In the opening scene of the movie Downfall, Bruno Ganz as Hitler is shown being kind to Traudl Junge, his new and terrified secretary. It’s a brilliant scene, reminding us that Hitler the mass murdering monster was also a human being, capable of kindness. If Donald Trump was a character, a script editor would call him unbelievable and want him rewritten. Nobody is like that. Writers learn that villains have to be humanised or they become the other, unreal, inhumane.
It turns out this vain, monstrous man without any seemingly redeeming features is now the most powerful person in the world. No wonder people are scared. Drain the swamp? He is the swamp.
Like a million other people, I’m trying to make sense of the defeat of the most qualified candidate by the least qualified. And it wasn’t just angry ground down white people, as 48% of the voters earned more than $250K. It points to a deeply ingrained misogyny in the US from men and from women.
During the campaign Hillary was told to stop waving her arms about because people found it scary. She is still being judged for not changing her name over thirty years ago, for being too clever. When has any man ever been accused of being too clever? Trump attacked her for having nothing but gender. She has spent thirty years in public office. She went undercover to report on racism in education.
We’ve all heard about Trump’s bankruptcies, his racism, misogyny, vanity and cruelty. One story for me, more than anything else, tells us who Trump is. When his father died, a nephew sued over the distribution of the will. In revenge, Trump and two siblings deliberately cut off medical aid to the nephew’s baby son who had a life threatening condition.
I had a look at the Facebook page, Women for Trump and asked one woman (very politely) if she’d be happy if her daughter worked for Trump. Back came the thoughtful reply:
F**k you c***
I tried again on Christians for Trump. Even more bizarre as one of the few good things about this campaign was the candidates were not trying to Out Jesus each other. So where did Christians get the idea that Trump was a godly man? Could it have been that he promised to punish women for getting an abortion? I asked someone on the forum. Again I got a brisk response:
God don’t want lisbos.
It’s easy to mock some sections of the US electorate. Fun too.
But attacks have come from the left too. Bernie supporters were shouting Bern the witch. So Hillary is a truly democratic hate figure. Everyone hates her. What for?
For keeping her own name
For defending a man accused of raping a 12 year old girl. She was a public defender. It was her job.
For saying, during the Gennifer Flowers scandal: You know, I’m not sitting here – some little woman standing by my man like Tammy Wynette. I’m sitting here because I love him, and I respect him, and I honor what he’s been through and what we’ve been through together.
For having ambition: I suppose I could have stayed home and baked cookies and had teas, but what I decided to do was to fulfil my profession which I entered before my husband was in public life.
As Secretary of State she was personally blamed for the deaths of four US servicemen in Benghazi.
Hilary’s look had to be pared down – approachable, not too glitzy, warm, intelligent . . .but not too much . . . With fashion she can’t win. Pantsuits mean she’s trying to be a man. But when she wears more feminine clothes, ugly comments are made about her body. Page after page is written about her clothes, her hair, her makeup. Because if you’re not a cosy grandmother and you’re not hot (Trump’s definition of what women should be) then what are you? A man?
Meanwhile Trump was stomping about mocking the disabled, vomiting racist bilge, openly boasting about sexual assault, and waving his tiny little hands about, a rancid wotsit in a suit. What was he told to do? How was he ordered to behave? He won’t even pose in a certain way in case it shows the line in his weave. In the last week of the campaign, his Twitter account was taken away. The USA have given the nuclear codes to a man not trusted to run his own twitter account.
Well the government is in Republican hands now, so they can’t whine about Democrats anymore. The liberal elite they are always complaining about will have no say in the government over the next four years. You wanted it – you got it.