Definition: Tempest, a violent, windy storm (Dictionary.com)
Quotes: Behind every successful man is a woman who helped him. Behind every successful woman in an army of men and women who tried to stop her. (1970’s graffiti)
Success is the ability to go from one failure to another without losing enthusiasm (Winston Churchill? Abraham Lincoln? Anon? Quote Investigator.com)
In the News: Clinton opens door to questioning legitimacy of 2016 election (Dan Merica, CNN, 9.18.17)
GOP Congressman defends Trump’s retweet of video depicting assault on Hillary Clinton (Aaron Rupar, ThinkProgress, 918.17)
Trump threatens to “totally destroy” North Korea in first U.N. speech (Ali Vitali, NBC News, 9.19.17)
In Context: Words are mightier than the sword and in the case of Donald Trump they just may be deadlier. That’s because he managed to decimate a woman who could have continued America on a path of global progress and instead inflicted his destructive backward will-to-power by hitting the country’s vulnerabilities.
Like a hurricane riding the winds of climate change, Trump blew away 16 Republican rivals in the 2016 election with the crudest of verbal assaults based on bogus facts flying in the face of reality. His full strength as a leveling force, however, was only unleashed when he met up with a woman who just could beat him.
Hillary Clinton was the presumed successor to the progressive Barack Obama, America’s first non-white president and the first non-white head of any western industrialized country. Trump launched his political career by leading the offensive “birther” movement demanding that Obama produce a birth certificate and then pronouncing the document bogus when made public with a patronizing sigh. Trump kicked off his campaign with an attack on Mexicans he called murderers and rapists. It was the starting gun for his crusade to crush Hillary and the progressive steps Obama had set in motion and she was to continue.
By the time Trump and Hillary faced off in the 2016 presidential campaign, he was infamous for attacking women based on appearance or ethnicity. Most targets were professionals, one was a beauty contest winner Trump humiliated for weight gain. Outrage at his scornful treatment of women was mild relative to the level of insult, but with Hillary he was downright brutal and the reaction was stunningly numb.
One reason why Trump’s assault on Hillary was met with such a tepid outcry was the sheer number of stunning blows Trump dealt to America during the campaign. Like fugitives caught in the path of an actual tempest such as a hurricane, the majority of Americans were disoriented by the chaos Trump created with lies, insults, calls for fisticuffs and just plain noise hogging and sapping media resources in coverage. The conduct was unthinkable in 2016 America but Trump made “bad behavior” his trademark and the base ate it up. It went wild when it came to Hillary.
The white middle class workers who made up the bulk of the Trump base had a visceral distaste for a woman in the White House, especially one whose husband had already been there and who had already been tainted by politics-as-usual. From that starting ground, Trump tailored his usual attack on women to target Hillary.
There was obviously no point in attacking Hillary on looks. She wouldn’t have cared any more than most Americans did. She was a working woman in her trademark pants suits and the various hairstyles she adopted after giving up hairbands in her first White House tenure following press chiding that the look was not elegant enough for a First-Lady. Clearly Hillary did not aspire to be the “beautiful” woman who “drew” Trump “like a magnet” and who compelled him to pop tic-tacs had an irresistible urge gripped him to molest simply because as a star they would “let him.” Like most women, Hillary knew that Trump manhandled women not because they “let him” but because for numerous reasons they simply couldn’t “not let him.”
The tested confidence based on experience that led Hillary to bid for presidency of the country made clear to Trump that he could never grope her even if she adopted the trappings he read as come-ons. Hillary was brand new territory for Trump used to women being peripheral in his narrow male dominated world of business, real estate and golf buddies. Women in Trump’s circle were largely wives, amusements or ornamental enhancements. There were exceptions but Hillary was unique.
Hillary was clearly head-and-shoulders above Trump in qualifications for the job at hand. That became all the clearer as he pummelled her and she did not go down. Every round, whether in debate, convention or press, seemed to re-ignite Trump’s well-known lust for a fight until he delivered the ultimate blow by branding Hillary “Crooked,” led a cheer to “lock her up,” and sparked a coup that did her in.
