Stereotypes are no good. They are to be avoided whenever possible: Hillary Clinton as man-hater and sexual enabler, Donald Trump as racist, xenophobic, and misogynist.
But it's possible for someone to foster a stereotype, whether intentionally or unintentionally.. At Monday night's debate, Mrs. Clinton noted
and one of the worst things he said was about a woman in a beauty contest. He loves beauty contests, supporting them and hanging around them. And he called this woman "Miss Piggy." Then he caled her "miss Housekeeping" because she was Latina. Donald, she has a name.....
Her name is Alicia Machado.
Lester Holt tried to let Trump out, tried to pivot to a final question. However, the candidate would have none of it, interrupting Holt in order to ramble on about Rosie O'Donnell.
Appearing the next morning on Fox and Friends, Trump- without being prompted- stated
That person was a Miss Universe person, and she was the worst we ever had, the worst, the absolute worst. She was the winner and, you know, she gained a massive amount of weight, and it was a real problem.
He added Clinton "went back into the years and she found this girl ... and talked about her like she was Mother Teresa, and it wasn’t quite that way, but that’s okay.”
One could almost hear Kellyanne Fitzpatrick Conway, who knew the character of the man she signed on to, nevertheless telling her client "Let it die, Donald, let it die..."
But that wasn't the only situation of its kind on Monday night. Asked how we "fight" cyberattacks, the GOP nominee cited support for his candidacy from military officers and the union for the border patrol, then added
I don't think anybody knows it was Russia that broke into the DNC. She's saying Russia, Russia, Russia, but I don't -- maybe it was. I mean, it could be Russia, but it could also be China. It could also be lots of other people. It also could be somebody sitting on their bed that weighs 400 pounds, OK?
Sometimes you stop in your tracks and go: huh? This was not necessarily a crack about women- the 400-pounder may be a male- but neither Edward Snowden, nor the then-Bradley Manning was particularly overweight. Clearly, the stereotype of the computer nerd is not somebody sitting on their bed that weighs 400 pounds, OK?
The simple explanation is that this man has something against people (other than himself) he considers overweight. And as someone whose income tax returns are being (allegedly) audited for (allegedly) several years and has been a plaintiff or a defendant in approximately 3400 cases, he has put a target upon himself by choosing to run for President. Victory- or defeat0 in November may have a great impact upon the legal issues swirling around him.
Trump's tendency in this campaign toward self-destructiveness could be critical in its outcome. What possesses him?