If you are following the American Presidential election these days, you probably know who to attribute these statements to: Donald Trump, the Republican nominee. One hears that he has set the bar low this election by publicly saying things that are racist, sexist, misogynistic, xenophobic and Islamophobic – everything that goes against modern American values.
Politicians do disagree about policy matters all the time. They are tasked to find solutions to tough political, economic, societal and environmental challenges. They are entrusted to formulate policies that improve the lives of their people quickly, without risking the financial health and security of their country in long run. That being said, they have to demonstrate the best ethical behavior and maintain human decency and civility in public and private discourse.
Trump however has shown despicable behavior. He has called people names “crooked Hillary,” “Lying Ted Cruz,” “Little Marco Rubio.” He has rated women on their looks and called them fat. He called Hispanics killers and rapists. He mocked a disable reporter in a rally. He threatened a senator by saying that he will “spill the beans” about his wife. He asked people to go watch a sex tape of the former Miss Universe to challenge her credibility, who he has called in the past as “Miss Piggy” and “Miss Housekeeping.”
Most recently a private video surfaced where Trump is having a lewd conversation with a guy on a bus regarding how he forces himself upon “beautiful” women and how they let him get away with it because he is famous.
At the time of the video, Trump was 59 years old and married. He cannot be given any benefit of doubt about the content of his conversation, owing to his age, his exposure and his marital status.
The most troubling aspect of the video is how he exploited his position and manipulated the situation cleverly (by offering to take her out for furniture shopping) to fulfill his desire of sleeping with the woman. He showed disappointment (by his tone) in failing to be successful at his pursuit: “I moved on her, I failed and I will admit it.” He said that he tried his hardest to get what he wanted “I moved on her like a b***h but I could not get there.” He does not seem to be talking about a woman, in charge of her own body and mind, but about a prey in the jungle that he tried catching. He also took pride in saying “And when you are a star they let you do anything.”
Trump has “apologized” for it by dismissing it as “Locker-room” talk. He said, it is just words, folks.
I am a staunch believer that our words shape our actions and we reflect our true self when we are alone or in private gatherings (of our family members and close friends). Trump did not think he was being recorded so he spoke his mind. He completely changed his demeanor when he came in contact with Arianne outside the bus. He knew he was being filmed outside thus after giving side hug to the Arianne, he said, “Melina said it was okay.” He clarified what his wife finds acceptable behavior, but in private conversation with the guy inside the bus he seemed to not care about the feelings or words of his wife.
We do not want to be disliked thus we appear our best self in public or in front of strangers but our inner self is revealed when we know that nobody is watching or listening. We do not have to keep an appearance and be conscious of our perception and consequence resulting from it, so we are willing to say and do things that reflect our truest values.
This video has revealed a Trump who is hidden from the public. He sexually assaults women by kissing them or forcing himself on them without their consent; cannot control himself; advocates groping women; doesn’t condone condescending behavior towards women; objectifies women; and perpetuates culture that makes sexual violence towards women possible. Now it is for American public to decide if they could trust him to head the most important executive position.
Do not get trumped, women!