“Crooked” and “Lock her up” were catnip to the Trump base and to the mostly male Republicans catering to that portion of their voter constituency. The terms were a political mask for the deep-seated, and now long-debunked view that women were inferior to men, akin to the white supremacist view that white males were superior to all other humans. Women in Trump’s male-dominated world were either beautiful as in Emerson’s terms of “beauty is its own excuse for being,” or they were utilitarian vehicles for bearing offspring and managing the domestic arena.
In Trump’s case, it appears that women had to be both beautiful and utilitarian. Trump was no big shakes in the looks department but his three wives were. Those women also bore him five children with no loss of looks and apparently no gripes about Trump’s hands-off role in raising children, as in his boast that he’d never changed a diaper because that wasn’t his “thing.” He took charge of his children when they were adults, fit in his mind to carry on the Trump name and legacy. The success of that approach to childrearing is very publicly evident in Trump’s case.
To the disenfranchised white middle class workers who made up the majority of the Trump base, Trump just may have appealed as the hero of long lost dreams as they dealt with reality. They labored now and had wives at home who expected help with the kids, but they whistled at unattainable beauties passing by. as they worked. To the college educated white women who voted for Trump instead of Hillary, he just may have been the avenger of their own long-lost dreams.of success as they juggled the many roles of a super-Mom and negotiated with spouses for joint responsibility. If so, they quickly recognized the con and channeled anger into productive action.
Hillary was the super-Mom who came along once in a lifetime. She had raised her own daughter and had risen to a singular professional level. She had remained loyal to her life-partner through publicly trying times and she had only grown better with age, becoming ever stronger, more poised. forceful and at ease. To some, those qualities in Hillary made her untrustworthy and a political schemer but there may have been an unconscious force affecting that perception. Perhaps Hillary was the woman they would never be and the term “Crooked” was a hook for the sense that Hillary could only have achieved all she did by cheating.
Hillary has been scanned down to the bone and no evidence of cheating has been uncovered as yet. It seems she was simply a very capable woman who had met the challenges that opportunity offered. In that way, regardless of the election outcome, she paved the way for women the world over to know that they could successfully multi-task their various demanding roles. Trump, on the other hand, was a throwback to the “pale male” period of monopoly on power, a misfit who made his mark by giving voice to his rage at the modern global reality that women and minorities were encroaching on his exclusive domain.
Hillary conceded to Trump on a technicality and possibly with the help of other white macho men, but she came away with one big victory. She had let herself be political chum for Pirana Trump and in that way brought out the ugliness in him and the stale way of thinking that won him support from both the base and the conservative Republicans willing to enable Trump and his chaos in order to forestall the inevitable reality that the time had come to relinquish exclusive white male privilege and the stranglehold on power that went with it.
Body language and the demeanor it conveyed told the Trump story all along during his dealings with Hillary. He strutted loomed, bellowed and lied shamelessly. She stood steady under his tirades. She gave him a run for his money in the age-old war of the sexes and in that way brought out the infantile Trump need to show the world just who “the Donald” was. Hillary the woman brought out the “terrible twos” behavior in Trump. Pummeling her to utter shameful defeat was his Holy Grail, like the two-year old who throws a public tantrum to show the power of his turbulence over a rational mother regaining control under the judgmental eyes of by-passers who stop to gape.
Hillary was big game to Trump and beating her was a mighty trophy on his wall. It was the ultimate validation of his self-belief. It also won the loyalty of the base and that of the Republicans looking to Trump for salvation from their own doomed futures as exclusively privileged white males.
If the 2016 election was rigged, Mother Nature was the one most responsible. She trusted America to show the world how unworkable were the old methods of dealing with an interdependent world. In that vein, she debunked definitively the myth that women were more emotional than men and too emotional for serious affairs of the world beyond the home.