Bob Franken


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This is going to get me in trouble, but I believe that the New York Times piece that spent a major amount of space detailing how Donald Trump is a sleazebag relic from the Male Chauvinist Pigdom nevertheless was a huge waste of resources. We knew all that.
Let’s face it: The Donald is not a young man. He dates back to a time when objectifying women was considered an honorable pursuit for a guy, where usually the main feature of the relationship was getting the reluctant female into his bed. Since time immemorial we’ve discovered that when we got up close, our most revered heroes were really quite ordinary; they took their pants off the same way as you and I do. The political realm has always been for those who prowl the Male Chauvinist Pigdom.
It is true that The Trumpster resembles the guys in “Mad Men” — although he’s not as pretty — but at the same time he was being a sexually regressive dirtbag, he was being a gender-progressive boss, promoting women who could tolerate his juvenile comments and attitudes. They thrived in his domain even as he was treating others like mannequins, there to endure his blustery innuendo. It was a power imbalance, of course, but he is not the first one who seeks to lead the nation who was a total fool when it came to relations with the opposite sex.
How different is he than Bill Clinton or John Kennedy or FDR in that regard? Nevertheless, the New York Times piece about Trump’s boorishness was the most read political article of the year, according to the Times. So it wins out over the hundreds of stories about Donald Trump’s lies, ignorance, racist rants and various simple-minded positions on just about everything that many feel could plunge the world into chaos or worse.
Never mind all that. We prefer reading about how Trump scored, or tried to. For all the controversy about the article, it has been met by his supporters with the same shoulder shrug as all the others. They are so angry at the system that they adore anyone who rants against it. They also have such contempt for Hillary Clinton that they will follow anyone who is an alternative.

To his perverse credit, Donald Trump is not treating Hillary any differently than he has his male opponents. He insults her every chance he gets, blasting her with the same nonstop intensity he employed while dispatching the guys who were seeking the same nomination.
So far he’s drawn her blood. The gap between Clinton and Trump, according to the polls, has dwindled to nothingness. Part of that is due to the help he’s getting from Bernie Sanders, who refuses to go down without a fight. But Trump’s biggest enabler has been Hillary Clinton herself, whose awkward, tentative campaign style has turned the unthinkable — a Trump presidency — into thinkable.
In fairness, Hillary’s attention is divided. While she would like to pretend she’s ignoring Sanders, she really cannot. Assuming The Bern finally fizzles out and party unity rises from the ashes, then we’ll have the real Donald-Hillary smackdown. It will be Mano-a-Womana, with Hillary Clinton sharing a gender with half the voters.
Her bloated retinue of advisers is already plotting how to take on Trump’s bombardment, which, true to form, will be gender-neutral and Twitter nuclear. Perhaps that’s when the Democrats can seriously mock his slogan “Make America Great Again.” The question is, “great” for whom? Does he want to return to a not-so-distant past where women were not taken seriously, beyond their looks? It certainly will be a sharp contrast between a candidate seeking to be the first woman president and one who represents life in the Male Chauvinist Pigdom.

© 2016 Bob Franken
Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.

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