If there was a single moment in the 2016 presidential election that really solidified for me the utter classlessness our political games had entered, it was when Donald Trump responded to Marco Rubio’s comments about the size of Trump’s hands. That moment, when the future President of the United States of America defended the size of his penis, marked the exact moment that we had all lost our damn minds.
Nevertheless, 2016 persisted.
If there is one thing we can say – and we have said over and over again – it’s that Donald Trump cannot let a personal attack slide. He has to respond in some way, shape, or form. Thus, when he bragged about his button on Twitter last night, it was a moment that should have surprised us, but didn’t. If you had told me you were shocked at the tweet, I would have assumed that you were so because it wasn’t on the nose enough.
Alternatively, maybe you were like me and just assumed that the tweet was automatically followed up with him going “Eh? Eh?” and winking furiously at anyone else who was in the room. Melania might have just sighed and said “Okay, dear” before going about her evening, and the President would have been content to know someone got the joke.
As funny as it is to make jokes about or bring up not-so-vague implications about the size of one’s penis, it is not something we should really be all that proud of coming from our freaking president.
Now, don’t get me wrong. There are things Trump fans and even conservative skeptics can be proud of. Much can be and has been said about Trump’s successful year, in terms of accomplishments.
But, as Bret Stephens pointed out in his op-ed in the New York Times (please note how loath I am to give Stephens any credit on being correct), conservatism is as much about cultural victory as it is political – if not more so. Culturally, you can’t make much headway in advocating for a renaissance of human morality if you’re also publicly lauding the leader of the free world bragging about the size of his… wherever.
Who am I to make this point? I make crude and sometimes unacceptable jokes on Twitter. I am not the most morally upright guy. However, it is not unreasonable to expect some semblance of decorum from the most powerful man in the world (behind Mark Zuckerberg) when he is responding to world leaders… or literally anyone, for that matter.
He represents all of the country. At some point, we really need to have a talk about what we could or should expect from a president who is supposed to represent our ideology/party/country/etc. For some reason, though, we won’t have that. A large segment of his base will give a mighty chuckle over the implied joke. Some folks in the Media will lose their minds over it. Democrats will bemoan the state of the country (although they will refuse to publicly acknowledge that their candidate sucked).
Nothing will change. We’ll still have a president who posts foolish tweets for all to see. Awesome.