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March 13, 2016
by Ruth Gordon, MA, MSW, LCSW

Machismo and the GOP

March 13, 2016 21:29 by Ruth Gordon, MA, MSW, LCSW

What is a political party to do?  In the beginning Donald Trump’s run for the presidency was considered with amusement.  It was common to hear The Donald brag, threaten, promise and ridicule.  He appeared to be the kind of individual to avoid in an argument — he only believes in himself.            

The Huffington Post, for a while, put everything Trump in their “Entertainment” section.  Truth be told, for those who like that kind of bombast, his jaw-dropping statements and exaggerated facial expressions are, in fact, quite entertaining.          
By the beginning of March 2016, the laughter had stopped.  The Donald was winning in primaries and caucuses all over the country.  He drew enormous crowds, even though he callously degraded Mexicans, Muslims, Immigrants, Bill Maher, Cher, and, of course, Rosie O’Donnell.  He was cheered for saying things that would sink most candidates.            
Trump’s political opponents had to grow very thick skins, as Trump’s version of winning included the use of humiliation.“Look at that face, would anyone vote for that”? is what he had to say about Carly Fiorina.  He said about Jeb Bush: “He has to like the Mexican illegals because of his wife.” On the other hand, he has claimed that he and Vladimir Putin are close.  He has based this claim on the fact that both of them were on 60 Minutes.  Some may laugh, but Mr. Trump is winning.            
As many within the Republican party have begun to recognize his power and popularity, they have,belatedly, attempted to form PACs and Super PACs to raise money in order to launch an offensive against Trump . Thus far, no major donors have made a commitment to this effort.            
In the past, the Democrats have had their intra-party trials as well.  The passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965 contributed to the demise of what was once called the “solid” south.  Until that time, citizens of southern states primarily backed the Democratic party.  The difference in 2016 is that a party (the Republicans) is trying to reduce the popularity, and power of one man.  Usually, splits have occurred over policies and beliefs. There appears to be fears that are generalized about what a President Trump would do, rather than specific issues. Lindsey Graham (Republican, South Carolina) has predicted a statistical demolition of the GOP because of the candidacy of Donal Trump.

Some analysts suggest that the Republican party shot itself in the foot by dismissing the validity of the press.  If journalists are, as has been claimed, skewed and unfair in their analysis and reporting, then why should the electorate be alarmed by reports of Mr. Trump’s contradictory statements and perceived past misdeeds?  It’s not possible to have it both ways.     

As Trump declares himself to be a unifier, many establishment Republicans fear that the Party, itself, will disappear.  An argument has been made that the Party set the stage for the tsunami that the Trump campaign has become.  Threats of Government shut downs, the refusal to compromise as well as the decision to refuse to consider any nomination that President Obama may present for the Supreme Court, imply that the tenants of the Constitution can be distorted and ignored.                 

It has been pointed out that given this atmosphere, it is not surprising that the individuals supporting Trump do not have a problem with his contempt for conventional principles .  Furthermore, it has been said that the two major political parties put forth the vision of their wealthy donors and no longer care to listen to the wishes of the voters.  Remember, Mr. Trump is financing himself.            
Those who have been hurt in the last economic crises and experienced the “sort of” recovery are tired of being nice guys.  They are tired of believing promises that never come to fruition.  They are tired of being broke while others flaunt their wealth (the so-called 1%).             
Many in the United States are feeling helpless and hopeless, like little kids.  And, like little kids, they want their Daddy or Big Brother to beat up the bad guys.  They don’t want to be nice anymore, it hasn’t paid off.  They like the idea of a bully-like defender kicking the 'crap' out of the ones who are perceived as enemies i.e. immigrants, Muslims, Chinese, and Women(?).  This group rejoices when The Donald is rude and insulting.  They like that he appears to be fearless when facing “enemies” such as Mitt Romney and Louis C.K.            
It would be hard to predict, at this point, who will be the next Commander in Chief.  The general populace is fed up.  An uncharted road lies ahead.


Barro, J. (2016, March 7). The Republican 'Establishment" Made Donald Trump's Nomination Possible. Retrieved March 9, 2016, from  

Burns, A., Haberman, M., & Martin, J. (2016, February 27). Inside The Republican Party's Desperate Efforts to Stop Donald Trump. Retrieved March 9, 2016, from

Flegenheimer, M., & Haberman, M. (2016, March 6). Money Pours in as Move to Stop Donald Trump Expands. Retrieved March 9, 2016, from

Goldmacher, S., & Isenstadt, A. (2016, March 7). Inside the GOP's push to Stop Trump. Retrieved March 9, 2016, from  

Gray, F. (2016, March 5). Donald Trump's Angry America. Retrieved March 9, 2016, from

Lepore, S. M. (2015, September 10). A Guide to Trump's Insults of Every 2016 Candidate. Retrieved March 9, 2016, from

About the Author

Ruth Gordon Ruth Gordon, MA/MSW/LCSW

A practical approach to problems encountered in daily life. A confidential and comfortable atmosphere in which we will use humor to help you gain perspective on current concerns. Enhance your skills for creative problem solving.

Ruth Gordon has a clinical practice in Naples, FL

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