September 28, 2016

"Haven't read the article yet but re-watching the debate, looking at the split screen, I thought these are archetypes of the brother and the sister."

"The sister is doing her homework, being a Goody 2 Shoes all day long, getting pats on the head over and over again, getting away with stuff on the sly, and the brother thinks it's all bullshit and he's not going to be your good little boy."

That's something I wrote on the fly, over at Facebook, on seeing this:



The linked piece is written by a Catholic priest, Dwight Longenecker, which I'm reading only after dashing off my comment. Longenecker says Trump is tapping into the “reptilian brain”:
This is why all Hillary’s prim preparation, plans and programs don’t matter. Donald’s digging deeper. This is also why Hillary’s attack on Donald’s misogyny and male chauvinism don’t matter....

Feminism has brought with it the organized Mother. Here is the prim and tidy housekeeper. Everything in its place. Everything spic and span. You need to clean your room, wash your hands and turn up in time for supper... If you don’t obey you will be punished. Don’t you know this is for the best? If you don’t comply you will be fined. If you don’t take your medication Nurse Ratched will make sure you get electric shock treatment....

Where does Donald Trump fit in? I think he’s the figurehead of a pushback... Should he be a good boy and do his homework and prepare for the debate then drink his milk and cookies and go to bed on time so he’ll be bright eyed and bushy tailed for the morning? “Fuhgeddaboudit. That preparation and doing your homework stuff is for sissies.” He’s going to stay out with the boys and wing it. He’ll do ok. He always has....

Hillary Clinton, on the other hand, represents exactly what Donald Trump is reacting against. She is Nurse Ratched. She is the organized, cunning, planning, smiling Mommy who expects everyone to behave so that the home will be neat and tidy and together so everyone will be happy.

She is the sort of woman who “lives for others” and you can tell the others by their hunted look.

Donald, on the other hand, is the bad boy who sticks out his tongue, comes in late and runs roughshod over the whole household.
If it were a movie, you'd be rooting for the boy. No one roots for Nurse Ratched — mentioned twice in the priest's meditation (which ends with the observation that we are all sinners and may God have mercy on our souls). I've been aware as I watch the election unfold that I am rooting for Donald Trump. I don't intellectually embrace him or much of what he is saying, but I know — it's so clear — that I'm rooting for him. That's an observable phenomenon, and it's undeniable.

66 comments:

Xmas said...

Or, if you want a more modern analogy, Clinton is Dolores Umbridge.

traditionalguy said...

But underneath her act, Hillary is flexible. For enough money she will do whatever you need done. Donald will do what he says. Like a good hired construction expert, he will fix it.

Lyssa said...

On the brother/sister comparison, I've heard a few people suggest that it's an election between Bart and Lisa Simpson. And there's no one who doesn't root against Lisa Simpson.

(Does that make Gary Johnson Maggie? That seems about right.)

Ann Althouse said...

"The feminist point of view of Nurse Ratched is negative because of the “sexist ideology” used in the text and feminist critics do fail to look beyond the scope of her control and order to see that she is just a woman struggling to keep control and order in her self-constructed utopian society. In other words, Nurse Ratched is battling the males in order to gain respect, keep her control over the ward, and to show readers that a woman must defend and fight in order to succeed, which in turn, should be viewed as a positive character trait and not a negative one."

Ann Althouse said...

"On the brother/sister comparison, I've heard a few people suggest that it's an election between Bart and Lisa Simpson. And there's no one who doesn't root against Lisa Simpson."

Good point.

Tommy Duncan said...

"She is the sort of woman who “lives for others” and you can tell the others by their hunted look.'

I resemble that remark.

Birkel said...

Dolores Umbridge was from the government and here to help, to alter slightly Reagan's comment.

Hillary Clinton is from the government and here to help herself.

Kate said...

My reading travels led me today to this: http://www.claremont.org/crb/basicpage/donald-trump-and-the-american-crisis/ , which seems like a companion to what you've noted here. The crisis exists, and Trump responded, so we'll vote for him (or root for him). And Hillary is the perfect avatar for the invasive, bossy moves the elite complex foists on us.

Birkel said...

Althouse:

Is what you quoted above in the long hyperlink a suggestion by feminists that Nurse Ratched was somehow to be admired for a positive trait?

This fish won't be needing that particular bicycle anytime soon.

Henry said...

You'd think a priest would footnote C.S. Lewis.

A sensible human once said, “If people knew how much ill-feeling Unselfishness occasions, it would not be so often recommended from the pulpit”; and again, “She's the sort of woman who lives for others—you can always tell the others by their hunted expression”.

