Saturday, October 8, 2016

Donald Trump does the impossible: making Bill Clinton look classy by comparison

You know, I very nearly posted the video of Donald Trump talking in very obscene terms about how he gets to grope women because he's a star, and where he can grab them, and what he tried to do to a particular married woman. But no. Not even the bleeped version.

This tape, after all, reveals nothing about Donald Trump that people have been paying attention haven't known all the time. He's bragged about his affairs with married women before. His "locker room" excuse has at least some credibility because a great many men use such language in the exclusive company of other men, sad to say. Jack Kennedy, for example. Or Lyndon Johnson, Or the inimitable Wiliam Jefferson Clinton. Granted, most of them are 11 or 12 years old, but cases of arrested development have ascended to high positions of power before.

Such disrespect toward women, such objectifying of them, is despicable. It's one of the less attractive behaviors of my gender. But sadly, it's often one of the ways pre-teens (and sometimes older men, too) display their virility to other men. It's all too common. If simply having  at some point said the kinds of things Trump says in the video were enough to disqualify a man from the presidency there are quite a few presidents who never would have served.

For too many boys- and some men, too- , such things really are mere "locker room banter." Most of the time they don't even reflect their actual attitude toward women. Often it's simply a matter of fitting in with the crowd. A locker room is not the place to view the male of the species at his best. Among all the 12- year-old boys, there are also too many men- and even some women- out there right now who are confused as to what the fuss is all about.

Not that someone as ignorant, narcissistic, dishonest, unstable, and yes, emotionally immature as Donald Trump needs any further reasons to be disqualified from the presidency, It's not as if Trump hasn't been openly saying things like that about women all along, though usually in less, shall we say, pungent terms.

It's not even that he had the monumental bad judgment to say things like that around a microphone that might even possibly be live. Presidential candidates have gaffed into microphones they didn't know were live for years. And besides, The Donald wasn't a candidate for president back then, and there was no particular reason to think that he ever might be. He was just a businessman with a knack for self-promotion who had made himself into enough of a celebrity to be doing a bit part as himself in a soap opera.

No, I think they err who see this as a new scandal that can be used to discredit Donald Trump. It doesn't finally tell us anything about Trump that we don't already know. Yes, he has the morals of an alley cat. Yes, he considers women as objects for his own gratification and holds them in contempt as human beings.  Yes, he's emotionally immature and yes, he has absolutely terrible judgment.

And that's just the thing. This incident sums up Donald Trump in all his insubstantial, bush-league loserhood. If this incident hurts him it will be because people in denial as to who and what The Donald really is will be confronted with the truth in such a direct way that it will challenge their powers of self-deception.

But I wouldn't worry about it too much if I were the Donald. Yes, Hillary will be apoplectic (and rightly so for a change). Yes, her loyal servants in the mainstream media will tsk-tsk and shake their heads. But then, it's not as if Trump's core constituency will see anything wrong with what he said. And the people who will vote for him because he isn't Hillary are not going to be persuaded by this incident of the loathsome jackass that he is.

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