In my last column, I asked whether there was a tipping point for voters who supported Donald Trump. I remain flabbergasted that the “Access Hollywood” tape was not a deal-breaker for more people.
The tape, in which the now-president-elect bragged, in explicated terms, about sexually assaulting women and getting away with it because he was a celebrity, was headline news. Trump denied that the events he described took place, even though nearly a dozen women came forward to confirm that what he said was true. Apologists tried to minimize the incident as locker room talk. In the end, in trying to ascertain the truth, and since Trump admitted it was him on tape, there are only four possibilities:
1. Trump was telling the truth and the women were telling the truth.
2. Trump was telling the truth and the women were lying.
3. Trump was lying and the women were telling the truth
4. Trump was lying and the women were lying.
Considering that Trump was recorded from a hot microphone and the women that came forward describing the incidents the way Trump bragged about, scenario number one seems the most plausible. When you also consider that Trump said on “The Howard Stern Show” that he could walk into a beauty pageant changing room and get away with it because he owned the pageant, it demonstrates both a pattern of behavior and mentality. The things he said are so outrageous and nothing close to anything I’ve heard in a locker room, bar, or factory. This wasn’t a consensual affair (which is also wrong but not a crime), it was an entitled sexual assault.
Some people questioned the timing of the women coming forward. It should be remembered that it is a risky and invasive thing to accuse a presidential candidate of sexual assault. There are two events, however, that made it easier. First, Trump admitted on the tape that he did those things and second, there is safety in numbers. Once a couple of women came forward, it was easier for others to do the same — like Bill Cosby and his accusers.
Scenario number two obviously makes little sense. If Trump was telling the truth, there would be no real reason for women to come forward and lie about it. None of them, to this point, seem to be alternatively motivated.
Trump adopted scenario number three. He said he was lying about what he said, that his comments were just locker room banter, and that the women who came forward were all lying. He subsequently tried to humiliate a couple of them and threaten to sue others.
So the question is, why would Trump say such things if they weren’t true? How insecure would Trump have to be to make up these stories with such graphic detail? I mean, at the time he was a billionaire and married to a young beautiful model, why would he have to lie about other sexual endeavors? It’s usually the unsuccessful people who try to impress others with made-up stories and other exaggerations. If he did make up those stories simply to impress Billy Bush, it’s rather pathetic. It’s an ego that needs serious attention all of the time.
Scenario number four, like number two, makes little sense.
But let’s put this in perspective with other situations — and remember that we are comparing them to, at the time, a presidential candidate for the United States of America.
If a child came home from school and reported to his or her parents that someone in the school administration said the things Trump said, there would be widespread outrage among the parents. Fathers would show up to the school with baseball bats. And whether it was true or not, the likely outcome would have be an immediate termination.
If a man heard that Trump did that to his mother, wife, sister or daughter, it is likely that a fight would occur, or at least the authorities would be notified. Guys have fought over much less.
For most men, even an accusation, with or without a verified video tape, would be enough to ruin their careers and/or cause them considerable shame. Even some extramarital affairs have ruined or ended careers, especially political careers — consider the fate former presidential candidate John Edwards.
In other words, the things Trump said would likely get a normal American citizen either fired, beaten-up or arrested, and yet this country somehow rewarded this man by electing him to the most powerful position in the world.
We live in a country where people get mad over the color of a coffee cup, but sexual assault doesn’t affect women or the men who love them? Because the bottom line is that regardless of whether these women were telling the truth, Trump voters put either a sexual predator or someone who thinks it is cool to pretend/fantasize about being a sexual predator, deplorably into the White House.
Rob Swindell is a lifelong Lorain County resident offering his opinions on politics, science, and social issues. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.