This is an interested discussion.

vicari valdez said...

in the movie you'd be rooting for the boy because it's rare to see sympathetic/likable women protagonists in movies. but i think that's changing.

eric said...

Is that supposed to read "haunted expression" ?

I've not heard the term hunted, but maybe it's an English turn of phrase.

Also, he said spic and span. Ive been told this is racist. I expect everything he wrote to be ignored and the attacks will focus on the racist use of spic and span.

Paul Snively said...

The Father's thesis, generalized to modern American political culture, has an entire book attached to it, albeit by a different author. Suffice it to say I agree. Methodist Hillary represents the politically religious we've had to worry about ever since the beginning of the "Progressive" movement in the 20th century: the religious left. See also Messianic Communism.

Henry said...

Ah, the mythical reptilian brain. I roll my eyes at that thing. It's almost as brainless as the uncertainty principle metaphor.

n.n said...

Clinton is the pointy-haired boss. All the engineers suffer his/her leadership.

That said, whether it is male or female chauvinists, don't vote [class] diversity. Support equal not congruent ("=").

Bill Peschel said...

"Feminism has brought with it the organized Mother."

I couldn't read the rest over the pile of horseshit this topic sentence dropped.

It's not feminism to say that the government is going to take things away from you because you have too much money. It's communism.

Brando said...

I don't know if I like that narrative--I'd actually like a president who is prepared and organized and runs a tight ship, not some chaotic mess that gets Althouse all giggly. Hell, the big knock against Hillary--at least one of my main criticisms of her--is that she actually is disorganized and incompetent. By this theory I should favor her because she's a "bad girl" who doesn't play by the rules either.

What a stupid election this is.

EMD said...

The sexism in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest is evident, however, Ratched is a proxy for the system and is not really representative of a specifically gendered character. The same archetype exists in other dramatic works in which Ratched is a male character (for example, Ghostbusters' EPA chief Walter Peck.)

EMD said...

By this theory I should favor her because she's a "bad girl" who doesn't play by the rules either.

Hillary presents herself as a know-it-all. Trump presents himself as a can-do man. ("Only I can fix it.") Neither are right, but that's how it looks to me.

Brando said...

"On the brother/sister comparison, I've heard a few people suggest that it's an election between Bart and Lisa Simpson."

Can't agree with that comparison--Lisa is the smartest Simpson and tends to always do the right thing (unless the plot calls for her to go out of character). Bart, for all his rascally ways, is a good kid.

This election is more like Homer vs. Sideshow Bob.

Ann Althouse said...

I guess the trick for Hillary is to come across as Lisa Simpson more than Nurse Ratched.

What is the argument that she's more the Lisa Simpson? Assume you want to help Hillary: How would you try to convey that feeling? Don't say play the saxophone. Bill already did that.

Robert Fulton said...

Note the (resigned) tone of the general discussion of the election. We should (by DNC standards) be crying in our milk over the horrible mistake we made by letting a monster like Trump get this far.

The DNC has their folks out dancing in the streets, but in their strategy meetings they are saying: "What do we have to do? She killed it. The focus groups were right on and we couldn't have prepped her any better. Why won't the dogs eat it?"

We are not supposed to be discussing the Simpsons - we are supposed to be discussing "The Lost Weekend", "Days of Wine and Roses", "Dunkirk", "Armageddon", "The Last Supper", "Huey Long", "Elmer Gantry"...well, you get the idea.

buwaya puti said...

This is all Douglas Adam's sort of thing.
As a narrative for persuasion it works on that level.
But there is a deeper, real level.
Angelo Covadilla brings the whole thing into a macro scale, discounting characters. It's all about the power and corruption of the elite, and both candidates are just figureheads of massive interests.

rehajm said...

If you are happy with thing you vote for the status quo

If you are unhappy with things you vote for disruption.

You go to war with the army you have

Amadeus 48 said...

" I've been aware as I watch the election unfold that I am rooting for Donald Trump. I don't intellectually embrace him or much of what he is saying, but I know — it's so clear — that I'm rooting for him. That's an observable phenomenon, and it's undeniable."

Althouse, I love you...not because I am for Trump, but because you are a free mind.

JPS said...

byway puti:

"This is all Douglas Adam's sort of thing."

In the sense that there's a great big load of improbability going on that we can't explain, I agree.

Also the line about not trusting any further than I could spit a rat comes to mind.

Also, for personal reasons:" I love deadlines. I love the slight whooshing sound they make as they sail past."

I miss Douglas Adams.

Rob McLean said...

Goody 2 Shoes

I saw them open for RUN-DMC back in the eighties.

Henry said...

