The other day I was listening to a radio interview and the interviewee indicated that a lot of boomer-aged American men feel as if they’ve been bypassed in society or made obsolete in our Digital Age. They represent about a third of men in our country. Whether they actively participate in or acknowledge the Good Old Boy system they have benefited from it for a long time and they see the foundations of their lifestyles and career cultures eroding out from under them. They’re not used to working for or under women. And so someone like Donald Trump appeals to this demographic.
There is the…”Little Dickie” theory that men overcompensate for minute genitalia by surrounding themselves with big and loud toys like oversized diesel pickup trucks, high caliber or expensive guns, glasspacks, ATVs, power tools, trophy wives, and annual gym memberships. There’s nothing inherently wrong with any of these things except ATVs and glasspacks (and your wife should be more than a trophy). However, possession of these things are clear symptoms of a lack of confidence in sexual or physical prowess.
I find this interesting because I myself suffer from a chronic, persistent, and debilitating lack of confidence. I doubt myself mentally and even physically most of the time. While I’m a hearty 5’9” and 190+ lbs and a lot more muscle than in my younger days, my self-concept is tainted by a couple of decades of my early life where I was hardly 140 lbs soaking wet and couldn’t fight my way out of a wet paper sack. Throw in some fairly profound myopia and poor taste in clothing and you can imagine what kind of bully-magnet I was in school. I’ve really never learned to fight, as you may remember from my most recent foray into professional sports watching. While I'm not the scrawny, geeky kid anymore I do still carry around a lot of residual baggage from that time in my life and still have a poor self-image because of it.
Ironically, I don't feel the need to assert my dominance over women. Donald Trump does not speak to me or for me. I don't feel left out of society or commerce because of minorities and women. I've done fairly well in life despite a slow pace to prosperity and some setback along the way. A lot of my problems stem from my mental health issues and therefore and not directly related to how our society treats me or mine. Of course I have my scathing critiques of how people with mental "abnormalities" are expected to behave, but I'll not digress down that rabbit hole today.
As a white male I am deeply offended by Donald Trump. I'm also deeply offended by his defenders who claim that all men talk like this and many even express that if you're a man and you you don't there must be something wrong with you. I'm offended by the women that say its just part of the way the world works and therefore you have to accept it. I don't buy that either, because as a man who does not participate in the locker room misogyny, the racism, the gross stereotyping, and the upholding of all things white male I have struggled myself to advance in my life and my career. I don't like organized sports and I end up being ostracized by my peers because I don't have a favorite team or play fantasy football. Even though the sports I enjoy take a lot more mental endurance and fortitude that some measly game on a court or field. I don't like golf and therefore don't have the opportunity to rub elbows with powerful old white men who might help me along in my career toward six figure nirvana. My intelligence and experience count for little in a world shaped by the Good Old Boy network because I refuse to play the game. And I've been chastised for my views on playing said game. If I don't play then what should I expect?
I expect that if I work hard and obey the law that perhaps I should be able to support my family without fear of losing everything I've worked for. But without the Good Old Boys that's hard to achieve and hold onto. I expect that if I treat others well and take care of my family that perhaps I should be able to live in peace according to my own unobtrusive values and beliefs. But without adhering to the Good Old Boy standard talking points I'm just a "libtard" and an "egghead intellectual."
Y'know, I maintained political independence until just this year. But I finally couldn't take it anymore. I changed my party affiliation to "democrat." It was purely in defiance to the GOP. I decided if politics in this country only work in polarity then I'd go ahead and pick sides now while there was still time. I wanted to express to the world that I abhor what the Right has done to this world. I detest that my religious beliefs have been co-opted by so called conservatives in order to garner the votes of the masses. I detest that I can't even say the phrase "social justice" without being lambasted by a wingnut cult member. I've been branded a Marxist in 2016 because I think human beings ought to be able to walk in their home towns without being run over by maniacs behind the wheels of cars.
While I lack self-confidence, I am confident that I don't need some bloviating megalomaniac acting as a spokesperson for my political concerns. I'm confident that I don't need to drive a loud pickup truck up and down Hatton Creek Road rattling the paint off of everyone's house to verify my virility. I'm confident that on a level playing field that I'm actually a normal and competent person and have a lot to offer my community. I'm not threatened by women, minorities, or tight pants.
And that's all I've got to say about that.