Donald Trump is isolated in his Tower, communicating only through cryptic messages sent out by “the campaign,” and bizarre statements of surrogates on television trying to justify things said by their candidate that cannot be repeated in their entirety due to FCC rules.
Trump’s own surrogates are condemning the terrible way he talks about women. Unsympathetic surrogates are insisting that Trump must remove himself from the race. Women are up in arms. Men who consider themselves gentlemen are horrified. As has happened so often in this election, the number one story is Donald Trump’s mouth and the far-too-frequently unacceptable bilge that comes out of it.
This time may be different. This may be a tipping point.
This time we don’t have some intemperate commentary or ignorant opinions about foreign policy. What we have is Donald Trump, in his own words, the audio of his own voice, saying things about women that are not just disgusting—they are confessional. In his own words, Trump tells then-correspondent for Access Hollywood Billy Bush that he kisses women, without waiting or asking, that he can do so because he’s famous, that he can grab their genitals.
This is not funny. It is not locker-room talk. It is not harmless.
It is sexual assault, and it is disqualifying.
The horror of this is not that it has come out. It is that the Party that selected this rapacious boor allowed it to come to this. There was nothing unpredictable about this. This is who Trump is. This is who he has always been. One would have to have been blind to the essence of Donald Trump to find any of this unbelievable.
The worst part of the unveiling of the True Trump is that this is the man before whom untold numbers of well-meaning Christians, conservatives, and Republicans bowed. Resistant at first, they gave in to the siren song of future access to ultimate political power. Before he ran, he began to lay the groundwork with donations that seemingly led to opportunities to speak to gatherings of religious people and those who had long toiled in the fields of conservatism. That access made Trump an acceptable figure in those environments. Those who resisted were assured that Trump was a genuine conservative, a genuine Christian, a man who could be trusted—more importantly, a man who could bring them back to power.
Donald Trump was a world-class adulterer. He was well-known to have cheated on two of his three wives, bragged about having affairs with married women, was the proud owner not only of casinos—but of the first strip club inside a casino. For decades, New York media had known and reported on him as a person who lies with astonishing frequency, who was suspiciously close to members of organized crime, who had sued and been sued literally thousands of times.
All this was known. But Jerry Falwell, Jr., and Paula White, and numerous people calling themselves “Pastor” and “Reverend” and “Doctor” lay their principles aside not for love of God, but for their hatred of Hillary Clinton. Some of the vilest lies about Hillary—that she is a secret lesbian, murdered Vince Foster (and literally hundreds of other people), that she is a practicing witch with her own police force—have, shamefully been spread by people of supposed faith. The hysterical emails, Facebook pages, Tweets that have circulated for decades have poisoned the minds of people to the point that they would accept anything or anyone to defeat Hillary. Even a man whose personal, professional, and public life was a minefield of inappropriate, unChristian behavior.
Donald Trump was a liberal. He donated to liberals. He held liberal viewpoints. He told television interviewers the economy did better under Democrats. He told them Hillary Clinton was a great choice for Secretary of State. He Tweeted that President Obama spoke for him in his gun-control speech after the Newtown tragedy. He invited the Clintons to his third wedding, and they attended.
All this was also known.
But conservative groups rolled out the red carpet for the liberal carpet bagging as a conservative. He had name recognition. He had money. He had power. He could bring them back to influence they had not had in the Oval Office since the first few months of the Bush 43 administration—maybe since Reagan. They told their members to back him. The NRA endorsed him early.
And so, the fairy-tale of Donald Trump, conservative stalwart, began to be spread across the land. He believed in guns now. His sons were hunters. He claimed he himself carried concealed, but slyly told an interviewer he wouldn’t specify where or what his guns were. He was for the family, despite crossing family groups on the transgender bathroom issue. Most of all, he became the Man Who Would Build The Wall.
For some, especially those who bought into the craziest of conspiracies, and the wildest of xenophobic fears, the Wall was enough. Nothing else mattered.
During the primaries, he played outsider to the party. He egged on his audiences to boo the mention of “establishment” politicians, especially Mitch McConnell and John Boehner. He took credit for Boehner leaving, and he lamented what a terrible job McConnell was doing. Once he had the nomination clinched, his criticisms of these figures faded away. Suddenly, they were ready to endorse him, and magically they became “great” people.
After the video released today, Paul Ryan has disinvited Trump from a “unity” rally that was supposed to be held tomorrow. Congressman Jason Chaffetz has withdrawn his endorsement. Outraged voices are crying for him to step down. Big donors, who were already skittish, are reportedly fleeing.
The truth is crystal clear. No voter will now have an excuse left to pretend they didn’t know? Donald Trump is a hypocrite. Donald Trump is a bully. Donald Trump is a coward. And Donald Trump has been exposed today as a misogynistic pig.
Shorter version: Donald Trump must never be president.
Image: By Gage Skidmore from Peoria, AZ, United States of America – Donald Trump, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=49611624