I guess the trick for Hillary is to come across as Lisa Simpson more than Nurse Ratched.

She should become a vegetarian.

Big Mike said...

The evidence shows us that Hillary does not learn from her mistakes. ("At this point what difference does it make?") The second debate will tell us whether Donald Trump is different.

Oh, and @Xmas? You flat nailed it!

Henry said...

I've been aware as I watch the election unfold that I am rooting for Donald Trump.

I'm voting against him and hope he loses, but I would like to see the alternate reality in which he is elected and nothing especially bad happens. It's wearisome to watch everyone get the vapors.

Meade said...

"It's not feminism to say that the government is going to take things away from you because you have too much [...]. It's communism."

Leftism. Use state power to equalize, regulate, redistribute. Feminism and communism are subsets.

(Also, see Paul Snively, 11:39 AM, above.)

buwaya puti said...

Vogons and suchlike vs Zaphod Beeblebrox_
Trump is Zaphod B.

Chuck said...

I never presumed that it was your lizard brain or anything else like that, Professor. I think you've got your lizard brain handled very effectively.

All along -- from before you wrote it, to when you wrote it, and right up to the present -- I presumed that you were pleasantly fascinated by (and even supportive of) the Trump campaign because "he was pro-gay and cagey about it."

I of course think that you correctly appraised Trump; he is indeed pro-gay and cagey about it. He's gotten a lot less cagey about it, having won the Republican nomination. He had to be very cagey -- dishonest, really -- about it in order to get the nomination. But now he's got it, and win or lose in the general, Trump's nomination is another step in the direction of national acceptance of pro-gay policy.

For the same reason that gay activists focus so much attention on the Roman Catholic Church, they'd be right to focus attention on the Republican nominating process. It is the center of their opposition. Run right at the strength of your enemy. Does Trump still need to win, for your goal to be achieved? It sure would help, wouldn't it? The Democrats are thoroughly pro-gay, with a pro-gay President. A pro-gay Republican President would be the same sort of progression.

PBandJ_Ombudsman said...

"The evidence shows us that Hillary does not learn from her mistakes."

So, one doesn't learn from her mistakes, and the other does think he makes any.

Got it.

PBandJ_Ombudsman said...

does should be doesn't

Thorby said...

Trump had me laughing through the early part of the debate. Hillary - You're blaming me for everything. Trump - Why not? Hillary - You engage in tax avoidance. Trump - I'm smart. Hillary - You buy low and sell high. Trump - That's business. But then Hillary went for the jugular, Trump's obvious insecurities with regards to others perception of his financial status and his relationships with women. She has him nailed. I don't see how Hillary can erase her record at this point other than to plea, yet again 'What differences does it make?' The next debate hangs on whether Trump can overcome his insecurities. Does it really matter whether he's worth 1 billion or 10? Who is he trying to impress?

Thorby said...

Why is is that the Republicans continue to agree to having moderators that tag team with the Democratic candidate? I agree with Trump's suggestion that one should do away with the moderator. Let the candidates fight it out among themselves. There are no moderators when the President of the United States is talking to the President of Russia.

campy said...

Why is is that the Republicans continue to agree to having moderators that tag team with the Democratic candidate?

Because the alternative is no debate at all and being branded a coward for refusing an "impartial, unbiased" moderator.

Michael K said...

" it's rare to see sympathetic/likable women protagonists in movies. but i think that's changing."

There used to be in the 1940s, which was the golden age of Hollywood and especially women actors.

"-I'd actually like a president who is prepared and organized and runs a tight ship, not some chaotic mess that gets Althouse all giggly."

Stalin was pretty good at that. Especially the tight ship.

Government is not supposed to be that well organized but it has gotten so big that people want something.

The last really well organized government we had was under Eisenhower. He did such a good job that things seemed dull even though it was the height of the Cold War, He got no credit.

Brando said...

"Government is not supposed to be that well organized but it has gotten so big that people want something."

Government should be well organized at the functions we decide it should have. Even if the only thing the government handles is providing a national defense, do you really want a disorganized mess for that?

Chaotic governments with no rule of law and strongman fiefdoms is actually more fitting for dictatorships than western style democracy. I'd prefer the latter.

readering said...

I thought we root for the underdog. Trump seems the opposite of an underdog. Trump penthouse, Trump jet, Trump helicopter, Trump resort, Trump trophy wives and mistresses . . . .

BDNYC said...

I guess I'm rooting for him now that he's pissing off all the right people. I despised his boorish behavior during the primaries. I thought he was so undignified and clueless about the issues. But now, despite my enormous disagreements with him over trade and immigration (and God knows what else), I'm rooting for him. I want to see him figuratively burn DC to the ground.

