When he fears he’s being laughed at

Steve Almond wrote about Trump’s contempt for women back in September…which seems like such a dewily innocent time now.

Trump’s central motive for entering the race, after all, was the shame he suffered after being laughed at during a fancy banquet.

He has spent much of the campaign stoking racial and religious resentment. This “politics of scorn” is nothing new in American politics.

But his preoccupation with humiliating and hurting women is unprecedented. To put it bluntly: We’ve never dealt with a politician — let alone a presidential candidate — so nakedly insecure about his manhood, and so hostile towards women.

As a reality TV star, Trump could get away with saying things like, “must be a pretty picture, you dropping to your knees” to a female contestant. His history of making unwelcome romantic advances and sexist comments is well documented.

What’s shocking is how little effort he’s made to control himself as a candidate. Throughout the primary season, he mocked women for being ugly or weak or bimbos, and when they challenged him, he conjured an image of “blood coming out of their wherever.”

He makes zero effort to control himself. The contempt and hostility work for him with people who like that kind of thing…and maybe he’s so addicted to their whoops of joy that he can’t bear to alienate them by controlling his rage and disgust. Or, more simply, maybe he’s just too stupid to figure it out.

The media celebrities who get access to Trump and his surrogates don’t have the guts to ask this question, but they should:

Why does Trump, when he fears he’s being laughed at, so often fantasize about violence against women? Does he really believe that rape is inevitable? And that it will be his role as president to punish women?

The more disturbing question is this: What do the mothers and daughters who intend to vote for Trump feel, deep down, when they hear huge crowds cheer him for saying these things?

That they’re different, so he doesn’t mean them.

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