Stars, Stripes, & Selfies: The Women Who Love Donald Trump

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Tod Kelly

Tod is a writer from the Pacific Northwest. He is also serves as Executive Producer and host of both the 7 Deadly Sins Show at Portland's historic Mission Theatre and 7DS: Pants On Fire! at the White Eagle Hotel & Saloon. He is  a regular inactive for Marie Claire International and the Daily Beast, and is currently writing a book on the sudden rise of exorcisms in the United States. Follow him on Twitter.

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41 Responses

  1. Avatar trizzlor says:

    And the most amazing thing about the above list of sexist and misogynistic statements by Mr. Trump is that this list is just a very small tip of a very large iceberg. In-between the time I write these words and this magazine turns up in your hands, the Republican nominee will likely have added at least a dozen more such slurs to his resume.

    If ever there was a safe bet.Report

  2. “What do you say about a religion where, if you’re devout enough, you want to kill people? “

    You say “I didn’t expect a kind of Spanish Inquisition”.Report

    • Avatar Jean Meslier says:

      Nobody ever expects the Spanish Inquisition. Interestingly, among their chief weapons are fear, surprise, and fanatical devotion. Also, ruthless efficiency, although I fear that’s far too much to expect from a Trump administration.Report

  3. Avatar Chip Daniels says:

    Beautifully written, Tod.

    Reading it, what came to me is the connection between the supermodel type anti-feminists that you describe who shrewdly see more advantage in being a Trumpian arm candy existence, and the Cheryls who lament that they are losing their second-to-the-bottom rung status, and the nationalists fearful of a Muslim horde.

    Its sort of a dark Darwinian vision of the world, where they see every interaction as a desperate scramble for supremacy and scarce resources. There is always an enemy horde waiting outside the gates, always some scheming competitor waiting to dethrone and cast us aside.

    For me, the lesson here is how to frame my own opinions in such a way as to not be just a mirror image of “they’re coming to take our stuff!” re-written with different villains.Report

    • Avatar Kazzy says:

      Ultimately, do we see the “anti-feminists that you describe who shrewdly see more advantage in being a Trumpian arm candy existence” as causes, symptoms, or victims?Report

      • Avatar Stillwater says:

        Re: anti-feminists:

        I think there’re two ways to be viewed as anti-feminist. One is a “either you’re with us or you’re agin us” logic adopted by putative feminsts where there’s no distinction between being “not-pro” and “not caring”. The other is to actively oppose the ideological view. I think lots of Trumpers (not all, to be sure) are folks who are in the first camp in that they think women should be allowed (ie., have the freedom) to be sexually objectified if that’s what they choose, and doing so isn’t “anti-women” even tho it’s clearly “anti-feminist” (in a pretty standard conception of that term).

        By saying that I’m not presenting myself as an expert on feminism, since I’m clearly not. The comment is more about the logic of being an “ismatist” than anything specifically feminist-matist.Report

        • Avatar Kazzy says:

          Your isms and matists lost me. Which is probably on me.

          My broader point is that sometimes we see women behaving badly amd we shit on them for it while ignoring how they were conditioned to behave that way.Report

          • Avatar Stillwater says:

            Kazzy,

            I agree, but that’s not the whole story. My point was that sometimes women choose to act that way. At least, that’s how I see lots of Trump supporters seeing it.

            Hell, I see it that way too.Report

            • Avatar Stillwater says:

              Elaborating on that:

              The tension is that if feminism is an ideology that empowers women, it should* empower them to make a choice to use their sexuality to their advantage, or to stay barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen, and so on. If it doesn’t, then those commitments aren’t about freedom as much as an imposition of a world view.

              *Insofar as feminism is a liberation theory.Report

              • Avatar Zac Black says:

                Stillwater:
                Elaborating on that:

                The tension is that if feminism is an ideology that empowers women, it should* empower them to make a choice to use their sexuality to their advantage, or to stay barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen, and so on. If it doesn’t, then those commitments aren’t about freedom as much as an imposition of a world view.

