It’s about time everyone is done with Donald Trump. Just when I thought he had already done and said the worst things a public figure (especially one running for the unimportant office of President) could say, he hit a new low. A video of him talking to Today show host Billy Bush about unwanted sexual advances on married women was released. The video shows him talking about being able to kiss women and grab their genitals without consent. In view of Trump’s comments, many Republican leaders, including Senator John McCain have denounced him as a candidate and withdrawn their endorsements. Trump’s lewd comments come at a time where he is already facing serious criticism for his treatment of women and minority groups. Even though his opinion on women is well-documented and known, the Republican establishment has been trying to put all these comments aside and embrace their nominee. It seems, however, that this video is simply too much for many of his supporters. In the hours following the video, Trump formally apologized for his words, but also referred to them as no more than locker room banter, to the chagrin of already uneasy Republicans. They felt this apology was nowhere near enough. And they are correct.
Trump’s comments bring to light many serious issues that face the United States. If this is a country in which bragging about rape is considered common banter among men, then we have indeed gone astray. I do not think that Donald Trump is representative of the American people. I do not think he represents our values. He has no interest in reaching out to others, he only wants to aggrandize himself. Is this the man we want to be President? Do we want to send a message to the world that we not only condone his actions but agree with them enough for him to be one of our leaders?
Mike Pence came out saying that his running mate’s comments were indefensible and wrong. But he did not step down. He continued his support. He will ride out this election with Trump. In short he is calling to Americans to vote for someone he cannot condone, as Democatic vice presidential candidate Tim Kaine pointed out in the VP debate.
Though Paul Ryan will no longer campaign for Trump, he has not rescinded his endorsement. The RNC also continues to stand by his side in spite of his inflammatory comments. Trump’s many supporters remain virtually unshaken, justifying his words just like he has: with much bravado and little remorse.
To be perfectly clear, Donald Trump has always been known for his misogyny. He has never tried to hide his contempt for women’s abilities. No one can deny these facts. He doesn’t even try to deny them himself. It is not difficult to believe that he would have the gall to brag about sexual assault because Trump is a man who appears to pride himself on his sexism. What is difficult to believe is that a person running for the presidency of the United States, running to be the leader of the free world, would do so. It is unbelievable and unprecedented. But it has happened. Republican leaders have swallowed his unpreparedness and his hateful statements. They have twisted and warped their values to stand by him. How is it only now that they are realizing they have aligned themselves with the wrong man? While Trump has shown his true colors in this leaked tape and the many Howard Stern interviews that were later unearthed, the party that embraced him is now running scared, wondering how on earth they got to this point. But they have no one but themselves to blame.