Sunday, October 9, 2016

Not my president

I’ve been watching the Trump campaign implode more and more with each day that passes. If he gives up his position as Republican presidential nominee, I won’t be surprised or sorry to see him go. His vice-presidential nominee, Mike Pence, could do a better job as president, I’m sure of it. He seems to be a far more decent man. The whole sordid affair of watching Trump make an ass of himself (something he seems to care nothing about) is also beginning to get creepy. His behavior is creepy. It’s the behavior of a sociopath, one who doesn’t think the rules apply to him, but damned if they don’t apply to everyone else. In his view, he’s special, up there in the clouds, wealthier than God, worthy of being worshipped. He’s the best, no matter what is being discussed. He doesn’t do anything wrong, and if he does, his apologies are at best lip service. But it’s his views about women that are truly creepy for me. When I listen to him talk, I have to pinch myself to remind myself that we’re not living in the Mad Men era. I could never stomach watching that series, even though I know it’s won many awards. I found the male characters on that show repugnant—smug, arrogant, and proud of their sexual conquests and treatment of women. Maybe it bothers me because of what I have seen in academia (a profession that also seems to be mired in the 1950s and 60s—when men were kings and women were the underlings).

I have to wonder how we got to this place and what we are telling our children when we condone or make excuses for Trump's behavior and statements. I have some questions for the average men and women who support Trump. I need to ask these questions because I have no answers that make any sense to me in 2016. Because I simply don’t understand how a person can call himself or herself a modern man or a modern woman and support Trump and what he stands for. Yes, he is anti-abortion. So what. I know Christians and priests who support him solely for that reason. Not good enough. In every other way, he does not live the life of a Christian--he makes fun of handicapped people, he is rude, he is without empathy or respect for others, he incites hatred and racism rather than peace and tolerance, he seems to despise the poor or at least blame them for their situation, and he treats women like crap. This is a man we want for President of the USA? Why? Just to prevent Hillary Clinton from becoming President? Not good enough. This is a man who will be meeting heads of state from around the world, some of whom are women. If he thinks they’re pretty, will it be ok if he goes after them and tries to seduce them? Will it be ok if he ‘grabs their p*****s’? What about their breasts? Will we stand by and condone his behavior at that time and try to explain it away once again? This is a grown man who should know how to behave. Is it ok to refer to women as ‘c***s, b*****s, and ‘p*****s’? No, it’s not. A real man knows how to treat a woman respectfully, and it’s not the way Trump treats them. Why bother raising our sons and daughters to have respect for each other if an important role model like the President of the USA treats women like crap and gets away with it? Does anyone ever wonder if the current ‘rape culture’ and this type of behavior in men go together? We certainly don’t need more of this kind of behavior; we need less.

If my father was alive, he’d have a lot to say about Donald Trump, none of it good. My father was a good man from a generation that fought in WWII; he had morals and respect for his country. He did not denigrate women and minorities. He would have been appalled by Trump’s statements, and even more appalled that many Americans were considering electing him to the highest political office in the USA. He would have wondered aloud (and discussed with me) how it was possible that in 2016, racism was still so easily incited and women were still disrespected and sexually harassed. He would wonder how men with wives and daughters could defend Donald Trump’s behavior and statements. He’d say that Trump gives men a bad name, because many men do not disrespect women nor do they wish to keep them down or treat them as second-class citizens. And he’d be right, because I knew other men (now deceased) in my father’s generation that were decent men—good husbands and good fathers. They never referred to their wives in a disrespectful way; they never joked about their wives when they got together with other men or told those other men that their own daughters were a good ‘piece of ass’. If my father had been anything like Donald Trump, I would not have had anything to do with him. If I was any one of Trump’s children, I’d be cringing right now. Painfully embarrassed by and for my father. Wondering how to show my face, and wondering how I was going to survive having to deal with him. I haven’t heard a word from any of his children after his last comments. Why? Trump’s current wife came out and said she found his comments offensive but she still found some room to defend him (she has to unless she is looking to become ex-wife #3). Mike Pence has said he cannot defend such comments. Who can? They are cringe-worthy, embarrassing, rude, crude, and demeaning, not only to women, but to men who do not want to identify with a man like Trump. He is an embarrassment to our country. I know a lot of good men, and they are not like Trump. They don’t talk like him, they don’t treat their wives and children disrespectfully, and they don’t treat other people disrespectfully. So how did Trump get to the place he’s at? Are there really that many men and women who think he’d make a good President? The question we need to be asking is how did we get to this place? And how do we step back from it and move in another direction—one that is respectful of women, of minorities, of the handicapped, of the poor? One that shows that we as a nation are decent people who don’t support people like Trump for public office. It’s as simple as this--get rid of him and replace him with someone we can stomach, someone who doesn't make you want to vomit each time he opens his mouth.

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