Another Double Standard?

Donald Trump can get away with cheating on his wife with a porn star, talking about “grabbing pussy,” and continually misrepresenting facts and changing his mind, and lying about it, and that’s just for starters… and his ratings among his Republican supporters are increasing. On the other hand, a single, and comparatively mild instance of a forced kiss and grope by Democrat Senator Al Franken forced his resignation and the end of his political career. These are the most glaring examples, but there are many more than a few others.

For the most part, although there are exceptions, at this point in history, Democrats seem to be less forgiving of sexual and ethical lapses by Democratic politicians than Republicans are of Republican politicians.

Is there a double standard?

That’s the wrong question to ask. The more accurate question is why Republicans tolerate, even ignore, behavior that has current Democrats cringing and defenestrating their own politicians after such behavior when their own politicians engage in it and furious when Republicans ignore such behavior by Republican officials.

It’s not a double standard. We’re talking about two different standards.

The values of Trump’s Republican base are anchored firmly in the 1950s, if not earlier, where men expect to be the single bread-winner, where women are subservient to men, where the rest of the world bows to U.S. wishes, where minorities know their place, where every man should have any gun he wants to possess, and where the business of government is business, with minimal government regulation and where untrammeled economic growth trumps the environment and civil rights, with the single later value is that deficit spending should only be used to reduce taxes, subsidize business, and increase U.S. military power.

The majority of Democrats don’t see it quite that way. They tend to believe that women should have control of their own bodies and that women and minorities should be paid equally with white men, that protecting the environment requires greater regulation on business, that the second amendment does allow certain regulations on the use of firearms, that national parks and federal lands shouldn’t be wide open for low-cost mining and extraction, that taxes are a price paid for a civilized society and that the most affluent should pay more of them in return for their affluence.

As a result of these differences, Republicans tend to minimize male misbehavior as “men being men” and to believe that women, minorities, and the poor only have to act like men to improve themselves, even while failing to recognize all the existing barriers to doing that, or the fact that minorities who act that way are considered rude and uppity, and assertive women are bitches. Study after study shows that identical resumes, articles, and work are more highly praised when a “white male” name is attached, and downgraded when a feminine or minority name is attached.

But no amount of logic is going to change values… or an outdated standard of belief that’s also at variance with the rest of the industrialized world. And unlike the 1950s, this time what the rest of the world believes will make a difference… and that difference will be costly to the U.S. in more ways than one, beginning with the oncoming trade war.

9 thoughts on “Another Double Standard?”

  1. JakeB says:

    On the blog called Digby’s Hullaballoo this morning I read the sentence “… this forming consensus among the Villagers that the Democrats are in big trouble because their voters are so angry — and that’s just off-putting to the Real Americans who matter in this country” and I realized the basic relationship between the Republican base and the rest of the country now is like an abusive relationship. After all, in such relationships, the abuser is 1) always angry 2) extremely sensitive about any affront to his pride 3) willing to go to any length to get his way 4) unable or perhaps unwilling to grant any admission of rights or equality to the other; while the abused 1) is never allowed to be angry 2) must always cater to the moods of the abuser 3) required to defer or be attacked or possibly murdered.
    Of course in this analysis, the national Democrats are much more like enablers than anything else, unfortunately.

  2. AndrewM says:

    Looking at this from the “other side of the pond” [UK] Trump has actually been doing what he said he would when he was elected – in a Politician this is unheard of! WE may not like him or what he does – But! – he seems to be getting results – Obarma was a wonderful talker but achieved little. We could do with a “Trump” in the UK – our country is run by a small Liberal Elite – much like the Democrats who have no idea what life is like outside of the Westmintster Bubble – being 100% PC is everything!! Anyway, having had my rant have just read “Outcasts of Order” – great book have read all LEM’s books apart from “One Eyed Man”.

    1. Tim says:

      @AndrewM. I am also in the UK and you echo completely my view of Trump even though he is a loose cannon and fires rhetoric in our direction on occasions. Though it seems most countries gets that treatment.

  3. R. Hamilton says:

    There have been times not many years ago when Republicans (perhaps not in power at the time) were forced by their own to resign over scandals comparable to those that were minor damage to Democrats.

    This may vary for any number of reasons: for example, with more such among those not in power, or less among those in power by a thin (in the Senate) margin, or simply by whether their base is fed up enough to give a pass on personal bad behavior, even if some of that same base would just as soon criminalize such bad behavior. In general, those on the defensive might be more willing to sacrifice a few for the many, while those on the offense might be willing to hold their nose for results.

    NOBODY is perfect; some are more obnoxious than others. But I wonder sometimes if there isn’t a certain utility in obnoxiousness, at least up to a point; compared to pervasive PCness, it’s almost refreshing, if also a bit disgusting.

  4. Tom says:

    Assertiveness using psychological definition is one thing, but assertiveness using the aggressive synonyms listed in dictionaries is another.

    Obnoxiousness is not necessarily destructive. Assertive destructiveness in the name of making something great again is completely different.

    Nigel was and is the UK’s Trump. The political behaviour leading up to the Brexit vote was very much US political behavior leading up to Trump being placed in the White House. Don’t confuse appropriate politeness with PC lying.

    At the moment it does appear as if there are two different sets of standards of behavior (not values) in the US. So which of them is the real US characteristic? Do we know ourselves?

  5. Tim says:

    @Tom. Nigel Farage failed where Trump succeeded. His success however was in the EU MEP elections which forced the UK government to allow a referendum on BreXit. That was enough however. They have no MPs at all in Parliament.

    His party is essentially dead unless BreXit fails in which case it will likely resurge.

  6. Tom says:

    @Tim. KIP wanted UK out of EU. Is not Brexit a success from that aspect? The damage to the UK is as much as what Trump is achieving against the US; economically at least. Although the sunset of the US coming several decades before it was expected is certainly more of a problem for the so-called free world. Yet the implosion of the EU will add to the over all slide into chaos and the world of the 45.

    Gloom and Doom from the aged.Come on you 20 and 30 year-olds show us the way back into the sunlight!

  7. Steve Visser says:

    I have to ask why the biggest democrat offender, Former President Bill Clinton was given a pass for all his womanizing and sex while he was in office. The democrats acted like it wasn’t a big deal and Hilary made the victims look like prostitutes.

    1. He wasn’t exactly given a pass. The House of Representatives voted to impeach him, but there weren’t enough votes in the Senate to convict him. And from all reports, Bill Clinton’s women weren’t “unwilling victims.” As for why he wasn’t convicted… that was because there weren’t enough votes, just like there aren’t enough votes either to impeach or convict Trump. Bill Clinton also didn’t have campaign and personal associates meeting with the Russians concerning elections, nor was the list of his misdeeds anywhere as extensive as Trump’s. As thing now stand, Bill Clinton was censured more politically by the Congress than Donald Trump has been.

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