I suppose the real question is why it took so long for the smoking gun tape to make its way out of the sewer that is Donald Trump’s campaign for president. We’ve built up to this since 2010, when the Tea Party ran some candidates who decided that rape was a major public policy item, not for the shame and injustice it rained down on women, but because evidently many Republican men believed that a woman couldn’t get pregnant as a result of it or that it was much ado about nothing. Yes, we always knew that Trump was disgraceful sexist and that he saw women as objects to be conquered or groped, but somehow the morality bar got buried under the sand this presidential go ’round and his rantings became the stuff of boys will be boys or, worse, lauded by some as evidence that we’d lost our sense of humor in the haze and smoke of political correctness.
There’s a reason the word “correctness” is associated with the phrase. Because it’s correct to respect women, and the other minorities, and the physically challenged people Donald Trump has savaged. It’s correct to actually speak from facts and research, not from the good old 1950s paradigm that many of Trump’s supporters want the country to return to. And it’s correct to hold everybody accountable for remarks that denigrate any person for whatever reason.
And we are learning so much about the Republican Party and its candidates, aren’t we? Mike Pence, Trump’s running mate, said nothing after reporters repeatedly peppered him with questions about Trump’s remarks. Corey Lewandowski, Trump’s once and present advisor, reminded us that we’re electing the leader of the free world and one who needs to lead by example, not a Sunday school teacher, which presumably means that the president can say anything he wants in the interests of being tough.
Paul Ryan didn’t appear on stage with Trump. Sorry, not good enough.
The party leaders and elected officials need to condemn, in no uncertain words, what Trump has said. They need to disavow his campaign and, at the very least, withdraw their support. It’s bad enough that Trump’s ideas are dangerous and incoherent. It’s quite another for this man to think that he can follow a man like Barack Obama into the White House and have any moral standing.
This of course will be one of the topics of Sunday’s debate, but I expect that since voters will be asking questions, that they will move on to jobs and security and taxes and other issues that should be the crux of Sunday’s event. Hillary, though, will not leave it alone, nor should she. This is exactly why we need a strong woman as president. The country needs to get over the female leader barrier in the same way that we’ve smashed the race barrier at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
Perhaps this means that we’ll get the landslide election we clearly deserve.