                *Insofar as feminism is a liberation theory.

                Whenever I see this phrase, it always makes me wonder: was there a time in American history in which we did not allow women to wear shoes?Report

          • Avatar Stillwater says:

            And adding some more:

            they were conditioned to behave that way.

            I think that’s the crux of the issue. The idea that “roles” are determined by conditioning rather than choice is a distinctly liberal view, it seems to me.Report

            • Avatar Kazzy says:

              I think it’s both-and. Disentangling choice from conditioning is really hard. Ideally we’d criticize the choices while maintaining room for empatht.Report

              • Avatar DensityDuck says:

                “Disentangling choice from conditioning is really hard. ”

                Tell us more about how you see women as mindless automatons.Report

              • Avatar Kazzy says:

                Tell me more about how what I said indicates I think anything of the sort.Report

              • Avatar DensityDuck says:

                You used the word “conditioning”. That’s not something that implies “free choice knowingly made”Report

              • Avatar Stillwater says:

                On the other hand, it implies that even tho a person’s claims more/less logically entail X, the fact that they don’t explicitly hold X in their minds provides all-important wiggle room.Report

              • Avatar RTod says:

                DensityDuck:
                You used the word “conditioning”.That’s not something that implies “free choice knowingly made”

                I honestly can’t tell if you’re purposefully be a troll here, or if you’re just doing it accidentally.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater says:

                I think he’s just applying the standard definition of the term, Tod.Report

              • Avatar Zac Black says:

                Pretending you don’t know the difference between denotation and connotation in order to make a point doesn’t make you clever, it just makes you an asshole.Report

      • Avatar Chip Daniels says:

        Villainy isn’t about what we hold as a creed, its about how we behave towards others.

        In every movement, there are people who see disadvantages to the destruction of the old regime, and can’t see themselves in the new one.

        I guess its when we fail to see the validity of other people’s perspective, and dismiss their concerns, when we could find room for coexistence that things turn ugly.Report

    • Avatar Tod Kelly says:

      Thanks, Chip.

      I think there’s another lesson to be learned here, by liberals and Democrats: that by mocking and demonizing people, you lose the ability to bring those people along into your tent, and you lessen the chances of them re-assessing their more destructive points of view.Report

      • Avatar DensityDuck says:

        The assumption, of course, being that you want and need those people inside your tent.

        Maybe what we’ve been seeing in the past few years is the realization that when your coalition has 50.5% of the county you don’t have to give two shits what the other 49.5% thinks.Report

  4. Avatar Stillwater says:

    Great piece of writing and reporting, Tod. Outstanding.

    Adding: after I ruminate on it a bit I may have something clear to say about what you present, but for now it struck me as a meditation on the dynamics animating Trumpism and how disjointed, seemingly incoherent and often contradictory those forces are. Good stuff.Report

  5. Avatar North says:

    Man that’s some exquisite writing my Todd. Crazier than a bag full of hyenas on crank is going to be one of my go-to phrases going forward.Report

  6. Avatar Tod Kelly says:

    Kazzy:
    Ultimately, do we see the “anti-feminists that you describe who shrewdly see more advantage in being a Trumpian arm candy existence” as causes, symptoms, or victims?

    Or perhaps, just people?

    I would argue that it’s neither accurate nor fair to describe them as villains, heroines, or victims. Having met and talked with the people I did, I think trying to do so works only in the sense of trying to squeeze them into a political narrative.

    Which isn’t to say that the larger social dynamics don’t exist; they do. But the dynamics exist for everyone, all the time, and we all make good and poor decisions throughout our life.

    I think it’s best to acknowledge those dynamics, and to understand that they have a human cost and so fight or promote those dynamics. But I think you also need to treat the people sweet up in it with a measure of empathy.

