That’s the missing puzzle piece. Oh, sure, you may be saying to yourself, but which puzzle?
In order to explain that, I shall have to back up a bit. Let’s go back to early November, 2016. I have to admit that I was shocked that more than a few hundred people in America would support Trump.
Over time, I’ve come to realize that people support Trump for a number of different reasons including:
- They’ve replaced their (difficult to live up to) Christianity with Trumpism which instead actually celebrates the “sins” of Christianity. They don’t support Trump despite the fact that he grabs women by the privates, is unfaithful, swears, ducked the military through fraud, made his money through fraud, or that he lies through his teeth constantly. They support Trump precisely because of these things.
- Some may believe they are on a “team” with Trump and it would be disloyal to switch teams no matter what he does. Of course, a look at Trump’s actual behavior makes it obvious that he feels zero loyalty. “Loyalty” never crosses his mind except that he knows it’s a button he can sometimes push to get compliance from some people.
- Some substantial number of folks don’t think politicians really ever do much that actually impacts their lives. Red, Green, or Blue — it’s all hot air. Mostly, they just drone on about stuff. But Trump? He’s fun to watch!
- Of course, some do support him because they don’t just excuse his racism; they are simpatico with his racism. Or, his misogyny, or his xenophobia, or his homophobia. Or, whatever the hate target du jour is.
- Among the extremely wealthy and powerful, there may be a handful who actually calculate that Trump will be good for them personally. They already have all the power and wealth they could possibly need but that makes them rather bored. So, they play a game to keep themselves amused. That game costs millions of lives. But that just makes it more fun. And, in the service of doing well in that game, they see Trump as an ally.
But even with all of that, there’s a missing segment. And, none of these, or even all of them together quite explains the ecstatic and joyful pain that I see on so many faces among his crowds. Don’t get me wrong. I don’t have anything against joy. And, many politicians have enthusiastic crowds, but this is of a different character. True enough, some just stare blankly ahead. But some have a kind of fire in their eyes and it is not the fire of patriotism. Hold that image and let’s turn for a moment to a seemingly unrelated question.
Why would so many conservative politicians rail so noisily against gay rights, gay marriage, and — in short — gays? Of course, many of them who scream the loudest actually turn out to be gay, but that’s another story. What if the reason they hate gay behavior is that they want the energy of male attraction — including homoerotic energy — to be funneled in a different direction – toward submission of a social/sexual nature – to the next person up the chain of command?
For some people, this kind of subservience makes human relationships much less baffling. I must kiss up to the person I’m under but I get to screw over all the people below me. That’s what they love about a hierarchy. It’s a sado-masochistic orgy laid atop the work that must actually get done. Not so many years ago, industrialized societies mainly had very gender-segregated job sites. The men had their homosexual hierarchies and the women had theirs.
In fact, this aspect of our society is so pervasive, even to this day, that we regularly refer to acts of aggression and dominance with words that are meant to define sexual behavior. “Oh, yeah?! Well, F*** Y**!” This is really rather perverted when you think about it. Sex evolved to speed up diversity and ensure the survival of the next generation. It’s kind of a sacred. In the best case scenario, it’s a mutual, shared, beautiful thing as well. So, why hurl about sexual words as though sex is hurtful and aggressive?
Because for some people, it’s all about power. That, for them is sex and the proper way to have sex is also for one person to have complete power. Such folks could be impassioned by a vision that includes all sorts of perversions that the dream of being powerful enough to impose on someone else.
This dynamic is not just with wild-eyed rally attenders. It’s also true of the professional politicians. According to this hypothesis, Mitch and Lindsey don’t just submit to Trump’s craziness because they are afraid he’ll call them names or ruin their re-election chances. They actually get off on being subservient to a tyrant. In much the same way, Trump doesn’t only submit to Putin because Putin’s got dirt on him. Trump enjoys it! It satisfies his Dick-tater envy. Putin, you see, gets to do anything he wants. If he had a friend procure 13 year old girls, nobody would dare cross him about it. If journalist tell the truth about Putin, they might just wind up dead. Trump pines for the day that AmeriKKKa will be completely under his “thumb.” He doesn’t want anyone to “stand up to him.” Everyone should bow down and bend over. Everyone should be on their knees. And, for some people, the thought of this is actually exciting. Many others find it completely disgusting, but that just makes it more exciting for those who are into that sort of thing.
Those who find it disgusting fail to see that Trump’s obesity and lack of character and shallowness and ugliness and cruelty do not detract from his appeal; they add to it. If he were young and handsome, like Trudeau, say, it wouldn’t increase his base or increase the passion they feel. It would diminish it. That’s the “sex” piece of the puzzle.
It’s not actual sex of course. But that doesn’t make it any less powerful. The multi-billion dollar porn industry in the USA is alive and well. Estimates vary wildly about annual revenues, but they vary from 7 to 97 billion dollars. Of course, sexual fantasy and innuendo are rampant throughout much of the larger 1/4 trillion dollars of overall advertising. So, just because the sexual fantasies don’t play out in reality doesn’t mean they can’t be powerful.
You wouldn’t be surprised to learn that this plays a part in the passion that some fans have for rock stars such as the Beatles. They were talented! But they were also rich and famous. For the most part, people would fantasize because they found the Beatles (or sometimes one of them) attractive on multiple dimensions. But when people see themselves as a failure, someone unattractive may seem to be someone they are more deserving of. If someone has deep guilt, then, being forced to engage in sex with someone unattractive and mean is more degrading and therefore more satisfying. For some, being humiliated or humiliating someone else is a turn-on.
Incidentally, you’re free to have any fantasies you want, sexual or otherwise. You are free, in our country, to go to Putin’s Puppet’s rallies and fantasize about being his slave. I don’t care. But be aware that on-lookers know what’s behind the chanting and screaming.
On a happier note, here are my hopes.
- Some folks will find something deep within themselves — perhaps God — and realize they are fighting on the side of the devil. They will renounce Trumpism and go back to being Christian.
- Folks will review all the people that Trump has betrayed. Then, they will say to themselves, “Gee, if he’s betrayed all those people maybe he won’t stand by me even though I went to a rally and bought a red hat.”
- Folks will tire of the Trump Show and find something less boring. It’s like living next to the El. At first, you think you’ll never sleep again. But gradually you get used to the noise or the lies or the treason and it’s less entertaining every day.
- Some folks will read my wonderful essay on labelism and immediately shafts of golden sunshine will stream down through the cathedral windows and they will see how literally silly it is to judge people totally on their category.
- Very rich folks will realize that if they act on the wrong side of saving our ecosystem, they will lose.
- I am hopeful that folks in the base will find actual romantic love and won’t feel such a strong need for fantasy. Failing that, perhaps they’ll find other fantasies that are more satisfying; e.g. —- ?