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May 02, 2017

Why Donald John Trump Freaks Out Half the Nation.

This morning I should be working solely on a project--interesting only to me and 5 other people on the legal earth--subtitled "Promissory Estoppel against the Government" but it may also have finally dawned on me why, in large part, so many people dislike Donald Trump and so many love him. And why that schism will continue. And why few issues will be argued on the merits or dispassionately for the next 4 years.

Donald Trump is the archetype of the roguish, reckless & in-your-face American Alpha Male who many of us--especially America's vast and varied population of moderate white liberals on the coasts and in big cities--thought we had killed off over the last 40 years. That archetype, or "those guys," were always with us in corporations, in an assortment of working class cultures, in rural areas and well virtually hiding just about everywhere but were quieter, drowned out or at least out of style for years. But they were always part of the larger and long-term culture of planet Earth. We heard their voices in the braggadocio masculinity of Beowulf, Homer, Mike Fink, Casey Jones and Davy Crockett. "This is who I am. This is who I conquered. What I did. You should know about me. There have been few men like me." These guys--and their instincts to dominate and strut around--have been around a long time.

About half of us were happy about the recent change in role models; about half missed the old school male.

Many of us raised our children to NOT be a Donald Trump; as new age parents, we raised kids to not only to respect women and all minorities but to affect an attitude at all times of inclusiveness, sensitivity and collaboration even with that conflicted with our own instincts about how selfish, warlike and unreasonable humans really are and have been for thousands of years. We Boomers asked ourselves and other generations to morally "evolve"--and evolve too quickly. You want an example? Here's one. "Empathy" in recent years has a desirable trait. The problem with that is that empathy has never been a "male trait" and we shouldn't act as if men and boys come by it that naturally. Because we don't. We are not as empathetic as women by nature. (Feel free to report me to NPR, Oberlin College and the Junior League.)

Donald Trump is in many respects merely, well (gulp), Male. No. He's no dinosaur. He's not a throwback. People who hate him and need to minimize or revile anything he does are missing something. Donald John Trump is merely an outsized and perhaps exaggerated example of what men and especially American men have been like for generations. We don't have to like it. But we do need to realize we never killed these Alpha Men off. There are lots more men like him than many thought. In recent years, they haven't been trendy; they've held back a lot.

These men--and of course many women as well--do have obvious strengths that many thought were outdated, e.g. combativeness, independence, decisiveness. Arguably, we could use those kinds of traits right now.

Posted by JD Hull at May 2, 2017 01:41 PM

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