The DC establishment, whether red or blue, should be made to feel uncomfortable for a few years. They richly deserve it. To them, Hillary is the comforting choice; if she becomes president, all the players will understand their proper role and play it without much thought or effort. Life would go on as usual. I have no doubt Trump would scramble things in unexpected ways and all of DC would be confused and on high alert. New cross-party alliances would develop in support of and in opposition to Trump's policies, which are often extreme and ad hoc and hard to place ideologically.

I'm rooting for him.

William Chadwick said...

"She is the sort of woman who 'lives for others' and you can tell the others by their hunted look."


Brilliant. I'll be quoting this for the rest of the election, although I don't think Queen Cacklepants lives for others as much as lives to rule others.

EMD said...

"I thought we root for the underdog. Trump seems the opposite of an underdog. Trump penthouse, Trump jet, Trump helicopter, Trump resort, Trump trophy wives and mistresses . . . "

So, you're voting for Jill Stein, then?

Bill said...

Here is the apotheosis of Feminism.

Thorby said...

Blogger campy said...
Why is is that the Republicans continue to agree to having moderators that tag team with the Democratic candidate?

Because the alternative is no debate at all and being branded a coward for refusing an "impartial, unbiased" moderator.

Would having no debates necessarily be a bad thing for most Republicans? It worked for Reagan, but not much since. George H. W. Bush kept looking at his watch. Dan Quayle was destroyed. Bob Dole kept talking about 'Democrat wars', those were the days. Gore sighed, lockboxed, and stalked his way out of the White House, but Bush was climbing in the polls before he debated John Kerry in 2004 and the polls actually went down. Sara Palin was destroyed. Mitt Romney was blindsided by Candy Crowley. Lester Holt hit Trump with taxes, women, birtherism, etc., and didn't touch Hillary. Where is the benefit? Perhaps at the beginning when newsmen had a good reputation the term 'coward' might have stuck, but when the MSM is down to 8% approval, who cares?

Brando said...

"Would having no debates necessarily be a bad thing for most Republicans? It worked for Reagan, but not much since. George H. W. Bush kept looking at his watch. Dan Quayle was destroyed. Bob Dole kept talking about 'Democrat wars', those were the days. Gore sighed, lockboxed, and stalked his way out of the White House, but Bush was climbing in the polls before he debated John Kerry in 2004 and the polls actually went down. Sara Palin was destroyed. Mitt Romney was blindsided by Candy Crowley. Lester Holt hit Trump with taxes, women, birtherism, etc., and didn't touch Hillary. Where is the benefit? Perhaps at the beginning when newsmen had a good reputation the term 'coward' might have stuck, but when the MSM is down to 8% approval, who cares?"

I think the debates did help George W Bush--he generally did well, and exposed Gore and then Kerry as prickly cold fish who seemed like jerks, and that harmed their images. Before that, you'd have to go to the '80s to see the GOP get the better in debates. Though ultimately I don't know how much the debates affect the end result. If your own guy does badly, you'll still back him.

David said...

Yes you are rooting for Trump. Me too. Underdog. Iconoclast. Bull in snooty china shop. Troublemaker. Semi-reformed delinquent. Seems that you and I are not well educated. All that studying down the drain. Glug, glug.

Chuck said...

David said...
Yes you are rooting for Trump. Me too. Underdog. Iconoclast. Bull in snooty china shop. Troublemaker. Semi-reformed delinquent.


Birther. Vaxxer. Truther. Former Democrat. Clinton donor. Jimmy Carter donor. Adulterer. Hitler-speech reader. Insulter of John McCain and all former POW's. Former proponent of the federal assault weapons ban. And Canadian-style national healthcare. Currently litigating two state fraud cases, each with multiple counts, for Trump University. Internationally-known golf cheat. Liar.

buwaya said...

"Birther. Vaxxer. Truther. Former Democrat. Clinton donor. Jimmy Carter donor. Adulterer. Hitler-speech reader. Insulter of John McCain and all former POW's. Former proponent of the federal assault weapons ban. And Canadian-style national healthcare. Currently litigating two state fraud cases, each with multiple counts, for Trump University. Internationally-known golf cheat. Liar."

Zaphod Beeblebrox - he's your man. He's your only man. There is no other. There's no other hope. God help you.

traditionalguy said...

Trump's only crime is being better at communications deciphering than the traditional know it alls in politics. The man is a valuable Intel unit single handedly figuring out what is happening. He wins the Joe Rochefort Award.

David said...

Jeez Chuck. I had no idea about that stuff. I guess I should change my mind and vote for Hillary because of her high integrity and flawless character.

campy said...

