In what is becoming known as "The Softening," Donald Trump is trying to get away from some of his positions and aggressive postures where, for example, he seemed to relish cruelty toward the Khan's - the Gold Star family - who lost their son in Iraq.
Trump won popularity with white uneducated males by presenting himself as a malicious if not malignant figure as he excoriated women as being "pigs," equated Mexicans with rapists and murderers, and presented one of his many conspiracy theories that Mexico was purposely sending their degenerates to the U.S.
As one slow to repudiate David Duke and the Klan, he showed his racist followers that he was actually a hard-ass white nationalist. Of course, as one of the founders of the birther movement he sought to discredit the citizenship and legitimacy of America's first black president. Needless to say that pleased his racist followers.
Above all, he projected strength and virility as he bragged about the size of his hands, which he likened to the size of his penis. His followers viewed him as hard, rigid and tough, never ever gentle, which they probably equated with characteristics of weak women.
But polls show that suburban white republican women have been repulsed by Trump's racist tough guy persona. His new campaign manager, pollster Kellyanne Conway, has told Trump that he cannot win without their vote, that he must be softer and nicer to women, Hispanics and Blacks to get that vote.
So, Trump, who initially made deportation of 11 million Hispanics from the U.S. the number one issue in this campaign, has become soft on it and now says 99% of them may stay. Observers have noted that his once rigid hands have now become flaccid as he famously gestures to the audiences in his speeches. Too, his orange color seems to have a kind of red tint. It is not clear just why.
He is now pandering to Blacks and Hispanics. He presents himself as a kind of white savior who will overcome crime, poverty and despair in their crime-ridden dystopic neighborhoods, where supposedly all Blacks live. Of course Trump is repeating rampant white stereotypes and beliefs about black people, millions of whom are actually quite middle or upper classe in their life styles and beliefs. He does look somewhat hysterical as he panders. Of course hysteria is associated with women in parts of America where sexism is still rampant. Trump would be dismayed at my characterization of him. Maybe I'll get one of his hostile tweets!
This reporter went to Maryland's biggest and blackest suburban county, the swank National Harbor - with its impending Vegas-size MGM casino, docking stations for Potomac River yachts, and skyline views of the nation's capitol - it is the crown economic jewel of Prince George's County, 70 percent black and home to the nation's largest concentration of affluent African Americans.
There, I interviewed Jonathan Swift, M.D. who told me that following politics one of his favorite pastimes when he was not golfing, boating, writing poetry, and attending cultural events with his wife Linda, a professor at Geogetown University.
"Let me put it to you bluntly, Trump is one fat, big assed, limp dicked dude who talks about his big hands 'cause nothing else isn't big, if you know what I mean. His disordered personality isn't up to conning anyone but low IQ uneducated knuckle dragging white rednecks. This vulgar man isn't going to change. Whether he can get white suburban women to believe that I severely doubt. They are my patients, although the mob at Trump rallies wouldn't believe it," said Dr. Swift.
For this one man, at least, "The Softening" is not going to work.
James Wrightwood, a media expert who teaches at U.S.C. commented on Trump's new "pivot" or "evolution" as some superficially educated pseudo-celebrity personalities at CNN describe it.
"You'd have to ask my colleagues who teach psychology with a psychoanalytic bent to talk about the effect of the new approach which isn't at all strong and robust. I imagine phallic symbolism has been Trump's strongest strengths. He's not abandoning it but it must be suspect on some unconscious level to his followers. What I do know is that Trump, in the primaries, mastered the dynamics of celebrity and media in what is the sick, obssessive, narcissistic celebrity culture of the U.S. That's why he got millions in free TV attention. He actually transformed what campaigning is all about."
"But, at least for now, manager Kellyanne is trying to transform him into something he's not. He's now not at all the strong, self-assured, infallible guy he presents himself as. Look at his body language. The 'new Trump' isn't something he believes in. His shoulders are more rigid than ever as he is perhaps frightened. But his fingers are limp as he shouts and almost screams to his audience trying to maintain his credibility. 'Methinks the lady doth protest too much,' said the bard. That's a shoe that fits our new Donald," said the professor.
"I don't want to get into the weeds too much said Wrightwood, but I laughingly tell my students that it's the old story, the woman campaign manager Kellyanne sapping the strength of Trump. 'Do not give your strength to women," says the Bible. Of course I point out what happened to Solomon, 'God made him king over all Israel; nevertheless the foreign women caused even him to sin.' I guess we all remember the story of Samson and Delilah," he concluded.
"Again, my expertise in the matter is limited. You'd have to ask my shrink colleagues if Trump has castration anxiety. I don't know about that, but to use a Trumpian phrase 'believe me, I will tell you,' the guys a train wreck. You almost want to feel sorry for him."