    If this answer sounds glib or incomplete, it’s probably because your question is a complicated one, and likely deserves a much longer post.Report

  7. Good piece, Tod, especially with the work you put into it. What I like best about the piece was this quote:

    When talking with Hughes, it’s hard not to imagine a bizarro-world Trump campaign, one which hired her to be in charge of the Manaforts, Stones, and Lewandowskis, rather than to be the person charged with constantly cleaning up their messes. One in which Trump defers to her instincts and expertise, where she mentors press secretary and political neophyte Hope Hicks and the rest of Trump’s inner-circle in how to effectively communicate with a press that is charged with covering them. And if you are a die-hard, blue-state, donkey-loving Democrat, you should get down on your knees and thank the Goddess almighty for the sheer impossibility of that scenario. Because that Donald Trump campaign would be absolutely crushing Hilary Clinton right now.

    While I’m not sure about “absolutely crushing,” it certainly would give her a better run for her money. There was a point early in the debate where, very briefly, it looked to me that Trump might sway to the non-Trump part of his personality and actually do the appropriate “I’m not as scary as you might of thought I was” signalling that he would need to do to if he wants to stay viable in the race. He ultimately couldn’t manage that. But he might have, just as he might have hired a stronger campaign. Even if Clinton wins by a landslide, this election might therefore have proved to be too close for comfort.Report

  8. Avatar Jaybird says:

    As someone who does not believe in a deity, the whole distinction between “religion” and a non-religion ideology strikes me as somewhat arbitrary.

    Look at, say, National Socialism.
    I’m pretty sure that we’re all comfortable saying that the world is better off without it.

    If you assume, as I do, that Mohammad did not, in fact, receive the Koran from the Archangel Gabriel and was not, in fact, inspired by Allah to do the various things he ended up doing… then you find yourself with the opportunity to compare Islam to non-Religion ideology and figuring out how it stacks up.

    Of course, if you believe in a God, all bets are off. Maybe there *IS* an Allah. Maybe He sent his Messenger, Gabriel, to Mohammad and dictated a book. Sure.

    If you don’t believe in a God, though, you find yourself wondering what the difference is between a religion and a non-religion ideology. And why “oh, but it’s a religion” is a protection against certain criticisms when those same criticisms would be perfectly appropriate against, say, any given non-religious ideology you might care to name.Report

    • Avatar DensityDuck says:

      “If you don’t believe in a God, though, you find yourself wondering what the difference is between a religion and a non-religion ideology. ”

      Although, of course, you should be very careful about thinking the reverse.Report

      • Avatar El Muneco says:

        “If you do believe in a God, though, you find yourself wondering what the difference is between a religion and a non-religion ideology. ”
        This strikes me as being very healthy, much more so than our common discourse. Religious people have just as much trouble understanding the mindset of the non-religious, if not more – famously, the non-religious are paradoxically often more conversant in religious tenets than believers.
        This strikes me as something devoutly to be wished, rather than carefully avoided.Report

        • Avatar Jaybird says:

          famously, the non-religious are paradoxically often more conversant in religious tenets than believers

          I think that this is looking at a very narrow sample set here.

          If we wanted to ask non-religious folks about, say, the difference between Shia and Sunni, I reckon we’d find that they’d do about as well as the Christians. (Making the occasional exception for the hobbyist type.)Report

          • Avatar NoPublic says:

            To be fair, though, many if not most Christians couldn’t tell you the difference between a Methodist and a Lutheran, let alone the tapestry of Baptist sects.Report

  9. the non-partisan think tank Presidential Gender Watch (PGW)

    Definitely not my favorite PGW.Report

    • Instead of using police or private security, the Trump camp is using members of the group Bikers for Trump, a loose affiliation of motorcycle gangs who support the Donald.

      Hey, it worked for the Rolling Stones.Report

  10. “Ready for my interview anytime, Mr. Kelly.”

    “I am big. It’s the blogs that got small.”Report

  11. Avatar El Muneco says:

    Today I was surprisingly matched on a dating site with a quite attractive woman who chose in her profile photo to wear a Trump cap.
    I suspect she’ll be disappointed with the results of soliciting swipes to the right.Report