Uncomfortable Silence is Still Silence

Last week, I read A Warning by that anonymous White House staffer. There’s a lot in it that people who are already paying attention know: Trump is ignorant, incurious, inattentive, impulsive, childish, and cruel. Those things are all features, not bugs, and his base probably likes that about him.

I think what author really wanted us to know is that Trump likes dictators and wishes he were one. He has a real hard-on for the idea of absolute power, with huddled masses of quivering lackeys terrified not to do his bidding.

What I got from the book is that’s exactly what he has in the White House.

Look at the highlighted passage I posted up above this. The staffer talks about sitting in “uncomfortable silence” as Trump spews misogyny in meetings. He even recounts seeing female staff shaken and upset at realizing their boss doesn’t just play a male chauvinist pig on tv, he is one all day, every day.

I think the author wants to be patted on the back for being aware enough of his surroundings to recognize misogyny when he sees it but doesn’t really take PhD level observation skills. Instead, what I noticed is that his uncomfortable silence never made way for an uncomfortable conversation where he said “Sir. You can’t talk about women like that at work. And you shouldn’t talk about women like that ever. You sound like a dickhead.” And even the women around him are too scared to say anything. They all act like – wait for it – huddled masses of quivering lackeys terrified not to do his bidding. WHICH IS EXACTLY WHAT HIS STUPID ASS WANTS.

Wanna know why Trump acts like a dictator? Because his own staff treats him like one.

Now, I know they’re all terrified of the man but in some ways. he’s like the patients on that show My 600Lb Life. Their families are all terrified of them and do whatever they want but, as Dr. Now always points out, what are they really going to do? They can’t leave their own beds. Their power is limited.

Trump’s main power over individual people is to make them miserable and uncomfortable. For an example, read this outstanding piece about Lisa Page. He has tweeted her into a state of constant fear. But I bet if you asked her she would tell you she would rather be afraid of Trump because she crossed him than be afraid of not crossing him and letting him go on his merry way, yanking school lunches from poor kids and charging the tax payers millions so he can golf.

Feminists have long known that power is never handed over willingly. Guys like Trump don’t just, like, stop being awful. Someone has to make them. Unfortunately, the huddled mass of quivering lackeys around him clearly aren’t going to be the ones to do it.

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