Trump and the Sexual Revolution

Ross Douthat has long defined Trump as the death knell of the Christian right, which he now argues has lost the ability to influence the Republican party on sexual mores:

Much of what seems strange and reactionary about Trump is tied to what was normal to a certain kind of Sinatra and Mad Men-era man — the casual sexism, the odd mix of sleaziness and formality, even the insult-comic style.

But while that male culture was “conservative” in its exploitative attitudes toward women, it was itself in rebellion against bourgeois norms and Middle-American Christianity.

Trump is in this sense a child of the 60s, cut in the mold of other sleazebags like Bill Clinton, Hugh Hefner and the Kennedys, for whom the sexual revolution meant “the freedom to take your pleasure while women took the pill”.

Trump’s most devoted fans seem to be lower-class men who bought into this ideal of sexual libertinism but lack the money to actually live it:

Like Trumpism, Hefnerian values have prospered in the blue-collar vacuum created by religion’s retreat and community’s unraveling.

Then finally, among men who were promised pliant centerfolds and ended up single with only high-speed internet to comfort them, the men’s sexual revolution has curdled into a toxic subculture, resentful of female empowerment in all its forms.

This is where you find Trump’s strongest (and, yes, strangest) fans. He’s become the Daddy Alpha for every alpha-aspiring beta male, whose mix of moral liberation and misogyny keeps the Ring-a-Ding-Ding dream alive.

Welcome to the post-Christian right!

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5 comments

  1. For some reason this made me think of the Filipino olympic diver:

    1. Interesting how your mind works.

  2. Thank you for the link to that article. Be careful what you wish for, indeed.

    1. Ross Douthat is my calmer, polite, more intelligent alter-ego.

  3. […] tip to dpmonahan who wrote about it, […]

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