Peter Beinart on Trump

Peter Beinart, who writes for the Atlantic, is a particularly astute observer of Trump. Beinart writes this entirely persuasive argument for why Trump’s base is unmoved by his now-evident corruption of our nation’s laws.

“Fox’s decision to focus on the Iowa murder rather than Cohen’s guilty plea illustrates Stanley’s point. In the eyes of many Fox viewers, I suspect, the network isn’t ignoring corruption so much as highlighting the kind that really matters. When Trump instructed Cohen to pay off women with whom he’d had affairs, he may have been violating the law. But he was upholding traditional gender and class hierarchies. Since time immemorial, powerful men have been cheating on their wives and using their power to evade the consequences.

The Iowa murder, by contrast, signifies the inversion—the corruption—of that “traditional order.” Throughout American history, few notions have been as sacrosanct as the belief that white women must be protected from nonwhite men. By allegedly murdering Tibbetts, Rivera did not merely violate the law. He did something more subversive: He violated America’s traditional racial and sexual norms.”

Beinart further points out that the reason Trump’s base hates Hillary Clinton is that she is  powerful woman who sought to be in a position of telling men what to do — again, for Trump voters, a perversion of the natural order.

Cohen’s admission makes it harder for Republicans to claim that Trump didn’t violate the law. But it doesn’t really matter. For many Republicans, Trump remains uncorrupt—indeed, anticorrupt—because what they fear most isn’t the corruption of American law; it’s the corruption of America’s traditional identity. And in the struggle against that form of corruption—the kind embodied by Cristhian Rivera—Trump isn’t the problem. He’s the solution.”

Our hope for accountability from a Republican Congress beholden to a base which views corruption in this way seems far-fetched. As I’ve said repeatedly, the November elections matter.

2 thoughts on “Peter Beinart on Trump

  1. Good article. The same can be said for hatred of Nancy Pelosi – she’s a powerful woman and leader…….but Trump has only to say her name and the crowd boos.

  2. for Phyllis: Trump needs a foil. First it was Hillary. Then Nancy Pelosi. If she steps aside he’ll find someone else. I think she should stay right where she is. She’s very effective.

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