Two of the pillars upon which the cult of Trump is built are his refusal to be politically correct and the fact that he is not a career politician. Through some combination of those two, many of his supporters have rationalized away the worst of the GOP nominee’s character flaws and terrible behavior. Even before nominating Trump, the Left had successfully branded Republicans (and conservatives) as being anti-woman, but the GOP primary voters went ahead and voted for a guy with a long public record of being a low class pig.
Even if every single one of the women he has promised to sue (but won’t) is fabricating her story (unlikely), Trump has shown his misogynist side in the media for decades. In the Washington Post today, conservative commentator Amanda Carpenter called out the party of Trump for deciding that the votes of the knuckle-dragging, cro-magnon alt-right were more important than the votes of Republican women.
As a former communications aide to Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) and former senator Jim DeMint (R-S.C.), I can personally testify that Republican women have, for years, fended off accusations from the Democrats of the party’s allegedly anti-woman beliefs. What did we get for it? The nomination — by way of a largely older, male voting base — of a brazen and unapologetic misogynist.
I want to ask the men leading the GOP some questions. Why didn’t you defend women from this raging sexist especially after so many Republican women — for so many years — eagerly defended the party from charges of sexism? You must make us out for fools.
Over the course of the GOP primary, it became clear that too many Republicans felt it was too politically risky to do anything that would offend the types of voters Trump was attracting in droves — the types who showed up at rallies wearing T-shirts that said, “Trump that b—-” and “She’s a c—, vote for Trump.”
Somehow, in some amorphous but unambiguous way, it was decided that appealing to those voters was more important than appealing to women.
Republicans have embarrassed themselves and those who have supported them by covering for Trump. Senator Jeff Sessions could not even bring himself to admit that the actions described in Trump Locker Room Talk™ would hypothetically constitute sexual assault. GOP Communications Director Sean Spicer thinks making that sort of judgement call requires law school. These weasels couldn’t have been more Clintonesque if they had said, “That all depends on what the definition of ‘p***y’ is.”
Trump’s men have told women this is “locker room” talk — that we should accept this is how men speak behind closed doors, get over it, and vote Trump.
Perhaps, they should talk to some rape survivors. They need to hear what those women heard when Trump bragged about grabbing a woman’s genitals, aggressively kissing women without consent, and getting away with it because he’s rich and famous. That wasn’t boyish banter. That was a confession of assault.
Besides, Trump was in no locker room when he talked this way. He was mic’d up, as a major media figure, speaking to another major media figure, in a professional work setting.
If the GOP has truly convinced itself that openly engaging in sexual assault fantasies is something normal that men do among one another, I have a suggestion. Relocate the Republican National Committee headquarters into a men’s-only locker room. Eliminate all pretenses of wanting to let women in.
Arguing that most if not all men talk this way about women when in the company of other men is delusional. Some do. They are the ones whose character stopped maturing mid-way through a freshman year keg-stand. Mind you, this isn’t and never has been about Trump’s “language” or word choice, as some have attempted to spin it. It’s about the ideas that come out of his mouth. Men who laughingly talk about committing sexual assault as part of their banter are not good men. Yet the GOP, who went after Bill Clinton’s character with gusto, wants you to believe Trump is different. He’s the misogynist with a heart of gold, so shut up and toe the line.
Refusal to endorse Trump even cost one GOP woman her job.
Earlier this month, Michigan GOP leaders told Wendy Day, the state party’s grassroots vice-chair, that she had to endorse Donald Trump or resign. Day, a former staffer for Ted Cruz, refused to do either. In a letter to the state Republican chairwoman, she wrote, “It is important for our party to represent all of the voices in our party, not just the loudest.” On Oct. 17—10 days after the release of the 2005 Access Hollywood tape in which Trump bragged about groping women—the chairwoman announced Day’s removal from the post she’d been elected to at a state convention last year.
The party of rugged individualism will not tolerate non-conformity.
Carpenter herself was a victim of Trump’s dishonorable brand of politics when his pal at the National Enquirer subtly labeled her as one of Ted Cruz’s many mistresses in a phony story. Trump had no indignation about the media “rigging” a political race with false accusations then. In fact he used it to his advantage. He is a user of people.
Trump will probably be off on his next grand scheme by 2017, but the party will left in the rubble he created. And, if the next GOP autopsy has any credibility, it needs to contain political obituaries for Trump’s most ardent defenders.
People such as Sen. Jeff Sessions (Ala.), Ben Carson, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Rudolph W. Giuliani, Newt Gingrich, Mike Huckabee and the others. Those who gave Trump credibility and used their influence to rationalize his obscene words and actions need to be named and shamed for what they did.
Because the most dismaying thing about the election is not Trump himself. It’s that so many Republicans endorsed his nightmarish campaign.
Carpenter’s op ed will undoubtedly attract some loud nonsensical accusations about her motives from the alt-right, but there is no rational argument for becoming just like Hillary Clinton in order to defeat Hillary Clinton.