Like any other article on Donald Trump’s presidential bid, it’s tempting to open with the seemingly obligatory “Whether or not you agree with him, he sure turns heads!” platitudes. My focus, however, aren’t the heads turned by the rambunctious real estate mogul, but the heads changed by him. Trump has successfully sparked, without a doubt, a national discussion on immigration far more productive to the right than any other since at least 2008. Notably, he did all this as a white man, unbound by the unwritten rules of publicly acceptable white male behavior.
I’m not going to endorse Trump as a presidential candidate in this article, mainly because I’m too edgy to do stuff like that. Instead, I am endorsing him as a model for how whites, specifically Christian white males, should act publicly. With the new shitstorm surrounding the term “cuckservative” brewing everywhere, I think it’s appropriate to see what the polar opposite attitude looks like, and how it’s worked so far. It’s important to study not only the rules white men are bound by, but what it looks like when they’re broken.
Trump’s brash, unforgiving, and unapologetic tone does, in fact, turn heads. It’s rare among his demographic to turn heads, to say the least. Mainstream white men, especially rich Christian ones, are considered irreverent just for being in the public eye. This irreverence is supposedly offset by following an unwritten code of publicly acceptable white male behavior. When they do appear in public, their image is often laced with a palatable cocktail of checking their privilege, taking pictures with black kids, and possibly making right-wing arguments using left-wing rhetoric (see “Welfare is a plantation mentality that hurts at-risk blacks!”) All this image-consciousness is a kneejerk response to fear of liberals-not a sincere attempt to “reach across the aisle.”
Talking trash on Twitter, spiking the blood pressure of reporters in your wake with snappy responses, and never apologizing for any of it seems to be reserved exclusively for the left these days. The left, for those of you who don’t remember, has been winning for a long time, so it’s not like these things make people leave their ranks. Even when #blacklivesmatter protestors act in an extremely unpalatable way by blocking traffic, the outrage seems limited to the right, the weak left, and the center. All it takes for the right to piss off the left (and center) is politely suggesting that surfing competitions should scan for sharks before taking place. Since angering the left is seemingly inevitable, is it time for us to just stoop to their level?
The left can be openly, brazenly left-wing, and rarely ever have apologize when they’re being dicks. The message is more important than the tone (unless, of course, a conservative is speaking.) Being in the left is an opportunity to vent your anger at a small group of “oppressors.” That atmosphere of freedom within the left to express a wide range of emotions, if not a wide range of ideological variation, puts their message at the forefront of public view. There is no publicly acceptable homo behavior, or publicly acceptable sassy black woman behavior to hold them back.
The right doesn’t have that freedom because the right is populated by either white males or minorities who have long lost legitimacy in the eyes of the left. When somebody on the right breaks the rules by standing up and saying something controversial without peppering his statement with apologies and caveats, his publicly acceptable white male image is shattered. White conservatives are more image conscious than their liberal counterparts because any anger shown will quickly resemble Adolf Hitler in the eyes of the left, and for some reason a lot of white men care what liberals think about them. This fear of angering political opposition inspiring mass apology and distancing from anger on the right puts our tone at the forefront and detracts from our message. This is the penalty we take for playing by the rules of publicly acceptable white male behavior.
Even those among the right who present themselves as friendly or polite are attacked regardless of how palatable they are. Liberals who say “all lives matter” are attacked for fucks sake, so why should white men expect not to get attacked? Eventually their attacks will wash away amidst Buzzfeed videos, news reports on dogs seeing soldiers come home, and op-eds on microaggressions. A white, Christian male with loads of money who doesn’t apologize sticks in the news, endures beyond all the attacks, and scares the hell out of the left. Publicly acceptable white male behavior is so deeply enforced and entrenched that to see someone reject it in such an open, brash manner seems almost unbelievable to them. Perhaps this explains the various (likely wishful) theories that Trump is insincere.
Trump’s brash attitude just isn’t how white men have been conditioned to act. No name-calling or lost endorsements have gotten him back into publicly acceptable white male behavior, so their options are getting very limited, and many are simply giving up. Huffington Post, for example, knows that seeing a white male with few-to-no compunctions about his beliefs demoralizes their SWPL audience, so they stopped reporting on him. They’d rather pretend he doesn’t exist than try to pressure him back into publicly acceptable white male behavior.
So sorry white males-publicly acceptable white male behavior doesn’t help us. Trump is soaring through the polls, and he didn’t get there by playing by the left’s rules. When’s the last time you saw a liberal apologize? When’s the last time bad PR made a leftist cause lose support from its own base? Outside of obscure professors apologizing for saying really nutty shit, your average #blacklivesmatter leftist never says sorry, despite having at least a few things to say sorry for. Even riots don’t faze them. That’s why their supporters don’t feel the need to shirk from public view when something ugly is done on their side. Why should we shirk when someone’s rude on our side? Hell, why shouldn’t we be rude when they are?
Trump’s message still hasn’t been washed away or pushed to the sidelines. It’s been called racist, but hasn’t been ignored by anyone for that reason. It’s been misrepresented a few times by mainstream outlets, but those who actually want to listen to him can hear him firsthand and make their own judgement. None of their conditioning tools work on him. Trump has successfully brought immigration to the forefront of American politics, and he did it by being brash, unapologetic, and not playing by the rules. The left is terrified of him, because he is acting how white men could be acting, but aren’t.
If enough people on the right start saying no to publicly acceptable white male behavior, using Trump as a model for doing so, the left won’t the ability to ignore this rejection of the unwritten leftist social code for the most unprotected group in America. Discussions like the one Trump started on immigration can start happening more often. Perhaps if enough people reject publicly acceptable white male behavior, we can get a serious conversation about Affirmative Action or free association going as well.
We need to understand that cuckservatism comes from following publicly acceptable white male behavior, not just from having publicly acceptable white male beliefs. It comes from fear of leftist reprisal, or being misrepresented by media outlets who already hate you for being white anyway. Most of us have nothing to lose for that reason. When a white man like Trump realized that leftists will hate him no matter how he talked, and when he rejected publicly acceptable white male behavior wholesale, changes in public dialogue started taking place. He should be seen as a model for how to be a white man in the public eye.