First, a couple of bits of anecdotal evidence.
On the Anthony Cumia podcast, Ann Coulter says that several women whom she’s met socially—presumably privileged urbanites—are voting for Biden because they find Trump “icky.”
A pro-Trump friend of mine receives a post-debate e-mail from his sister, a rich Stanford Business School graduate, who asks: “I truly hope you are still not thinking of voting for this imbecile. If you are, I honestly can’t imagine why. If you can explain it to me, I’m listening.”
Yes, just two bits of evidence. But as any Trump supporter knows, Coulter’s female interlocutors are legion. As is my friend’s sister. In fact they’re part of a huge cohort of high-income but low-information ideologues who tend to live in enclaves of coastal or urban or college-town privilege in which pretty much everyone they know—or, at least, every one of their female friends—hates Trump.
Because he’s “icky.” And an “imbecile.”
Note that these appraisals make no reference to policy positions or past achievements. There’s no mention of NATO, ISIS, the VA, job numbers, criminal-justice reform, peace in the Middle East and Balkans, or any of the rest of it.
Because these are women who are well enough off, and removed enough from concerns about the military or terrorism, that their lives, at least as far as they can see, are unaffected by such matters.
(Coulter reported that she asked one of those anti-Trump women: “What about the riots?” The reply: “What riots?”)
No, these women—call them the ladies who lunch—know nothing. Nothing about politics, anyway. Their reactions to Trump are entirely aesthetic. Even when they react to him with explosions of irrational rage—as is often the case—that rage has nothing whatsoever to do with his presidential record. Indeed, the more visibly crazed they are by him, the more likely it is that they’re voicing a response that’s totally visceral.
One thing you can be sure of about these women is that they think of themselves as smart. Very smart. Incredibly smart. The ease with which they dismiss as an idiot this man who has succeeded spectacularly in multiple fields—and, against all odds, incidentally, become the leader of the free world—is a reflection of their absolute confidence in their own superior intelligence. They definitely consider themselves smarter than Trump’s supporters, upon whom, with Hillary Clinton, they look down as “deplorables.”
And yet despite their high view of their own intellectual gifts, they’re prepared to cast a presidential vote based entirely on a visceral response to a superficial trait. On personality.
When they’re not calling Trump dumb, and thereby proclaiming their own wisdom, they’re couching their responses to Trump in moral terms, the implication being that they themselves as pillars of virtue. But virtue has nothing to do with it either.
No, none of this is about intelligence or virtue. It’s about snobbery in regard to the shallowest of personal attributes—a profound and powerful snobbery of the kind that, as we’ve all seen, can trigger years’ worth of rage in the kind of woman who believes that her country’s head of state is, in the most superficial of ways, her inferior.
Election Day 2016
For virtually all of these women, needless to say, Trump-hatred has its roots in the trauma of Election Day 2016, when they fully expected America’s first black president to be succeeded by its first woman president. Doubtless they were unaware that Obama had, in fact, been a horrible president, but that didn’t matter either. Their love of Obama was all about melanin, just as their enthusiasm for Hillary was all about genitalia. In short, purely superficial considerations.
Going beyond the sheer shock of November 8, 2016, you could probe further into the specific psychological origins of these women’s condescending attitudes toward Trump. Some of them are originally from modest backgrounds, and, like the first-generation Denver nobs who are undone by the brash, exuberant vulgarity of the newly rich Molly Brown in “The Unsinkable Molly Brown,” they recoil at the sight of Trump precisely because he reminds them of their humble origins.
Or else they’re lesbians who hate Trump for the same reason that they hate any Alpha male. Of course, it’s not just lesbians who recoil from the sight of an Alpha male. These days such repulsion is bred into all women of a certain stamp.
(And it’s not just women, either, who shrink from Trump’s Alpha-maleness. Among those who are uncomfortable with it are suburban Beta males—the Betas who brunch?—whose delicate childhood upbringings and pricey college brainwashing have taught them to view a man like Trump as nothing more or less than an ever-flowing fountain of unsettling microaggressions.)
Then there are the many women who come from ethnic and regional backgrounds which make Trump seem to them frighteningly alien. Do you remember the famous split-screen dinner scene in “Annie Hall”? On the left, a tranquil, decorous meal at the Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin, home of Annie’s WASP family, who are making low-key conversation about swap meets and boat basins; on the right, a flashback memory to a typically raucous supper at Alvy’s (Woody Allen) childhood home, where the adults are yelling at each other about nonsense.
