Memorial Day. A special day. One set aside to honor the men and women who died while serving in the U.S. military.
A brief observation.
The Memorial Day of today is not celebrated in the same fashion as those following World War I and World War II.
I can recall the Memorial Day observances during and following World War II. And those celebrated in the years thereafter.
The Day has changed.
The war dead were memorialized back when. Parades huge. The whole community came out to watch. People listened with revered attention to speeches honoring the war dead.
Then it was off to home. Nothing special the rest of the day. The feeling was having attended a wake a step beyond the actual service.
As the years passed by, the U.S. was engaged in more wars. First Korea, then Vietnam. Most recently Afghanistan. I cannot recall a time the U.S. has not had boots on the ground somewhere in the world.
Something changed, however. The solemnity of the occasion became a party day, a beach day, a pool day at home, a barbecue, a special shopping day at malls and large discount stores.. Fewer and fewer went downtown to observe the parade. Even fewer remained to listen to the speeches.
Yes, the Day has changed. It is not what was nor what was intended. Good or bad? I don’t know. I am merely setting forth what I have observed. Each of you draw your own conclusions as to why. Even whether the change has any significance.
Respectfully, Trump is a little boy President. Part and parcel of that conclusion is the observation that working class white American men support him. Men’s men. The most relevant component of Trump’s base. Strange since Trump is “the least masculine man to ever hold the modern Presidency.”
Tom Nichols wrote an interesting article in the most recent Atlantic publication: Donald Trump, the Most Unmanly President. An outstanding work as to why white American working men support a person so unlike themselves.
Nichols article is reviewed by setting forth a number of quotes from the article. Each speaking for itself.
Nichols begins with the inquiry as to why the working white men support a little boy President: “So many of Trump’s working-class white male voters refuse to hold Trump to their own standards of masculinity – why they support a man who behaves more like a little boy.”
The observation is made that Trump is not a stand up guy.
“Trump is a vain, cowardly, lying, vulgar, jabbering blowhard.”
“Is Trump a man your father and grandfather would have respected?”
One of George Orwell’s 1984 characters dismissed all the “marching up and down and cheering and waving flags” as “supply sex gone sour.”
“Trump is neither honorable nor courageous.”
He “is a rich downtown bully, the sort working men usually hate.”
“Trump is an obvious coward. He has two particular phobias: Powerful men and intelligent women.”
He “visibly cowers to…..Putin.”
He criticizes China but “likes President Xi, desperately seeking to avoid going on the offense to the Chinese Communist Party boss.”
The old standard of masculinity is “the strong and silent type…..Trump…..is neither strong nor capable of silence.”
Trump says things stereotypically masculine men would not. “Like North Korea’s Kim Jung Un…..We fell in love.”
Trump does not respect women. He doesn’t “like strong women…..Strong women scare Donald. Real men don’t try to bully women.”
Trump fails to accept responsibility. “He is a blamer. Nothing ever his fault.”
Trump fails to look out for his team. “In the midst of disaster, he praises himself while turning on even his most loyal supporters without a moment’s hesitation.” Easily utters, “I take no responsibility at all.”
Trump has trouble with empathy.” He was traumatized “by his childhood and father.” He “should go into psychotherapy.”
Trump lacks masculinity. It “is about maturity. He is not manly because he is not a man. He is a boy…..Not everyone grows up as they age.”
“Trump is a hero to a culture in which so many men are already trapped in perpetual adolescence…..men who feel like life might have passed them by, whose fondest memories are rooted somewhere in their own personal Wonder Years from elementary school until high school graduation, Trump is a walking permission slip to shrug off the responsibilities of manhood.”
Trump indulges “in….. hypocrisy.”
“Cheat on your wife? No problem…..being a father to your kids too onerous a burden…..Let the mothers raise them. Money trouble…..tell your father to write you another check…..Upset your town or workplace has become more diverse? Get it off your chest: Rail about women and Mexicans and African Americans at will and dare anyone to contradict you.”
A macho man. Trump is “the most macho of men…..can turn his enemies to ash through sheer testosterone overload.”
Trump is supported by working class white women also, though the number seems to be diminishing. These women “regard Trump as just one more difficult and mischievous man-child in their lives to be accommodated and forgiven.
These women gave Trump a pass after the Access Hollywood tape came to light. “Women showed up” at rallies with shirts featuring arrows pointing right to where Trump could grab them.
Melania defended the boyishness of it all. “I have two boys at home…..I have my young son and I have my husband. But I know how some men talk, and that’s how I saw it.”
“Trump is unmanly because he has never chosen to become a man…..He is…..working class America’s dysfunctional son, and his supporters, male and female alike, have become the…..parent explaining what a good boy he is to terrorized teachers even while he continues to set fires in the hallways right outside.”
His disgust is prevalent.
Howard Stern said it best: “The oddity in all of this is the people Trump despises the most, love him the most. The people who are voting for Trump for the most part…..He’s disgusted by them.”
Nichols’ follow up to Stern’s words: “The tragedy is that they are not disgusted by him in return.”
So it was said, so it was written.
Enjoy your day!