Trump's general disrespect is surely less harmful than his race-baiting, but that, too, seems to has trickled down.
Not that politics pre-Trump was a debating society, but now people gather outside his rallies to scream abuse at each other ; at least one rally during the campaign turned into a literal brawl. Perhaps every politician has a strain of supporters who believe vile things, but Trump is unique in encouraging his fans' worst instincts. Who else would have even tolerated the " lock her up " chants that have become routine at Republican events?
Importantly, none of this nastiness is particularly connected to any sort of policy agenda. Strip away Trump's carnival barker persona and what's left is an unimaginative domestic Republican agenda of tax cuts and regulation slashing , coupled with a pro-authoritarian foreign policy.
But if Roman emperors stayed in power thanks to bread and circuses, many Trump supporters seem much more attracted to the circuses side of the equation. That might be an attractive message for a presidential candidate, but you want an actual president to stop fucking things up at some point. As corny as it sounds, a president is supposed to instill some sort of pride in citizens, the sort of pride that comes from knowing that there are serious, respectable people somewhere doing serious, respectable things.
One measure of Trump's failure on this score is that a record-low 47 percent of Americans were "extremely proud" of their country, according to a Gallup poll this summer.
Another measure is that this week Saturday Night Live got praised lavishly for apologizing for making fun of a Republican politician with an eyepatch. You know the country is badly starved for bipartisanship when SNL is getting those kinds of kudos.
You'd be so bored. Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for being here tonight.
Thank you very much,'" before jokingly tottering like a penguin away from the podium. It was sort of a funny imitation of a president, only the actual president was doing it.
It's not surprising that a man who got rich thanks to inheritance and tax evasion and got famous for being a rich asshole does not have a huge amount of reverence for the office he now holds. Trump's presidency has in many ways been predictable. T he belief that nuclear families are essential to the social operating system has long infused our collective psyche. In late 19th-century France, Emile Durkheim, an eminent figure in sociology, proclaimed that marriage integrates people into society while single life alienates them. Because they lack social support and a sense of belonging, Durkheim argued, single people were more likely to kill themselves.
More than a century of statistical scrutiny tells us that any link between singlehood and asocial behavior, including suicide, has been vastly overstated, if one exists at all. In our own research on the perceptions of single people, my colleagues and I presented study participants with pairs of near-identical biographical profiles, differing only in marital status. Participants routinely judged the married people as kinder, more loyal, and more caring.
They tended to view the singles as shyer, lonelier, and more selfish. Not only are these biases false—they may be backward.
How often did they socialize with friends, neighbors, or coworkers? How often did they give rides, help with errands, or pitch in with housework or repairs? Did they also offer advice, encouragement, or emotional support? Did they receive similar support in return? In every measure, single people as a group spend more time connecting with and helping others than their married counterparts.
Singles are more likely to do the same for their parents and siblings. They also devote more time and resources to caring for aging relatives or friends who are sick, disabled, or elderly. In cities and towns, single people are cultivators of urban culture. Compared to married folk, they participate in more civic groups and public events.
They go out to dinner more often and take more music and art classes. Single men also tend to be more generous with their money. Longitudinal studies, which follow people over many years, show these dynamics unfolding over time.
One such study, published in the Journal of Marriage and Family in , enlisted more than 2, representative Americans under age 50 who were not married or living with a partner cohabitation , and then tracked them for six years. Those who wedded or entered into a cohabiting relationship, meanwhile, became more insular.
They had less contact with their parents and siblings, and spent less time with friends than when they were single. After more than three years of marriage or cohabitation, with or without kids, couples were still less connected.
Other research shows that when married people get divorced, their social networks expand again. There is some evidence that romantic coupling also comes at the expense of other core relationships. In a recent study, the British anthropologist Robin Dunbar who famously estimated that is about the number of meaningful relationships a person can have at any one time surveyed people ranging in age from 18 to The results, though far from definitive, suggest that when a singleton couples up, his or her lover replaces two former confidants.
Many single people maintain their diverse social ties even as they age, bucking the stereotype that singlehood dooms you to die alone. Consider Lucy Whitworth, a retired teacher and single mother-of-none living amongst gardens and fruit trees in an intentional community in California. When she was diagnosed with cancer at age 68, her friends mobilized.
One person helped her make a list of everything she would need to do in the months ahead. Forty-eight others—square dance partners, bridge players, fellow volunteers—divvied up the tasks. In five of six countries for which data were available Finland, the Netherlands, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the U. But in another study of to year-old Australians, never-married childless women regularly participated in social groups and were more likely to volunteer than those who were or had previously been married.
Perhaps because the experience is often anything but isolating, many elderly singles choose to stay single.
Back Status of Women in the U. Who else would have even tolerated the " lock her up " chants that have become routine at Republican events? Back News Features. But it underscored how lazy the president is, and showed us what direction he's dragging the country in. Follow Harry Cheadle on Twitter. Not that politics pre-Trump was a debating society, but now people gather outside his rallies to scream abuse at each other ; at least one rally during the campaign turned into a literal brawl.
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