… but with waves of nausea. As if we didn’t have enough probative information as to the heart of this man, Donald John Trump, yesterday’s taped revelation exposed this man for who he really is – a mean spirited thug who thinks his celebrity enables and entitles him to get anything he wants, anyway he wants.
For months, if not years, Trump has shown his true misogynist colors. We have seen glimpses of his true nature by his statements regarding Rosy O’Donnell and Miss Universe. But yesterday, a day that will live in Trump family history as his day of infamy, he fully and incontrovertibly revealed his true lack of humanity.
His week started off bad enough. Recall that decades ago, Trump condemned the “Central Park five,” five young people of color who in the were wrongly accused, convicted and incarcerated for the 1989 rape of a white woman. To no avail, the Donald as he was then known, took out a full page newspaper ads calling for the imposition of the death penalty in this case.
The boys, and they were boys, each served their full sentence, refusing offers of parole because they would not admit to crimes they didn’t commit. After their release, the real rapist, whose DNA matched that found at the scene of the rape, along with his own confession to the crime, was arrested, tried and convicted. In 2014, all the boys were exonerated and the City of New York compensated them for their wrongful conviction.
This week in a statement to CNN, Trump said, “They admitted they were guilty … The police doing the original investigation say they were guilty. The fact that that case was settled with so much evidence against them is outrageous. And the woman, so badly injured, will never be the same.” Clearly, this had to be an outrageous attempt to curry favor with the FOP at the expense of any belief in science or embrace of our basic system of justice.
Yesterday, at a meeting with a group of border patrol guards at Trump Tower, he continued advancing a baseless trope that “illegals” are crossing the border for the sole purpose of voting against Trump. Bear in mind that there’s no evidence of this invasion, or that it would be impossible for these invaders to participate in our election. By when your campaign is based on fear and racism, why let inconvenient facts get in the way?
But then, yesterday afternoon, a video and audio tape of Trump commenting on women, was released by the Washington Post. It’s authenticity is not in doubt, nor is there any confusion as to Trump’s voice. In that tape, he reveals in his own words what a vile and despicable human being he is.
He “apologized” twice, once on Twitter and the second time in a midnight video. Neither was remotely sufficient nor sincere. The video was most revealing – his “apology” consisted of six words. The rest was a defense of what he considers his character and an attack on “the Clintons.” The characterization of this performance as similar to a hostage statement is apt – not a hint of emotion revealing that what he says is what he truly means.
His Twitter statement was completely reprehensible. It was not an apology, unless “anyone was offended.” He positioned himself as having engaged in “locker room banter” as part of a “private conversation.” Like that makes it alright.
Let me be clear. Over the course of my life I’ve been in many locker rooms. And over my life, I’ve made many male friends. None of my friends, ever, would or could be confused as members of the clergy. However, at no time ever – over the course of multiple decades – has anyone I call my friend, or passing acquaintance, or co-worker, or relation has ever said anything even close to what Trump said on that tape. The content of that tape is not even close to the way real men, mature men, regard women and engage with the world.
Let me be clear about something else, it is not this one tape that is so disqualifying, although even standing alone, it is. Rather, this tape, when added to statements and acts that Trump has made or committed over the course of his life, reveals a consistency of world view and a further confirmation of the void in his character.
In short, he is not qualified to be President. Let me be clear one final time: I am not partisan in this matter. I have stated that Hillary Clinton is far from an ideal candidate, but any false equivalencies about Clinton’s alleged sins compared to Trump’s debases any and all who attempt to make them. Regarding Clinton’s “crimes,” her response to women whose alleged affairs with her husband were founded on what she, sometimes rightly, believed as politically motivated. Did she say “floozy” or “bimbo” to describe her husband’s accusers? if one believes some of the books written about that period, then yes she did.
But does a wife’s aggressive defense of her husband rise to the level of Trump’s history of serial womanizing, some of which, again if the written assertions are true and are confirmed in his own words, are criminal in nature? No, not even close.
I am vitally concerned with the direction of this country’s future. I have spent a considerable portion of my life in non-elected public service. I have been a community organizer in service to low income people, a teacher to high school students, a lawyer in service to our system of justice, and a founder of a legal service organization to stand with those too often underserved, and therefore victimized by a system they cannot understand or access.
The issues that I worked on, the causes that I championed, the future that I envision for our communities and for my daughter and her family are as real to me as the blood that flows through my veins. That Donald Trump and his apologists denigrate all that I worked for on behalf of real people over the course of my life is beyond offensive to me. I take this stuff seriously, not like Trump who sees his election as some existential vanity exercise in self-glorification.
For those who have debased themselves in service to a false God, or have been debased by that God, it is time for you to walk away from this man. If you’re a republican, then work your heart out to get good republicans elected. If you have views and opinions that you’d like to share, and engage with others in efforts to develop approaches and solutions that address the many ills that need to be addressed, then do so with gusto. I applaud all of good will who engage in the process in good faith. But please, move away from Trump and let him become a footnote to history, which is more than he deserves. You deserve better, and so do we all.
In closing, I’ll let Robert Di Nero speak for me, and I hope for most of us: