The Role of White Male Entitlement in Trump’s Refusal to Concede

Alisa Burris
Nov 25, 2020 · 5 min read
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Over the past horrifically tumultuous four years, I’ve joined millions of others to watch the evolution of Trump’s cruel regime, always feeling helpless and apprehensive. Throughout this entire period, I devoured information about our now lame-duck president. With uneasy eagerness, I absorbed every meanngful nugget, primarily to face my own fears about what damage he could do to our demoncracy, how he might destroy multiple freedoms to cement his power.

In each article, each study, each Facebook post from the numerous political groups I now follow, one startling consistency has remained within plain view. This president’s white maleness gives him unlimited, unrestrained influence in almost every area of his existence. Up until now, his exclusive membership in this elite club of patriarchal authority offered him legal exemption, enabling him to commit unthinkable wrongs without any repercussions. In fact, he’s enjoyed this constant protection for numerous decades, only magnifying the narcissistic beastliness that delineates his transactional, wildly self-serving core.

And this very security, which has allowed, even encouraged, Trump’s vindictive petulance to fester, also explains his absolute refusal to concede.

While I’m certainly no psychological expert, I suspect that because Trump has been granted every imaginable wish his whole life, never having to strive, buckle down, or persevere to meet a desired goal, he simply cannot reconcile his current predicament. The immovable fact that his presidential powers are dwindling just won’t register. Quite feasibly, he feels infinite ownership of this position, ignoring the reality that it’s earned through votes by the electorate. The notion of investing an effort to win voters’ trust is lost on him since we’re marginal in his perspective and he’s never really had to lift a finger before. Just look at how he shrugs off the hundreds of thousands of tragic deaths, which continue to rise with every passing day, that are due to his psychopathically careless treatment of the coronavirus. For months, he has allowed it to waft freely across the nation, killing people each minute and spreading the deadly disease to even the most remote communities, without even the slightest concern or sliver of empathy. Our lives are invisible, disposable, so evidently expendable that we only matter as ballots he can divide into legal or illegal piles, depending on our political affiliation, gender, and/or the color of our skin. He jets off to play golf at his various properties and rakes in more of our taxpayer dollars while people suffer dreadful fates in overcrowded hospitals, hooked to machines in ICUs, needlessly taking their last gasps due to this president’s atrocious negligence.

The ghastly circumstances that we endure right now never had to reach such a hideous level. It’s because we’ve been held hostage by an entirely image-oriented showman who has never been held accountable and feels entitled to a powerful position he shows no genuine interest in fulfilling. Unfortunately for us, the bubble of privilege only bolsters Trump’s mortifying mindset with the American people as actual victims.

Despite this indisputable proof that we, the electorate, are nothing but a potential source of applause in this egomaniac’s eyes, he insists the presidency should still belong to him. According to his distorted reality, we have no right to choose a leader who feels authentic concern for our wellbeing and takes steps to shield us from harm. To Trump, he possesses the presidency and that’s all that matters. At the same time, he feels no qualms about attempting to silence hundreds of thousands of Black voters across the nation in a dehumanizing plot to reverse an election he clearly lost. And he observes no boundaries with his norm-shattering readiness to pressure governors, local and federal politicians, and election administrators alike to hand him a second term in spite of the voters’ will.

But that shouldn’t be a surprise.

Over the course of his famously distasteful and flamboyant past, he’s always had someone nearby to enable him, to make everything work out in his favor. Friends in high places have suppressed questionable rumors, funded his flailing businesses, manipulated facts to shape his financial records, hidden his sexual transgressions with secret payments, and, in general, sheltered him from any real accountability. So openly breaking the law, when necessary, to help himself inspires no shame. Whatever he has to do to guard his dominance is justifiable in Trump’s universe.

With this impenetrable attitude, it’s pointless to think such a man could ever concede. His decades of privileged insulation will never permit it.

Meanwhile, women leaders who strive to obtain political power for the good of the American public, from state and local positions to the presidency itself, are mocked, ruthlessly targeted, and villified by Trump and his cult. Women like Hillary Clinton, Kamala Harris, Stacey Abrams, and so many others view America’s health and welfare as priorities, demonstrating an impressive integrity that Trump sorely lacks. These committed and highly skilled women don’t see elected office as an opportunity to monopolize the spotlight, but to engage in public service for the benefit of American society. When they’ve lost elections, they graciously step aside and find other avenues where they can contribute in profound ways. While failing to obtain a political position after an intensive campaign must be heartbreaking, they each realize this nation is bigger than themselves, that they’re not at the center. Indeed, they acknowledge the loss and congratulate their rival. Not once has any one of them thrown infantile tantrums to overshadow and attempt to reverse the constituents’ will.

In one sense, women have the distinct advantage of having to work much harder to achieve their goals than men who embody America’s entitled class. Because we live in such a misogynistic culture, it’s more difficult for women to earn power of any kind. So when we don’t attain a certain objective, we have the maturity, essentially the philosophical perspective, to push forward with alternative plans, never assuming the world owes us anything. Furthermore, that intense disappointment doesn’t stop us from standing back up, dusting ourselves off, dressing each wound, and forging ahead, not if we want something bad enough. Inequality, while undeniably terrible, can serve as a form of empowerment, making us more determined than ever to figure out other pathways to get what we want.

Ironically, Trump has been weakened by the lifelong, often lazy expectation that he’ll be given anything he wishes without a whole lot of effort. So now that he’s faced with this unwavering wall, which rigidly bars him from a second term, he doesn’t have thick enough skin to endure the rejection.

Concede? It’ll never happen.

The official transition to Biden’s administration will definitely progress to the January inauguration. But Trump won’t ever acknowledge his own loss. He’s too fragile. I almost feel sorry for him now because of this regrettable flaw.

Although Trump has lived a luxurious and privileged existence, always enjoying the best of everything, white male entitlement appears to be his ultimate undoing. And it couldn’t have happened to a more fitting specimen of humanity.

engendered

Using gender as a lens to examine power, privilege, and oppression in culture and society

Alisa Burris

Written by

A teacher who’s always learning while writing a dissertation about the cultural alienation of Jewish women writers

engendered

An intersectional feminist publication normalizing anti-sexism, uplifting survivor voices, and decolonizing hearts and minds, one story at a time.

Alisa Burris

Written by

A teacher who’s always learning while writing a dissertation about the cultural alienation of Jewish women writers

engendered

An intersectional feminist publication normalizing anti-sexism, uplifting survivor voices, and decolonizing hearts and minds, one story at a time.

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