Just when you thought that this political season could not get anymore bizarre, it sure did. The past week has had much of the political establishment outraged, appalled, frustrated or disgusted by the latest behavior of GOP nominee Donald Trump.
Well, the fact is that the comments were not all that recent. They were made in 2005 when then television celebrity host Trump was promoting his then hit NBC reality show program The Apprentice by making a cameo appearance on the network soap opera Days of Our Lives. Trump along with then Hollywood Access reporter Billy Bush ― riding on the show’s bus and apparently not realizing their microphones were recording ― discussed in crude, vulgar and sexist terms Trump kissing, groping and trying to have sex with women he was attracted to.
All segments of the media seemed aghast at what was admittedly shocking language that was being spewed by both men. The fact is that Bush’s indefensible defense of Ryan Lotche’s behavior during the summer Rio Olympic games should have given many rational thinking Americans cause for pause.
As if that weren’t enough, Mr. Donald Trump, billionaire businessmen, TV host, father of two daughters, married man Trump and 2016 Republican Party presidential nominee, held a “news conference” Sunday night with three women who have claimed Bill Clinton either sexually assaulted or harassed them and a fourth woman whose rapist Hillary Clinton was appointed to defend in 1975. Trump did this just prior to his second presidential debate against Hillary Clinton and he had the women actually seated for the debate.
This against the backdrop of more interviews and allegations of Trump admitting to groping women and engaging in other tawdry behavior being surfaced in the media.
The fact is that very few people are surprised that Donald Trump has behaved in less than respectful behavior to women. Hell, he has admitted this fact himself. But the level of arrogance that Trump has demonstrated rivals that of even the most crude, virulent pimp. This is a man who has blatantly admitted to sexually assaulting women and has dismissed his actions “locker room banter” and attempting to deflect attention to Bill Clinton arguing that the former president’s behavior was considerably worse. Talk about failing to take responsibility for your own actions!
There are men who are indeed sexist, condescending and misogynistic in their behavior toward women and their attitudes need to be called out. That being said, Donald Trump takes misogyny to an entire new level. The sort of behavior that Trump and Billy Bush exhibited is a classic form of closet sexism. As is the case with closet racism, Trump, Bush and other men of their ilk exhibit a downright chivalrous attitude toward women in their direct presence yet have no qualms with making deplorably crude comments in private about them.
In fact, all one has to do is review some of the comments on various blogs defending the behavior of both men (Trump and Bush) and the virulent sexist comments that accompany such sentiment. It is clear that these men do not see women as people who are fully and equally human, but rather as mere objects solely for the purpose of sexual objectification and pleasure. Racists behave in a similarly sinister manner.
Speaking of race, the fact is that Donald Trump is a classic example of White privilege, specifically White male privilege. The fact is that it has been his level of wealth, pedigree, connections and, to a degree, gender that have assisted him in many of his antics, giving him advantages and granting him privileges that would have been denied of others who do not fall into this category.
For example, does anyone honestly believe that a Black or non-White Hispanic man who had been married multiple times, admitted to cheating on his wives, publically picked fights with certain women (and men), called his opponents disrespectful names, insulted people of other races, questioned the citizenship and legitimacy of a White president would have been able to secure the GOP nomination as president? Let me answer that question for you. Hell no! In fact, he would have not have made it to the kids table debate. This is White privilege in action.
As of this moment, prominent Republicans such as former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, 2008 GOP presidential nominee and Arizona Senator John McCain, along with senators Kelly Ayotte and Rob Portman and Gov. Gary Herbert have withdrawn their support for Trump and have suggested that he step aside. Trump in his ever defiant manner has made it clear that he has no intentions of doing so.
His behavior during Sunday night’s debate made it clear with his non-apology. That was vintage Trump ― arrogant, narcissistic and callous. It appears that the GOP has allowed a crude, rude, vile and monstrous figure to flourish in a manner that may very likely cost them the keys to the White House the senate and possibly many local and state races as well.