The List of Trump’s Sexual Assault Accusers is Growing: Where do Modern GOP Values Stand?
Ever since the release of the 2005 conversation with an unknown hot mic between Billy Bush and Donald Trump, the sexual assault accusation has hung like the dreaded albatross around the neck of the Trump campaign. And while Trump and many of his supporters are quick to decry it as just locker room talk, that of bragging about sexual prowess as opposed to actual actions, it has remained a looming threat to the campaign that grows more potent on a seemingly daily basis. While Trump’s campaign, supporters, and advocates fight passionately to dismiss and decry the implications the conversation carries, it feels increasingly like a battle of will versus evidence. And while Trump’s campaign has, from the onset, been no stranger to controversy – this particular accusation feels like it should be the nail in the coffin of a political train that has gone far, far off the rails.
Let’s start with the basic point that remains the most important one: the great concern is less that Trump spoke braggingly about these actions, but the sense of entitlement his speech betrays and the actions which he claims to have taken. The concern isn’t that Trump is a sexual being. If it were simply that, it would be laughably dismissed by the majority of the population as we are all sexual beings. The concern is that Trump openly admitted to pursuing a married woman and treating women as sexual objects he felt empowered to claim. He laments rejection and failure in his sexual advances, but brags proudly that he continues them. The behavior he describes isn’t simply an unwanted advance but definitively sexual assault – and that is terrifying to hear from the lips of a man wanting to hold the Presidency.
Now – many Republican voices have stepped forward to speak against Trump’s remarks. It is disheartening to be put in the position of praising those who decry sexual assault and the debasing of women, but given how few on the Right have done so it feels necessary. Decrying Trump’s remarks should be the moral standard, not the exception. Truly, I have to ask: how can a candidate who brags about sexual assault and adultery (as, by his own admission, Trump has no qualms trying to seduce a married woman) carry the imagined moral mantle of the Republican party? Although Trump has effectively spit in the face of Feminist values, he’s done more than that. He’s spit in the face of any sense of decency or basic morality – and that the Grand Old Party is still willing to embrace him reeks of rank hypocrisy. This is the champion they are lauding, and he is not the enemy of liberals but the enemy of honor and decency.
I imagine any Trump supporters still stomaching this piece are at the very least dismayed and at the most disgusted, but the question has to be asked: what have I said that isn’t born out with clear evidence? Trump has been on record repeatedly bragging about such behavior. The 2005 conversation with Billy Bush may have lit the fires in the public eye, but the evidence abounds. His inappropriate remarks about his own daughter aren’t exactly new, but his laughing (and, by his account, joking) admission of being a sexual predator is very real1 – take a listen yourself. Wanting to laugh that off as simply a joke, albeit one of poor taste? Then look at the numerous accusers now stepping forward to validate his sexual assaults23 – they number twelve and counting now. Trump is claiming the accusers are liars intent on damaging his campaign, but at some point one has to look at Trump’s own claims of sexually assaulting women and the number of accusers speaking up - and then draw the obvious connection.
And then we have the very recent Megyn Kelly interview with Newt Gingrich where Newt accuses Megyn of being fascinated by sex for even looking at the growing accusers and Trump’s own statements as a valid news point4. Newt tried to shoot down Kelly’s logic that this is a news story worth covering by firing back that she wasn’t offering equal coverage to Bill Clinton’s past accusers. While Newt is right that Bill Clinton’s own past of accusations is troubling and worthy of attention, Megyn makes the obvious point that Newt doesn’t want to hear: Donald Trump is running for President and Bill Clinton is not. The question being asked is of the morality and character of the current candidates for President, and trying to remove that focus is an unspoken admission that this isn’t a conversation Trump surrogates are prepared to have (for clear reasons). We’re less than two weeks from election day, and while Hillary Clinton is far from a perfect candidate – the idea that America can stomach four years of leadership by a self-avowed sexual predator seems horrifying. And so I close with a simple plea I’ll be repeating in the coming days: vote regardless of who you support, but vote your conscience – not your party.