For almost two hundred and twenty years, every president of the United States was white and male. If Hillary Clinton serves two full terms as president, that will make it sixteen years without a white guy in the White House. The prospect of that discrepancy explains Republicans’ choice of Donald Trump as their nominee, contends The New Republic’s Jeet Heer.
Hillary “is on the verge of shattering the biggest glass ceiling in American politics, yet [Trump] has made the race all about male privilege and excess. This is not an accident,” wrote Heer in a Friday piece. “Clinton’s challenge of the gender hierarchy in U.S. politics comes in the wake of President Barack Obama’s upending of its racial hierarchy. In Trump, the GOP is providing an answer to both Clinton and Obama in the form of a politician who is not just a white man, but an unabashed white man: a birther who boasts about grabbing women’s genitalia without consent. By making Trump the face of the party, the Republicans are saying, ‘Our answer to the diversity of the Democratic Party is a white man who knows how to keep women and racial minorities in their place.’”
Heer concluded (bolding added):
Many people, including Obama, have been puzzled by the fact that the party that touts family values [has] nominated a man like Trump, who is not just a lewd libertine but openly contemptuous of the social norms dictating that women be treated as human beings. But Trump’s dominance of the Republican Party makes sense when we realize that “family values” is just code for “patriarchy.” And Trump is patriarchy in its most unvarnished form, without even the mask of chivalry to humanize it. Faced with the prospect of a female president, Republicans decided not to embrace social change, as they could have done by nominating [Carly] Fiorina, but rather by embracing toxic masculinity at its ugliest.