(Il Duce and the Fuhrer on a visit to a Rome museum. Photo Wikipedia)
Some famously vicious misogynists and workplace predators are working to get Trump elected. In fact they are the core of his team. Why isn’t this a big deal in the media?
Put it this way: If there is no longer a place for Roger Ailes at FOX News why is he now at the heart of a presidential race? Roger Ailes was too toxic to stay even at Fox, a place known worldwide for it’s anti-woman abuse culture. So why is he involved with Trump’s campaign?
Answer: Because woman abusers finally have their very own rape culture candidate in Donald Trump. This is no surprise. Fascism has always exalted strong men suppressing, even raping women. In Fascist Italy Mussolini exalted his sexual prowess, and the inferiority of females in relation to men.
In Mussolini’s “New Italy,” he decreed that the “New Man” be brutal, virile, and take the women he wanted. The “New Futurist Man” was to be disdainful of books, in love with virility, violence, and war.
As David Neiwert (an investigative journalist and a contributing writer for the Southern Poverty Law Center) notes:
The German scholar Klaus Theweleit a few years ago examined the literature created in the post-World War I Weimar Germany by the paramilitary Nazis called the Freikorpsmen, and published his findings in a two-volume work titled Male Fantasies.
Theweleit found that, essentially, the fascist psychodrama entailed a wholesale unleashing of male desire, including incest, rape and murder. The fascist mindset entailed reveling in control over the bodies of others, embodied perhaps in their embrace of torture. And at the bloody beating heart of it all was a pathological fear of women.
As Michelle Goldberg notes in an article for Slate we Trump has resurrected “the fascist psychodrama entailed a wholesale unleashing of male desire, including incest, rape and murder. The fascist mindset entailed reveling in control over the bodies of others.” And Trump has willing powerful like-minded women-hating accomplices worldwide.
Trump is also the poster boy for what I think of as rape culture of colleges where elite student athletes fuel the money-making operations. High-spending donors, TV contracts, licensing deals generate serious revenue for major universities. Sports-as-rape culture starts in youth athletics these days, is encouraged through college, and ultimately plays out on the national stage at the professional level in a way that seems to eerily echo the 1930s fascist ideas of the Super Man dominating “lesser” women.
So why hasn’t Trump been called on his misogyny and the woman-haters who work for him? Goldberg notes, there’s “so much chaos around Trump,” and so many daily violations of common decency no one has the time to process” his war on women. He has hinted at having Second Amendment types murder Hillary Clinton. He threatens to build an army of thugs to deport families. He wants to torture prisoners of war. In this fraught context of violent hysteria who has time for worrying about mere workplace rape? Trump is “consistently able to bury his old misdeeds with new misdeeds” as Goldberg notes.
Arguably the biggest name to connect herself to the scandal was Kelly, who told investigators several weeks after Carlson’s lawsuit that she was sexually harassed by Ailes nearly a decade ago, during her divorce from husband Daniel Kendall.
New York Magazine’s Gabriel Sherman reports that in 2012, Kelly informed vice president of Fox News media relations Brian Lewis about her concerns, saying that Ailes made inappropriate sexual advances toward her. She also warned him that rumors about Ailes’ misconduct could end up in Sherman’s Ailes biography The Loudest Voice in the Room, which was released in 2014.
According to the report, Lewis attempted to put a stop to Ailes’ sexual harassment, telling Ailes’ longtime assistant Judy Laterza to warn Ailes about the potential repercussions. Per Sherman, “Laterza told Ailes that his PR chief was being disloyal.” Less than a year later, in July 2013, Ailes fired Lewis.
Is there a pattern here? Trump seems to have a Mussolini-like soft spot for woman abusers.
[In a] New York magazine story, the invaluable Gabriel Sherman gives us fresh details of the depravity of ex-Fox News head Roger Ailes. Sherman quotes a former television producer who says Ailes told her, “If you want to make it in New York City in the TV business, you’re going to have to fuck me, and you’re going to do that with anyone I tell you to.” He reports that Ailes’ longtime executive assistant, Judy Laterza, recruited comely young women for her boss, including an intern who later told the Washington Post that Ailes had propositioned her: “If you sleep with me, you could be a model or a newscaster.” Sherman quotes Karem Alsina, a former Fox makeup artist, describing female anchors coming to see her before private meetings with Ailes: “They would say, ‘I’m going to see Roger, gotta look beautiful!’” One of these anchors, said Alsina, “came back down after a meeting, and the makeup on her nose and chin was gone.”
Trump defends Ailes the dirty old man’s dirty old man. “I can tell you that some of the women that are complaining, I know how much he’s helped them, and even recently,” Trump said in July. “And when they write books that are fairly recently released, and they say wonderful things about him. And now, all of a sudden, they’re saying these horrible things about him.”
Trump is himself an expert woman harasser and worse.
Trump’s misogyny is well-documented. His first wife, Ivana Trump, accused him of rape in a sworn deposition, saying that he’d assaulted her in a rage after a plastic surgeon she’d recommended botched his scalp surgery. (She’s since said she didn’t mean “rape” in a “literal or criminal sense,” but she’s never recanted her description of what happened.)
Trump has a thing for abusers. (Was anyone surprised when Trump’s then campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, was charged with battery by the police in Jupiter, Florida on for injuring a female reporter?) His new campaign CEO, Steve Bannon, has been charged with domestic violence and accused of sexual harassment.
In such company, Ailes doesn’t really stand out. Abuse of women is the new Trump “normal.”
As reported in Politico, Former Breitbart editor-at-large Ben Shapiro called his ex-boss a “nasty” man known for “verbally abusing supposed friends and threatening enemies” in a recent column. Kurt Bardella, who acted as Breitbart’s spokesperson until he resigned in protest earlier this year, told POLITICO Bannon operated “as the dictator of Breitbart.”
