Christie is the only other man’s man on the Republican side. Obama is not a man’s man. He is like an asexual nerd. Bill Clinton was a lady’s man. He is not highly respected among men. George W. Bush was a boy’s man. He fancied himself as an Alpha dog, but he never really grew up, and was perhaps the most bumbling fool ever to hold the office.
Presidential politics is pendular. After the wimpy Carter, we got the Alpha Reagan. After the fuddy duddy Bush 41, we got the young, dynamic Clinton. After the smart, womanizing Clinton, we got simpleton family man Bush 43. After the militarily impulsive, simple-minded, aristocratic Bush 43, we got the measured, intelligent, self-made Obama. After the sterile, wonky, effeminate, painfully politically correct Obama, we get brash, ballsy, fiery Trump.
The time is ripe for Trump. Political correctness has infiltrated so much of modern American life, like poison gas. Trump is going around the house, throwing open the sashes, letting fresh air into many stagnant rooms. Yes, he can certainly be vulgar. His behavior is very disruptive. But our society badly needs disruption. Trump is giving voice to massive, long-suppressed frustration. It is far better to ventilate these things in the political process than to wait until they boil over.
I predict, as there were “Reagan Democrats” in the ’80’s, there will be a unique phenomenon this year: Trump Women. Women who are sick and tired of sissy, beta males. Women who want men to be strong and take charge. It is primal. It is not cerebral. You are in a cerebral profession. The answer to your puzzlement does not lie there, amongst the polite, witty cocktail party conversation of your chattering colleagues.
Did you listen to Trump’s recent radio spot featuring his daughter Ivanka talking about her dad? Feminists will have a hard time swatting that one down. Most feminist women I know had absent or ineffectual or abusive fathers growing up. Ivanka’s father was doting and protective and told her she could do anything she put her mind to. It is the stuff of fairy tales. I believe deep down, most women wish they had a King for a dad. A powerful protector like Ivanka had. Trump is archetypal in this respect.
We project our fantasies onto our presidents. Obama was Moses! Do you remember all the high falutin’ promises he made? How he was going to deliver the Promised Land to us? I drank the Kool-aid at the time. I was very excited by his candidacy. And I knew deep down, even as I was drinking it, that it was a lot of talk. It was style. I knew there was no way he could deliver on all those promises. I knew he was using emotion and symbolism to get himself elected. Still, it was mesmerizing.
The sober part of me just wanted an end to the reckless military adventurism of Bush 43.
But even after correcting for the initial emotion of the Obama candidacy, I still am very disappointed in him. I think he has fostered racial tension and black people in America are worse off for it. I hold him partially responsible for the tremendous misery of Syria and Libya. I want a president who does not meddle in other countries, who does not foolishly believe that democracy can be some kind of panacea everywhere, who does not take sides in foreign civil wars. Who values stability before the chimera of democracy. Between Bush 43 and Obama, the body count of this exported American idealism is very, very high, perhaps over a million people dead. That is unacceptable and immoral. Criminal, even. I am deeply ashamed of my country’s legacy in the Arab world in the last 15 years.
Trump’s stated policy of leaving dictators alone is the most compassionate, because fewer people die that way. It is simple, compassionate pragmatism. Do not go around kicking hornets’ nests. It is foolish and cruel. And wasteful.
But there I go being cerebral! Trump’s appeal is partly cerebral, and partly primal. We want balls. Domestically, America needs balls. We need to stop tiptoeing around sensitive topics, for fear of offending. This fear of offending has become toxic and crippling. And we need brains. Pragmatic, non-idealistic foreign engagement. We need balls and brains mixed together. They need not be mutually exclusive.
I believe, like Reagan and Obama, Trump is an unstoppable archetype. Barring some catastrophe, he will be President.
Thanks for reading. Perhaps some part of it will resonate with you.