Not always, but occasionally, there was some kid in the locker room who regaled others with his sexual conquests. Some were fascinated by it. Most thought he was full of shit. Guys lie about such things to make themselves appear more manly. Feminists call this “toxic masculinity.” Men call this bullshit. The guy was a joke, a goofball, pretending to be some sort of stud he wasn’t. He wasn’t funny. He was just a pig, going beyond what was tolerable even in the locker room where it was just us guys.
Was Donald Trump talking smack? Beats me. Never having been rich or famous, there is little about his world that conforms to mine. There is plenty of smoke, and even some fire, to suggest that he was the cartoon character engaged in sexual assault and rape. Adding the word “violence” to speech is nonsense. Grabbing women’s crotches is sexual violence. It’s physical. It’s criminal. This is the real thing.
Trump is an archetype of the male who believes himself entitled to women’s bodies. Bill Clinton was too. Clinton is only relevant to make a point, that men who seek and attain power have a tendency toward the belief they can get away with anything.* They can indulge their worst nature with impunity. Not all of them, I assume. I can’t say for sure since I’m not in the locker room (or on the golf course) with them, but obviously some. Then again, given what is demanded of people who seek such power, what sort of twisted mentality puts themselves through such scrutiny? You have to be nuts to run for president, so we get nuts.
Trump served a purpose in this presidential campaign. He was never a viable candidate to anyone with knowledge of civics, government or law. He was a dolt on those issues. Whether he was a brilliant builder of gaudy buildings is another story, but he was running for president. He had no capacity to serve in that role. Of the things he needed to know, he was flagrantly ignorant. That was obvious from the start.
What Trump’s candidacy did was serve as a foil to Hillary Clinton, in particular, and politics in general. He wasn’t judged by the same standards applied to any candidate before him because he was so far out of the box that there were no equivalences. Hillary was inside the box, and within that paradigm, a deeply flawed candidate on almost every level. But at least she wasn’t stupid. You can’t fix stupid. Trump was stupid, as least as to the things he needed to know to be elected to office.
There were the flaming nutjobs who supported Trump because they saw in him the closest thing to validation of overt racism, sexism, and whatever other -isms one can name. These were Hillary’s deplorables, one of her poorest choices of words. Then there was a swathe of people who wanted the system to change and saw Trump as the agent, not because they believed that “I have a plan and it’s gonna be great” would help them, but because they knew, with certainty, that Hillary wouldn’t.
My working assumption is that Hillary’s social and economic polices are mere pandering to the base who would support her despite her flaws. Being smart, she knew it wasn’t feasible, would never make it through Congress and would never happen, so it cost her nothing to say such things. The big money knew it wasn’t real, but the sort of fluff that politicians tell the groundlings to make them believe a candidate is on their side.
The problem was that most of America didn’t support the ideas she was selling. Her strongest basis of support was Trump, that people would vote for her because they couldn’t possibly vote for her opponent. So both candidates counted on the same vote, the one that hated the other candidate. The election was supposed to be based on whom America despised the most.
In his stump speech, Trump would tell the story of the woman who took in a sick snake, nursed it back to health, only to be bitten by it. The punch line, that she knew it was a snake when she took it in, is familiar. Trump is the snake. So there’s a video of Trump bragging about sexually assaulting women. Nobody saw this coming? Word is now spreading that there is plenty more where that came from, but whoever has it (Access Hollywood? Apprentice?) hadn’t thought it worthwhile to make it public before?
There is a stream of things Trump has said that told us that he was unfit, but it didn’t change the equation that many Americans would rather take their chances with an ignorant lunatic than Hillary Clinton. Clinton should have been up by 80% given Trump’s failings. That it remained a race is the part that should smack her supporters in the face.
They wonder how it’s possible that anyone, any American with half a brain, could possibly support Trump? They didn’t. They hated Clinton. They distrusted Clinton. They despised her policies. They would rather risk a moronic megalomaniac than risk America becoming your politically correct social justice Utopia, then forsake their jobs and families for $15 per hour minimum wage and debt-free college for all. They were disgusted at being told they were privileged when they couldn’t put food on the table. They were unwilling to ship their tax dollars to the suffering in Syria when the poisoned residents of Flint were forgotten.
Trump was intended to blow up the system. He was the nuclear option. He got away with his incredibly foolish talk because no one expected better of him. So what if he didn’t have a clue. Neither do most Americans, and they don’t think of themselves as deplorables. And, aside from the flagrant haters, they’re not. They’re just not SJWs, which makes them deplorable to the SJWs, who feel that everyone but them is deplorable.
The question that can’t be easily answered is why we’re in this position. People have lost faith in government for good reasons and bad reasons, but it doesn’t matter if they’re right or wrong. The only thing that’s real is that faith is gone. It gave us this godforsaken shithole of an election.
This is where someone usually asks, “so what do we do about it?” This is how we got here, expecting simple answers to intractable problems. That’s what we demanded of our politicians, and that’s what they gave us. This is where we ended up. What we are looking at in this absurd and disgraceful campaign isn’t the product of our questions, but the product of our solutions.
*No one is as pure as we would want them to be, especially when viewed through the irrational prism of judging conduct in present context rather than by the norms when it occurred. The question is whether they were so bad, in the reality of the context of their times, that they deserve to be deemed unfit. Remember, President Obama smoked dope, conduct for which people are still imprisoned today.