So, I was away for a month. I'll not discuss the circumstances. But I'm back.
In that short month, the presidential race has changed quite a bit. Just my highlights.
- Sexual Assault. What Trump described is sexual assault. It is not "locker room" talk. If you come up to a woman and grab her by the genitals in the context he described. That is assault. Period.
- And it brings up an important conversation about how we view and treat women. The response to the women accusing Trump has been a modus operandi. "Why did you wait so long?" "Yeah, like you've never let a guy grab you before." "Look at you, like Trump would ever demean himself with such a hideous looking woman." Now threatening to sue his accusers. Another page straight out of the male power ego trip. Throw that rape victim in prison. She's guilty. Oh, and my favorite of all, "Why are we talking about this, let's get back to the issues." ****SEXUAL ASSUALT IS A SERIOUS SUBSTANTIVE ISSUE IN OUR COUNTRY****
- Trump got bested in 3 separate debates by average objective scientific polling. Not all that surprising when you consider this man is not terribly informed about much of anything in this world, has no ability to control himself, easily rattled, goaded, etc, etc. Clinton played him over and over and over. And he fell for it over and over and over. https://thehillnews.net/news/Hillary-Clinton-won-all-three-debates—by-double-digits/
- Are we really debating polls again? Trump is losing. *Big league.* Here's an example: Trump is not even ahead 5 points in Texas. The best polls from Nick Silver's analysis. (i.e. these are the highest weighted polls because of historical accuracy, large sample sizes, method of the poll, etc)
Polling average on RCP is +4.8 (i.e. within 5 points)
- (Trump's also losing Utah to an independent by the way......)
- The GOP is in serious trouble. Long term trouble. Trump has bested the leadership. He's making them even look reasonable now. Though, we well know most Republican leaders simply aren't reasonable these days. Ever since the Teas came in during the 2010 wave, Republican Leadership has cowered in fear of being primaried on their right. Instead of doing what is right for this country, they gave voice to conspiracy, unhinged, stewing racism, etc. Just to keep their jobs. On the one hand, I don't feel sorry for the GOP. They have reaped what they sowed. On the other hand, it's a huge uncertainty that could prove a big risk. We don't know just how far this wing is set to go. They can't win elections with this core, but just how dangerous are they?
- And, it's all rigged. I can't possibly ever lose, someone must be cheating me. Sorry Trump, that is life. No one always wins in life. The best hitters ever in baseball failed 60% of the time, the best teams in the history of sports lost games, the best leaders, business people, researchers, etc, etc. They all have failures. But of course, the most dangerous part of this is Trump is structurally damaging faith in institutions that is already on shaky ground in recent decades. The peaceful transfer of power in the US, that we have mass elections every 2 years, we have elected revolutions, and the losers abide by the results....this is a bedrock of the US. A shining light of US leadership globally. This man, so cannot accept losing that he would try to destroy the entire system. The behavior of a child. I can't win, so I'll tear it all down.
So that's the run down. Trump's spiraling like a mad man and trying to spew fire on everything around him.
I wanted to expound further on the topic of sexual abuse.
The cavalier dismissal of Trump's words and behavior as a man of power, of means, of entitlement towards women is shocking.
Let's peruse the groups of people that have dismissed the issue by majority:
A) Those of religious belief. Many continue to back Trump. Apparently, all on the basis of abortion stance. But also on the basis of "forgiveness"
1) Trump is a flip flopper on abortion. Christians, you have no clue what he believes. (And you don't seem to mind him saying "I love the gays...." so please try to square that circle. I guess you are just picking which beliefs you want to enforce and which you don't.)
2) He said "I don't think I've ever asked God for forgiveness".........so what forgiveness are you talking about? He doesn't think he needs it.
3) Faith, belief, morality, is not a black and white checkbox. Like almost everything in life it is a measurement of variables that make up a whole. Trumps measurements in the totality of issues that would discuss morality are horrendous.
B) Conservative women still backing him. (Though, to be fair, he has hugely lost suburban married conservative women). You are enabling an abuser. Either intentional or unintentional. Of particular distaste, were women proudly wearing "Grab them by the p****y" apparel.
C) Men who passed it off as "this is just life"......Um yeah, that's part of the problem. Denial that there is a problem.
D) Sexuality shamers. You know what....it doesn't fly. Whether a woman is sexual, beautiful, having a good time, etc, etc is not relevant to sexual assault. These same qualities we somehow admire in men (the hunter, the sexual conqueror, the partier, etc). It cannot be a double standard.
I'm often mistaken for a woman here. (I have never figured that out. I do know that I am often empathetic to women. I find women to often be better friends than men. Just in my experience, they often have more to talk about. Which is something I pursue. Meaningful conversation. Just FYI, I'm a dude.)
But I want to comment on why these things stay hidden and our aversion to confront them which enables their continuation. We don't want to accept the uncomfortable fact. In this case, the uncomfortable fact that a large amount of people are sexually assaulted in their lives. Women and children being the most targeted.
I point to the movie: Spotlight. Wonderfully done, showing just how difficult it is to get communities to believe what is going on. It is far easier to not believe and also to dismiss such uncomfortable realities. That struggle is ugly. Shameful. Depressing. Soul wrecking. And many victims can do nothing but soldier on until the weight, the evidence, the strength, to opportunity is found to reveal it.
And when you do reveal it. One of the most absurd responses is a version of...."Why do you have to talk about this?"
I want you to imagine. Think about the most shameful thing in your life. Think on the struggle within yourself to ever even remember it in your own mind. Likely, your day to day consciousness shoves it out of your mind quite quickly. A defensive mechanism to maintain whatever dignity, sanity, hope you find. Now. Think about willing yourself to verbalize it in front of someone else. Perhaps, someone you love. Someone who should understand you. Support you. Believe you. And the response to your bravery, your exposed heart and soul, is.........."Why do you have to talk about this?"
And we as a society are doing this to women. Today, we have this struggle. We must not try to silence it because it is uncomfortable. We must not reject it on notions unrelated. We must give it the attention, respect, and empathy it deserves.
And I can tell you. The cavalier dismissal of women is all too familiar to myself. I'm a survivor of the abuse that is featured in Spotlight. The sexual abuse of children. My own experience lets me relate to what many women feel. I did not first talk about my abuse until 10+ years after it happened. My abuser was powerful. I was not. I knew the feeling that I would not be believed. And the desire of many around me to so casually suggest that I just move past it. Those who had no comprehension of the shattering that happens. When you are abused sexually all the paths in your life you might have taken, many will never be. That is probably the most disheartening thing. So when you are brave enough, strong enough, to say something, anything to restore even one single pathway that you lost and you are dismissed and told to go away.....I find that truly inhumane.