To Trump Or Not To Trump

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Well, that got ugly quick, didn’t it? A couple of weeks ago, we all thought this was going to be a real election. We saw the poll numbers and believed that this one might actually go down to the wire. Many of us were hyperventilating into brown paper bags to relieve ourselves of the fear that we might indeed have a president who suggested that he would use military force to counter an obscene gesture made towards our troops. And then we saw the video of Donald Trump bragging about his ability to get away with sexually assaulting women, like some lecherous old man at a nursing home who pretends to be senile in order to grope the staff without consequence, and we implicitly realized that Hilary would have to get caught giving lap dances to known Islamic terrorists in order to not be voted the next president of the United States. That, my friends, is what we call a game changer.

Suddenly, even prominent Republican lawmakers decided it was time to distance themselves from Trump. What’s that low beeping sound you just heard? Yeah, that’s GOP leaders like Paul Ryan and New Hampshire Senator Kelly Ayotte backing away from their support of Trump with their tail tucked firmly between their legs, though admittedly in Ayotte’s case, that may also be a knee-jerk reaction to protect herself from having Trump grab her by the pussy. Once the party of “family values”, Republicans found it difficult to defend the presidential candidate they somehow now found themselves stuck with. Even Trump’s running mate Mike Pence was compelled to criticize the behavior from a 2005 video that he had to know would keep him at least several blocks away from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue for the next four years.

Still, some of us were left wondering how it ever got to this point in the first place. After months of bewildered head scratching, those of us with at least some common sense walked away glad to have everyone else on board but nevertheless curious as to what the hell took some people so long in the first place. How was it possible, we wanted to know, that some people could not have seen this up until now? What had they been missing?

Were they not there when this oversized bobblehead with arms openly mocked a reporter with a physical handicap? Were they just not listening when he suggested that Mexicans were inherently criminals and rapists, even though illegals actually commit crimes at a statistically lower rate than the general population? Perhaps they excused it when he followed that by adding that, “Some of them, I am sure, are good people,” thinking that Trump didn’t hate ALL Mexicans, just most of them. Did they miss his comments supporting criminal punishments for women who had abortions? Had they simply ignored his remarks smearing Ghazala Khan, the mother of a fallen American soldier, by implying that she was not allowed to speak, despite the fact that she had spoken publicly about her son’s death? Did they forget that Trump was a major force behind the racially-based inquiries into the birthplace of our first black president? Were they out of the country when Trump accused U.S. District Judge Gonzalo Curiel, who is presiding over the fraud case against Trump University, of being biased against him solely because of his Mexican heritage, despite the fact that he is a U.S. citizen who was born in Indiana? At every point along the way, the rest of us thought Trump had done himself in with one batshit crazy statement after the other, but somehow, like a man coated in Pam cooking spray (which you have to admit he does sort of look like), nothing stuck to him. How Trump got away with this nonsense left us shaking our heads in befuddlement.

Scary clowns...
Scary clowns…

And then this happened. We finally saw Trump throw down comments from which he could not back peddle. Why? Trump finally insulted the one group he could not afford to lose: women. Up until a couple of weeks ago, Trump was in a virtual dead-heat with Hilary despite polling in the single digits amongst African-Americans and Latinos. How? Because he was still doing so well with white men. But Trump pissed off women, and at 50% of the population, that’s a voting bloc he just couldn’t alienate. While I am pleased to see the power that this seems to suggest for women (and let’s remember that women only earned the right to suffrage throughout this nation less than a hundred years ago), I am still dismayed at what it implies about the people who supported Trump right up until this latest catastrophe.

Listen, I have many friends and colleagues who I respect that consistently vote Republican. While we may differ in our opinions, we can engage in healthy and constructive political discourse about what is the best future path for our country. They generally toe the party line, and I get that they vote for their candidate just as I vote for mine. But Trump is a different kind of animal. If you were waving the flag for this guy over the past several months, you can’t just pack up and bury your head in the sand now. No, my Republican friends, like the sheepish teenager who farts in a small enclosed room, you need to raise your hands and own this pile of crap.

If Trump’s misogynistic comments on a bus in 2005 were the first deeply offensive and insensitive remarks to come to light, I could understand it, but Trump has been spouting hateful racist and sexist remarks for years now, and you still somehow found him fit to be your party’s nominee to be the next leader of the free world. You can’t engage in false outrage now when you overtly ignored all that came before this. And when the chickens come home to roost for the party, Trump will still be there to sell them to you as steaks.

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