2016: The Year of American Masochism

Two things, straight out: (1) I’m going to be breaking the rule I set for myself in a previous post by discussing a Donald Trump scandal instead of ignoring it, (2) this is not going to be a very well thought out article, more of a get things off my chest article.

So before I even saw the tape, I had heard that it contained Trump using misogynistic language on a bus. I had no interest to see the tape at this time as my hatred of Don was already almost to much for me to handle, and I figured anything like that tape could only reinforce that hatred as there is nothing he could do to wipe it away. That said, I was flabbergasted by the Republican fallout from the video. My very confused thinking went something like this: “YOU’VE KNOWN FOR A YEAR WHO THIS MAN IS!!! DON’T GIVE ME THAT STRAW THAT BROKE THE CAMEL’S BACK BULLSHIT IF YOU HAD A PROBLEM WITH HIS MISOGYNY, THERE HAVE BEEN AMPLE AND EASILY ACCESSIBLE EXAMPLES SINCE, I DON’T KNOW, THE SECOND HE ANNOUNCED HIS CANDIDACY!!!” I still feel that way. I think anyone who took this tape as a reason not to follow Donald Trump and even to call for him to drop out of the race either hasn’t been paying attention the last year or so, or knows that it’s far too late for him to actually drop out and at this point pulling their endorsement or whatever really doesn’t have much affect except for the optics which might end up making them look good. Short version: Sen. John McCain (as one example) gets to come away looking like he stands up for women and does not tolerate misogyny, when for over a year (and longer than that based on his activity in the Senate) he has not only tolerated, he has endorsed misogyny.

However after hearing what Trump said on that tape, I will admit I was surprised, even shocked, honestly. And that’s coming from someone who already thinks Trump is a predatory, misogynistic, sexist pig with no respect for the dignity of any woman, even his own daughters (specifically Ivanka) and wives (past and present). Even coming into the video with that view of Trump, I was floored by his comments – both the comment that everyone heard about what he is allowed to do to women due to his fame, and the later comments on that video about abusing his power as owner of Miss Universe to look at the contestants naked.  The language he used, the things he was discussing, the view of women he was portraying, and possibly worst of all, the fact that at the debate he denied that he had been talking about sexually assaulting women; it’s all the misogyny we’ve seen from Trump throughout this race rolled up into a ball and multiplied by a thousand. It’s the concentrated example that so many of us didn’t need, but apparently Republican lawmakers and if you believe the polls about 6-10% of voters did.

But you know what really made my spine tingle with disgust and general discomfort? When he planned to bring the women that had accused Bill Clinton of rape and sexual assault (and possibly some who had consensual affairs with him?) to the VIP box of the debate. It made me uncomfortable in part because there’s so many layers to it. Because in no way is it wrong to confront Bill Clinton with the women he hurt while abusing his power. In no way is it wrong to call out Bill Clinton for being the slimy, predatory misogynist that he is. But it’s Donald Trump doing this, not Barack Obama, not Mitt Romney, not even Sarah Palin. And he’s doing it right after the leak of this video that showed to the entire nation what a disgusting creep he is. Essentially, he is using Bill Clinton’s victims as a prop, as showmanship, as a debate strategy. He doesn’t give a shit that Bill Clinton is a rapist and serial adulterer. He doesn’t care about these women just like he doesn’t care about any women. That’s what didn’t sit with me well. Say this race was being run between Mitt Romney and Sec. Hillary Clinton. I would not have nearly as much of a problem if Romney did the same thing, even though he’s long been accused of misogyny, the “binders full of women” gaffe was nothing compared to Trump on that bus. So that’s part of it. Another part is something no one could get away with, which is using those victims to gain an upper edge on Sec. Clinton. It makes sense to call up the times she degraded her husband’s accuser because that relates to her primary statement essentially which is that she is going to work harder for gender equality than anyone has ever before. Bringing that up, in my eyes, is fine. It’s not pretty, but it is politics. But bringing up that her husband sexually abused, raped, and had sex with multiple women while married to her just to throw her off her game or embarrass her? There’s no place for that in a political debate. The place for that is in journalism – digging up evidence to support or refute these claims and letting the reader come to their own conclusions. Bottom line is Trump pulling this move is gross and it’s degrading to the women he’s talking about.

Finally… a two year, Republican led investigation into Benghazi that encompassed 33 hearings, 4 of them public all to find Sec. Clinton did not do anything criminal… After an FBI investigation into her server and emails that concluded that she was negligent but not criminally negligent and that they could not find any legal precedence to charge her (btw the Director of the FBI, James Comey, while impartial in his position, is a lifelong Republican)… after all of this thorough investigation all saying that there is nothing criminal that she did, Wanna-Be-Dictator Donald Trump actually threatened during a Presidential Debate where he appeared as a major party nominee, that should he be elected he would assign a special prosecutor to “look into [her] situation” and later said that she would be in jail if he were President. I’m fucking done with this election, man. And what pisses me off the most is that I know this kind of drivel is only beginning. I know the painful politics of 2016 aren’t likely to end when I pull the lever, or push the button, or punch the card, or do whatever to vote for Sec. Clinton.

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