In interviews, a dozen former Bannon employees and associates agreed with those scathing assessments of the man Trump has turned to to oversee his campaign, painting a picture of a boss who repeatedly used inappropriate language in front of his employees and in many cases directed expletive-laced tirades at them.
In another article Politico reported that in a January 1996 police report (and subsequent court documents) in which Bannon’s then-wife claimed that he grabbed at her neck and wrist during a financial dispute, with an officer stating that he saw red marks on her neck and wrist. According to the report, Bannon also smashed the phone when she attempted to contact the police.
But the case ended when Bannon’s ex-wife did not appear in court, and the charges were dropped shortly before the two divorced in August 1996. Asked about the case, Bannon’s spokeswoman told POLITICO: “The bottom line is he has a great relationship with the twins, he has a great relationship with the ex-wife, he still supports them.”
According to a separate report in the New York Post, quoting from the couple’s divorce papers, Bannon’s ex-wife claimed that he had told her, “if I wasn’t in town they couldn’t serve me and I wouldn’t have to go to court.”
“He also told me that if I went to court he and his attorney would make sure that I would be the one who was guilty,” the Post reported her saying in the documents. “I was told that I could go anywhere in the world.”
The divorce papers were subsequently reported on by The New York Times, which spoke with Bannon’s defense lawyer in the case, Steven Mandell.
Mandell told the Times that he had not pressured Bannon’s ex-wife to skip his trial: “It’s possible that Steve Bannon said that to her, but I did not.”
Since November 2010, Assange has been subject to extradition to Sweden, where he is wanted for questioning concerning an allegation of rape.
As for Vladimir Putin he regularly used violence against his divorced wife Lyudmila, a new German documentary about the Russian leader has claimed.
In a 2006 incident widely reported in Western and Russian media, Putin was overheard praising the virility of former Israeli President Moshe Katsav, then accused of multiple sex offenses. Katsav has since been jailed on rape and sexual harassment charges.
“What a mighty man [Katsav] turns out to be! He raped 10 women,” Russian media quoted Putin as saying. “We all envy him.”
Assange–while hiding from being questioned for rape– accused the press of supporting Hillary Clinton, whom he likened to a “demon.”
“The American liberal press, in falling over themselves to defend Hillary Clinton, are erecting a demon that is going to put nooses around everyone’s necks as soon as she wins the election, which is almost certainly what she’s going to do,” Assange said in the interview, which was broadcast live on Facebook.
Putin has suggested that former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is a “weak woman.”
Putin made the remarks during a live interview with a French television station. “It’s better not to argue with women,” Putin said in reference to remarks Clinton made in comparing Russia’s annexation of Crimea to Adolf Hitler’s moves into Poland.
Assange and Putin share a hatred for Hillary Clinton.
It’s hard not to think her very existence challenges their view of women.
As noted in Politico:
WikiLeaks has already aimed to influence the 2016 election. In July, the organization released a trove of emails hacked from the Democratic National Committee’s servers that showed Democratic staffers criticizing Sen. Bernie Sanders. Assange has defended the release of the emails, which prompted a flurry of resignations within the DNC. Assange has been accused of helping fuel conspiracy theories about the circumstances surrounding the death of Democratic staffer Seth Rich, who was killed in a mugging earlier this year.
Trump should be asked about Ailes, Bannon, Assange and Putin every day.
He should be asked about Bannon’s history with women. He should be asked if Assange’s help is welcome hand in glove with Putin’s help. He should be asked about being part of the rape culture favored by privileged white males. He should be asked why the rapists of ISIS name him as their preferred candidate.
Trump has said that “no one will be tougher” on terrorism than him, but new analysis from Foreign Affairs magazine shows that ISIS — the terror group Trump has pledged to eradicate that favors subjugation of women and rape — is actually hoping for Trump to win the US presidency.
Foreign Affairs analyzed ISIS’ online channels and interviewed a dozen supporters and defectors to reach its conclusion. The magazine found that “jihadists are rooting for a Trump presidency because they believe that he will lead the United States on a path to self-destruction.”
He also shares their view of women and chattel property. The magazine found that the:
ISIS’ view of international relations is based on a stark division between two antagonistic realms: the lands governed by the caliphate, which it calls dar al-Islam (“the domain of Islam”), and the lands of its enemies, known as dar al-harb (“the domain of war”). For a group whose ideology is based on a bipolar universe in which everyone is either a friend or an enemy—there is no such thing as neutrality—it is helpful to have adversaries who are easy to hate.
Trump is “the perfect enemy,” in the words of Tarek, a former ISIS fighter who recently switched sides to one of its Salafi rivals, Ahrar al-Sham. Take, for example, Trump’s vitriolic speeches, which provide a constant stream of material for ISIS’ hyperactive propaganda machine. He has been featured in at least two ISIS videos so far—one about the Brussels attack and the other about the strike in Orlando—as well as a third video released by al Shabab, al Qaeda’s Somalia-based affiliate.
It’s no wonder that evangelicals love Trump too.
Like Ailes and Bannon they have always denigrated women. No wonder Jerry Falwell Jr supports Trump. His dad Jerry Falwell would have loved Trump. In 1989 he said: “I listen to feminists and all these radical gals… These women just need a man in the house. That’s all they need. Most of the feminists need a man to tell them what time of day it is and to lead them home.”
“Why do you work with women-abusers?” should be the first question Trump is asked at every press conference from now until the election.
Better yet: “Mr. Trump, why are you a serial woman abuser?”
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Frank Schaeffer is a writer. His latest book —WHY I AM AN ATHEIST WHO BELIEVES IN GOD: How to give love, create beauty and find peace
Please read about my journey through then out of the religious right and Republican Party.