Rape is not a crime of passion. Sexual assault is not a byproduct of attraction. Forcing yourself on another person is an assertion of power. Donald Trump is a perpetual seeker of power. It is impossible to pretend that his run for the White House is more than a prolonged ego stroke. If he was earnestly running to “make America great again,” wouldn’t he think through and present policies that would better our nation?
Accusations of sexual assault continue pouring in against Trump. Many Trump supporters are asserting that women coming forward have not truly suffered assault by Trump’s hands, evidenced by the trending Twitter hashtag #NextFakeTrumpVictim. The factor they are missing is that Trump, himself, opened the floodgates for his accusers. After hearing tapes of Trump touting his prowess in sexual indecency, the victimized women had an opening to share their truth regarding the deplorable behavior of a powerful man, his own words making people more apt to believe them. Too often victims of sexual assault remain hushed due to shame and the fear of disbelief. The bravery these women have shown in sharing their stories must be commended.
In America, we are innocent until proven guilty. We are entitled to an adequate defense and a fair trial. I am careful to weigh facts and avoid trying the accused in the court of public opinion. However, there is a key difference in Trump’s case, in that he has confessed to these behaviors. Though Trump attempted to chalk his vile diatribes up to “Locker Room Talk,” we see beyond that. His words substantiate the pattern of habitual abuse for which he is accused.
Trump has been accused of raping an underage girl, a case which is set to go to hearing in December. It cannot be ignored that he has also made numerous lewd and inappropriate comments about children. Watch this video from an Entertainment Tonight Christmas Special shot in 1992, where Trump says he will be dating a young blonde girl “in ten years.” Though it may have been said in jest, it must be noted that he was sexualizing a child.
Trump also made comments about his daughter’s friend Paris Hilton on the Howard Stern Show. Trump admitted, “I’ve known Paris Hilton from the time she’s 12, her parents are friends of mine, and the first time I saw her she walked into the room and I said, ‘Who the hell is that?” In all fairness when Stern then asked if Trump wanted to “bang her,” Trump replied “Well, at 12, I wasn’t interested. I’ve never been into that, but she was beautiful.” Why he found it necessary to bring up a 12 year old Paris Hilton in the first place is lost on me.
Trump supporters are quick to point fingers towards President Bill Clinton, who may I remind you is not the Clinton running for president during this election. President Clinton’s relations with women outside of his marital bed could be looked upon as morally dubious, but they are not comparable to Trump’s due to one key factor: consent. Rush Limbaugh attempted to politicize consent as magic key for the left saying “If the left ever senses and smells that there’s no consent in part of the equation then here come the rape police.” I feel obliged to share, though I thought that it was common knowledge, that consent is the dividing line between sex and rape, therefore pertinent to the equation.
It bears repeating thoughts I stated in A Letter to My Republican Friends, if you vote for Trump you are accountable. You need to own it. His words are your words. His actions are your actions. You valued small government, tax breaks, and dreams of economic promise over the maligned and marginalized in our country. You allowed this. You stood by. Enough was never enough. With all these allegations of sexual assault levied against him, Trump never took it to a level you could not condone.