The Assassination of Common Decency by the Coward Donald Trump
Donald Trump has finally offended everyone but white men. Where do we go from here?
“That’s the straw that broke that broke the camel’s back,” said the nation of the camel firmly entombed in straw, slurs, and solecisms.
Famous person and ostensibly literate presidential hopeful Donald Trump a decade ago suggested to allegedly famous person Billy Bush–who is apparently not the guy from “The Mentalist”–that you could, as a famous person, use women as finger puppets. Now that video of the exchange has been released and the country has lost its collective mind. Rightfully so.
Trump’s boasting about attempted infidelity, using Tic Tacs as a date rape device, and sexually assaulting women was when the country said they were sick and tired of Trump’s offensive remarks, the country sleepwalking in a delirious sweat and frothing at the mouth.
When Donald Trump affirmed that radio host Howard Stern could refer to Trump’s oldest daughter Ivanka as a “piece of ass,” the nation said “All right, that’s enough, pal.”
Narrator, possibly Ron Howard: “It was more than enough.”
But isn’t it frustrating that it took Donald Trump being caught disparaging white women to change the many minds that weren’t previously made up about Trump? I mean, yeah.
Why not when he called for a ban on Muslims entering the country?
When he described global warming as a hoax perpetrated by the Chinese?
Or repeatedly said President Obama was a Muslim?
When he called Mexican immigrants murderers and rapists?
When he insulted presidential nominee Carly Fiorina’s appearance?
When he was quoted as saying “laziness is a trait in blacks?”
When he mocked a reporter’s physical disability?
When he endorsed the idea of murdering terrorists’ families?
When he again said that the Central Park Five should have been executed?
Or said sexual assault in the military is what happens when you get when you “put men and women together?”*
*No, it’s what happens when you put women and Donald Trump together.
I mean, the list goes on and on. It’s not just liberal jingoism, either! This man really believes he “can relate” to victims of racism because “even against me the system is rigged.” He really bragged about the size of his dick during a primary debate and promised to violate the 14th Amendment in order to deport Muslims.
Were we just not paying attention before?
That in it of itself is offensive the millions of people this misogynistic, xenophobic, racist joke of a man offended before his most recent sexually perverse sermon.
While most (not all) Americans agree that what Donald Trump said was irredeemably offensive, some stand behind the dried apricot covered in cat hair. Using Olympic-level mental gymnastics that would impress McKayla Maroney, some have equated Trump’s remarks to “50 Shades of Grey” or rap lyrics.
Now last I checked, an elementarily-written snuff book about pseudo-consensual BDSM and Migos weren’t running for president. But in a nation where Deez Nuts and Harambe receive votes in the primary, anything is possible. Especially when the two candidates are probably the most universally disliked and distrusted people in the country.
But Trump has done what no presidential candidate has done before him: Made Tic Tac address rape culture.
More importantly, I think, he’s made us take a look at ourselves.
There are still those who will equate what Trump has done to Hillary Clinton not knowing how to use email. There are still those who will say that what Trump has done is nothing compare to what Bill Clinton–who’s still not running for president, by the way–has said and done. Donald Trump “could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody”and there would be “REMEMBER WHEN HILLARY SHOT FOUR INNOCENT PEOPLE ON FIFTH AVENUE IN BENGHAZI?” memes circulating on your Twitter feed faster than you can spot the black person paid to be a Trump rally.
It’s upsetting that it’s taken most of us to get here, where we can agree that Donald Trump is an insane egomaniac whose America is a place where minorities, women, members of the LGBTQ community, and frankly anyone who isn’t free, white, and 21 is a second-class citizen. There is no way you can absolve this man and say he is fit to be president, let alone invited to your daughter’s bat mitzvah without wondering if he’s got the chutzpah to say your uncle runs Clinton News Network or grab your wife’s tuches.
But there are men (and even women!) out there saying, “Not in my locker room!” and “OK, but look at how Megyn Kelly dresses.”
Rudy Giuliani attempted this on “Meet The Press” earlier and, well, have a look for yourself.
Look, this is no longer about the presidential election. It’s about decency.
If tomorrow someone leaked a soundbite from Trump’s hot mic on the set of “The Apprentice” and he was recorded saying “Tamir Rice had it coming,” it wouldn’t shock me. Or he, let’s say, called someone a nigger. He’s a horrible man who’s proved on hundreds of occasions he’s capable of saying horrible things. But what scares me most is the people who think like him, and just how many of them there are. The scariest part of Trump isn’t the man, but the people he represents: A legion of hate.
Not only is the United States in its most politically polarizing time, it’s in a time where people can’t agree on how to effectually empathize and show common decency. Or more importantly: when it should.
Why not always?
You don’t have to be a Hillary Clinton supporter to see that Donald Trump is a sentient catheterization. An orange mass draped in a Confederate Flag, burning a cross in front of a Planned Parenthood, ready to rip off the two-piece suit and red power tie to show off his “All Lives Matter” T-shirt like some sort of racist super hero.
You don’t have to be partisan to be principled.
I fear we may be too far gone to recover from what Trump and those like him have normalized in terms of how we treat women, minorities, immigrants, refugees, members of the LGBTQ family. How we talk about them.
I’m not blameless. Far too often, I’ve been complicit in perpetuating the idea that these are issues that can be joked about or pushed aside for further discussion at a later date. And what’s worse, too often my actions haven’t matched my words and what’s in my heart. But we’re at a breaking point. Now is a time for reflection, a time for action.
It’s time for hard talks with one another and with ourselves about us as individuals and as a country that will have to involve nuance, understanding, and empathy that I hope, but am not certain, we’re capable of.
Is this the America we want to live in? Is this what we want to teach our children? Is this who we are? Is this who I am?
I don’t know that it starts with opening chakras or ends with us shooting Trump supporters into the sun, but I definitely know it doesn’t start with silence. It starts with speaking out and asking our friends and family how one could defend such a dangerously hateful man and, hopefully, showing them the light. But what’s that light look like? Probably not a Hillary Clinton presidency, no. But for 2016, this is who we’re stuck with. Maybe next time around we’ll get it right. Just maybe.
In the meantime, show of bigots: who’s voting for Donald Trump?