To the family on the left, Donald Trump’s personality would doubtless seem utterly gauche, outrageous, repulsive. Who would ever hire such a man? Or let him marry their daughter? (Never mind that he’s a business genius and a billionaire.) Meanwhile, such a family would view Biden as, yes, perhaps a bit dim and daffy and past his prime, but otherwise a thoroughly recognizable and essentially presentable type, like some beloved uncle who’s started to lose it. And presentability is, of course, what counts in such milieus.
And Alvy’s family? They’d just consider Trump a regular guy and Biden a sad spectacle. (Note that two out of three Latinos who watched the debate on Telemundo reportedly felt that Trump had won. No surprise, given the higher Latino level of comfort with red-blooded males.)
Voters from Authoritarian Countries
You can be pretty sure of one thing about these ladies who consider Trump’s Alpha status a liability: they’re not immigrants from China or Russia or Vietnam or Cuba. People who have come to America from authoritarian countries know what the world is, and they know that the United States needs a strong leader to go head to head with the likes of Xi and Putin.
A strong leader, mind you—not a tyrant. Americans who have lived under tyrants know that Trump isn’t one. This too distinguishes them from the ladies who lunch, who love nothing more than to call Trump a dictator. They seem not to grasp that if he really were a dictator, they’d be lunching in a gulag.
To be sure, these ladies are fully entitled to their condescending attitudes. They’re entitled to wear their snobbery like a badge of honor. But they have no right whatsoever to anyone’s respect. Because they happen to enjoy a degree of social and economic privilege, they think that they know something when they know nothing. Because of their privilege, they think they occupy the high moral ground when in fact there’s no moral dimension whatsoever to their attitude toward Trump. Because of their privilege, they think they’re entitled to demand from pro-Trump friends and relatives an explanation for their errant views.
My above-mentioned friend who received that email from his Trump-hating sister was genuinely upset by it. That speaks well of him. He has feelings that are capable of being hurt. I know him well enough to be able to say that he, for his part, would never be so arrogant as to address his sister in the imperious way she addressed him. This is not how Trump supporters, by and large, think or behave.
Still, every Trump supporter who has to deal with this kind of nonsense from loved ones should keep the following in mind: every time that one of us who supports Trump is called on the carpet for it by some arrogant soon-to-be-ex-friend or soon-to-be-estranged relative, we’re being reminded of one of the things we’re at war with in this election.
We’re at war, namely, with the Left’s utter intolerance of dissent. A big part of the reason why it’s so important to defeat Biden and the Democrats is that they’re the party of cancel culture, of crushing dissent, of reining in free speech.
They’re the party whose allies in Silicon Valley have banned conservatives from social media, whose allies in the academy have canceled appearances by conservative speakers, and whose allies in the fourth estate have turned America’s leading news media into propaganda outlets on a par with the Soviet-era Pravda.
Just as the ladies who lunch know little or nothing of Trump’s actual accomplishments, they almost certainly couldn’t tell you what Biden has achieved during his half-century in politics or what he’s promised to do if elected president.
But they’ll tell you that old lunch-bucket Joe is (usually) mild-mannered. In the absence of any other positive attribute, this one has been depicted by his supporters as a well-nigh saintly virtue and contrasted with Trump’s bumptiousness. Clueless but self-impressed Biden supporters take his mildness as an indication that he’s steady and sober, “presidential,” a man prepared to return America to “normalcy.”
Of course, his mildness is a sign that he’s barely there. He’s wallpaper. He’s a faded career politician from central casting—and for voters who make voting decisions on aesthetic grounds, that makes him the electoral equivalent of comfort food.
But look past the aesthetic and study the substance and it’s like opening the door to Dorian Gray’s attic. Because that mild-mannered exterior is a front for nothing less than evil—the evil of AOC and Bernie’s Communism, of Antifa and BLM’s Soros-funded violence.
The evil of the Obama/Hillary coup attempt and of the Clinton and Biden family corruption. Of open borders and sanctuary cities. Of mass exportation of factory jobs and general passivity in the face of growing Chinese hegemony. Of government takeover of the health sector. Of drift toward a U.S. economy that looks more and more like feudalism. Of a Cultural Revolution-style obsession with alleged identity-group victimhood and a widespread institutionalization of a pernicious ideology of race that is guaranteed to destroy America’s social fabric.
When challenged by smug, superior “ladies who lunch” demanding that you explain your support for Trump, go on the offensive about all of this. Tell them to grow up. They’re not picking a date for a cotillion. They’re picking a president for a country that’s in danger of being dragged to hell by the enemies of freedom.