Would having no debates necessarily be a bad thing for most Republicans?

Do you think most republicans want to see 3 90-minute prime-time programs featuring the democrat, the "impartial, unbiased" moderator and an empty chair all talking about what a coward the republican is?

John said...

I think hunted look works better than haunted look. Hunted look is the look you have when someone is after you to do you ill.

That is the look we get when we find we have gotten on the govt radar and someone is dispatched to "help" us.

John Henry

John said...

You know who else was good at giving people what they wanted even when they had no idea what they wanted. Or, if they did think of it, that it was even possible.

Steve Jobs.

How many people "wanted" an I-Phone in 2000 on any kind of conscious level? How many people even thought of it? But Jobs did and it turned out that subconsciously everybody wanted one.

Ditto the tablet. Others had tried previously to make tablets and nobody wanted them. Jobs figured out what people really wanted, even if they didn't know it.

Sam Walton had a key insight: That the merchant must buy of the customers, not sell to them. Provide what they really want not cajole them into wanting it as K-Mart, Sears and so many others try to do.

Further back, Henry Ford had the same insight. Provide what people really want and there is little or no selling necessary.

Trump follows in those footsteps.

Crooked Hilary, and most other politicians of both parties, try to tell us that if we just try the kale we will really like it. Or that it is not really kale but green candy. And if all that doesn't work, "Eat the damn kale, it's good for you whether you realize it or not. Whether you like it or not" And remember all government is ultimately at the point of a gun.

Well, I say it's kale and I say the Hell with it.

John Henry

JOhn Henry

John said...

"The merchant must buy for the customer, not sell to them. "

Brando said...

"Do you think most republicans want to see 3 90-minute prime-time programs featuring the democrat, the "impartial, unbiased" moderator and an empty chair all talking about what a coward the republican is?"

The empty chair might do a better job than Trump did Monday. He would have been better off not showing up.

The one benefit for him is if he uses it as a "wake up" moment and gives a better performance next time. Remember Obama's first debate against Romney?

The lingering question, though, is can Trump brush off slights and not take the bait. I haven't seen him do that yet in a live setting, but he needs to if he's going to expand his support.

John said...

Re Eisenhower:

Yes, boring, dull, and effective. Not a politician but a manager and a damn good one.

I am racking my brains for who said it and I keep thinking either Rick Perry or Ron Paul but I don't think it was either of them:

They said that their goal as president was to be so dull that when they left office nobody would even notice they had been there.

Quote very approximate.

How many people can name a single president of Switzerland? (I don't even know what they call him/her. Prime minister?)

Yet I imagine most here could rattle off a dozen prime ministers/presidents of other countries like Japan, France, Germany, England etc.

Boring is good.

John Henry

John said...

Michael K,

I think Crooked Hilary would run a tight ship. She has somewhat of a reputation as a two fisted drinker.

John Henry

Chuck said...

David said...
Jeez Chuck. I had no idea about that stuff. I guess I should change my mind and vote for Hillary because of her high integrity and flawless character.


My personal opinion is that you should not vote for her at all. Just my opinion. You should vote, or not vote, as you see fit.

Bad Lieutenant said...

Henry said...
I've been aware as I watch the election unfold that I am rooting for Donald Trump.

I'm voting against him and hope he loses

My God, man, why?

A33Master said...

"I don't intellectually embrace him or much of what he is saying, but I know — it's so clear — that I'm rooting for him."

Because you believe he is one of your own. Yah. It is undeniable, indeed.

Thorby said...

I am reminded of Ulysses S. Grant, who was accused of being a drunkard. Famously:

'After the failure of his first experimental explorations around Vicksburg, a committee of abolition war managers waited upon the President and demanded the General’s removal, on the false charge that he was a whiskey drinker, and little better than a common drunkard. “Ah!” exclaimed Honest Old Abe, “you surprise me, gentlemen. But can you tell me where he gets his whiskey?” “We cannot, Mr. President. But why do you desire to know?” “Because, if I can only find out, I will send a barrel of this wonderful whiskey to every general in the army.”'

Given the failure of past Republican leaders, I am willing to forgive Donald Trump's foibles, as well. At least he fights.

Henry said...

@Thorby

I am reminded of General John Pope. When told of the man's arrogance and unreliability, Lincoln reportedly said, "I knew his family back in Illinois. All the Popes were liars and braggarts. I see no particular reason why a liar and a braggart shouldn't make a good general."

In Pope's case he didn't.

Thorby said...

In the case of Ulysses S. Grant, he did.

Peaceful warrior said...

I'm kinda hoping Bart Simpson doesn't become president.