Nobody should be surprised that Donald Trump has a locker-room mentality, and says inappropriate things that are demeaning to women. This is known, well-documented stuff, but so far it hasn’t been enough to deter his base from offering their passionate support. But an 11-year-old video has surfaced, shot originally by a Bush-family relative, that shows Trump in full misogynistic flower, and it may be just enough to tip the scales against the unconventional candidate.
The video shows Trump on a bus that’s just arrived at its destination at a soap opera set, bragging about his failed attempts to seduce a married woman (he was in a relationship with his current wife at the time) and making numerous boorish comments about groping women, particularly grabbing their private parts, which pundits have compared to sexual assault. His language is anything but Presidential, his attitude far from respectful, and the net effect of this footage casts doubt on the candidates suitability for the office of the Presidency, in the eyes of many conservatives and liberals alike.
Trump issued a feeble non-apology, effectively invoking the past indiscretions of Bill Clinton, and apologizing “if” he offended anyone, as though there is any doubt what so ever that his remarks caused offense. A prominent CNN pundit has called Trump “a sexist, misogynistic pig.” Yes, it’s pretty bad out there for Trump and his campaign, right now. This may be a death knell for his White House bid.
However, in the past Trump has exhibited a surprising ability to bounce back from bad press, and numerous faux pas. A minority opinion in the political reporting community suggests that he may weather this storm if, and only if, he delivers a sincere, heart-felt apology, without qualifications of any kind, and sticks to it. That is a tall order for Trump, who is a master of deflection (referencing Bill Clinton as soon as this scandal broke, for example.)
Trump, most reasonable people would conclude by now, is an impulsive man, skilled in certain aspects of business and entrepreneurship (at least when he isn’t bankrupt) but lacking development and understanding in key areas necessary for national and global leadership. His relationship with female voters, a key demographic, was poor to start with, and it’s sinking fast. There are years of boorish comments and creepy misogynistic quips on file to digest—so many that the Clinton campaign has drafted several into effective campaign ads showcasing his ignorance.
In short, Trump has dropped the ball, consistently, on projecting a worthy Presidential image. Sadly his running mate, Mike Pence, is the consummate conservative gentleman—though many disagree with his right-leaning policies, everyone recognizes his stature as a kind and honorable man who behaves impeccably well. This video scandal must be difficult for him. There’s even a suggestion floating in the media that Pence should now step up to assume the lead role in the GOP ticket. That would be unprecedented, and though it may work to salvage many republican votes, it would have little influence on democrats, who martial a formidable field, despite Hillary Clinton’s many electoral challenges.
Learn more about Donald Trump’s misogynistic video tape (New York Times)
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