Trump’s smearing of four minority Congresswomen and the related racist chanting at his Klan rally in South Carolina had one positive effect. It overshadowed any rifts between the squad and Speaker Pelosi, and brought the Democratic party together in collective outrage. Trump tried to walk his comments back, but then Fox infotainment chided him, so he returned to his original racist stance, arguing that criticism coming from the squad meant “they hated America” and warning that nobody criticizes America on his watch. “These women have said horrible things about our country and the people of our country,” claimed Trump, ignoring all the horrible things he’s said about our country and its people. It was okay to hate America when Obama was President…because Obama wasn’t white. But criticize America now and you’re criticizing Emperor Trump!
As usual, Trump’s words were obscene and inflammatory, and put the lives of non-white Americans at risk, but it’s important to acknowledge another dimension of Trump’s smears. He saves most of his attacks, and certainly most of his political rage, for Democratic women. There are plenty of minority men in Congress that Trump could be attacking, but it’s women he most disdains, whether Hillary Clinton or Rosie O’Donnell or Maxine Waters or the squad. Racism is at the core of Trumpism, but so is misogyny.
Trump and his cult don’t want to live in a world where women have financial freedom and sovereignty over their own bodies. They don’t want to compete against women in the workplace on equal footing. They don’t want to live in a world of compromise. And they don’t want to live in a world where their sexual advances and aggressions come with consequences and opprobrium. Trump and his ilk want to live in a world where men not only have physical leverage over women, but also economic, social and sexual leverage over women. That’s why their party has railed against the women’s movement and feminism from the start, and it’s why they reflexively demonize all female Democrats. It was a twenty-year project with Hillary Clinton, and the same awful slurs and rumors and memes they concocted about her resurface when any female Democrat emerges on the national stage. Michelle Obama, Ilhan Omar, Elizabeth Warren, Amy Klobuchar and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez will all be tarred as evil, baby-killing witches by Trump’s Republican party if they haven’t already. “There’s just something about her I don’t like” is usually code for “I hate powerful women, don’t you?”
The 2020 election is going to be a difficult battle. Even though Trump has demeaned millions of Americans and debased his office and caused scandal after scandal, he can win another term if he wins two or more of these states: Pennsylvania, Florida, Michigan and Wisconsin. He’s deeply unpopular in New York and California, but it’s going to be hard to beat him in at least three of those swing states. Nate Cohn in The New York times published a deep dive into this scenario and it’s troubling. Here’s an excerpt:
The president’s relative advantage in the Electoral College could grow even further in a high-turnout election, which could pad Democratic margins nationwide while doing little to help them in the Northern battleground states. It is even possible that Mr. Trump could win while losing the national vote by as much as five percentage points.
Here’s the link:
Our task in the coming year is twofold. Retain Democratic control of the NY-19 Congressional seat and help battleground states increase Democratic turnout (and/or help depress Republican turnout). Activists can also earn bonus Patriot points for helping Democrats to flip the Senate.
The Trump presidency has been an exhausting, horrifying, non-stop siege. It’s easy to feel fatalistic and lose motivation. But the stakes are too high. We’ve come this far. We’ve flipped our district from red to blue. And there remains one huge challenge ahead of us. Keep resisting and keep working to “vote his ass out of office.”