I have six reasons why I don’t think Trump is a sexual predator akin to the Hollywood mashers. Do you agree? And if you do, do you have even better reasons?
At one point in the evening, our conversation worked its way over to the subject of sexual predators. All the women were very careful to name Ailes and O’Reilly, but they couldn’t avoid Woody Allen (none will see his movies any more), Harvey Weinstein (an example of the problems women face), Bill Cosby (who would have believed it?) and Kevin Spacey (such a talented actor, but his career is over).
It would have been surprising if the conversation at that point hadn’t turned to Donald Trump. After all, if their own side is bad, the other side must be much worse. So it was that one of the women alluded to a poster making the rounds on Facebook. It wasn’t exactly the one reproduced below (which I couldn’t find), but it was similar:
My first instinct was to defend Trump. My second instinct was that, with five of them and one of me, all that would happen would be a verbal beat-down, without my being able to change anyone’s mind. Frankly, if I can’t move someone a little to the individual liberty side of the political spectrum, I don’t waste my time.
And then there was my third instinct. This involved asking myself why I’m not a hypocrite for forgiving Trump whatever sexual sins he committed in the 1970s and 1980s, and absolving him today of being a sexual predator. I decided that, before I engage with any Progressives, I’d better have a clear answer to that in my mind.
So, the end result is this list of reasons explaining why I’m not a hypocrite when I don’t castigate Trump as a sexual predator. Please feel free to attack my weak reasons, strengthen my strong ones, and add reasons that I missed:
1. The petty “you’re the real hypocrites” argument. The first argument that always springs to my mind is to ask Progressives how they can complain about Trump being in the White House when Hillary Clinton protected a sexual predator for 30 years or so — and planned to place him right back in the White House? Of course, they would deny Bill’s predation, but I can do exactly the same with allegations against Trump. On the one hand, this argument creates a factual stalemate. On the other hand, it’s a reminder that they too are willing to overlook sexual abuse allegations when it suits them.
2. The “everybody did it” argument. I can’t remember where I read it, but somebody today wondered if there’s a statute of limitations on non-rape sexual harassment. Criminal rape and assault, of course, have always been wrong and nobody gets a pass.
But those of us old enough to remember the 1970s, 1980s, and even the early 1990s, know that, back in the day, sexual harassment and non-rape assault were considered offensive, but still ordinary, behavior. A man who grabbed women may have been a bit of a cad, but he wasn’t criminally bad. And in the New York nightclubs of the time, places in which drugs were rampant and sexual excess was the name of the game, a grabby man wasn’t even bad; he was “groovin’.”
That’s an important argument to keep in mind considering that the accusations against Trump that suddenly appeared in August (see below) go back several decades. When he’s alleged to have manhandled women, that was what men did — at least men who were not gentlemen.
What’s important is that, as time past and values changed, Trump stopped doing things like that, while Hollywood’s predators continued to touch women inappropriately, to talk dirty in front of them, to engage in revolting exhibitionism, and to commit criminal sexual assault. Trump matured; Hollywood’s mashers did not.
3. The “nature of the accusers” argument. Trump’s been in the public eye for a long, long time. However, other than the claims that he liked to surprise his Miss Universe contestants in their dressing room (a nasty bit of peeping Tom-ism) and that he made rude personal remarks about women who failed to meet his standards, I don’t recall any claims from any women that he raped them or made their sexual compliance a quid pro quo for employment. Considering his fame and billionaire status, you’d think that, over the decades, a lot of women would have tried to get money out of him, whether for real or imagined sins.
A handful of women did emerge for one brief moment in October, after the infamous Access Hollywood tape came to light. When that happened, only the most naive or partisan could ignore that all of the women making the accusations happened to be rabid Hillary supporters. What an interesting coincidence, right? I felt that their partisanship, when seen along with their prior years of silence on the subject, affected their credibility.
Things are quite different in the Hollywood scandal, which sees Progressive women (and men) attacking Progressive men. This is a strictly internecine battle. There’s no smell of political bias about this one. Indeed, it’s clear that the only reason the men got a pass for as long as they did was because they spent a lot of money on Progressive politics.
4. The Access Hollywood tape doesn’t say what the media insisted it says. If you haven’t yet, I urge you to watch this video from beginning to end. I’m sure you’ll be shocked — shocked!! — to learn that the media has consistently misrepresented its contents. Watched from beginning to end, you’ll see that Trump is humoring the juvenile Billy Bush, that he describes himself as backing off when a woman was not interested in his advances, and that, when it comes to “pussy grabbing,” he opines, accurately enough, that billionaires and other powerful men can get away with conduct others cannot. I’m sure Harvey Weinstein and Bill Clinton would agree, were they being honest.
5. Trump did not and does not present himself as a moral arbiter. In that regard, Trump differs significantly from the Hollywood Left, both victims and sexual predators, who never stopped lecturing Americans about their moral superiority.
Those of us who supported Trump have always known that he’s a boor, but we’ve also known that he’d been part of the New York club scene and that he was on his third wife, none of which implies that he lived a life of sexual rectitude. On the flip side, we also knew that he was the first major developer in New York to have women manage his major projects and that he promised to make America great again in the ways that matter.
After Clinton despoiled the Oval Office with his debauchery, and after Obama despoiled the White House by making it a playground for racist, sexist, criminal rappers, it was good enough for us that, while in the White House, Trump behaved himself and implemented his agenda.
6. Trump’s agenda makes me happy. Given that I haven’t looked to Trump to be a moral paragon, it’s enough to me that he implements his agenda. Of course, my Progressive friends don’t like that agenda, but I do.
I’m happy with Justice Gorsuch, I’m happy with UN Ambassador Nikki Haley, I’m happy with the fact that Trump’s tough talk on illegal immigration is causing people to stop coming and start leaving, I’m happy that he’s made it clear to friends and foe alike that we’ll use American might to support America’s security, I’m happy that he’s nominating a slate of genuinely conservative judges to federal office, I’m happy that he seems serious about meaningful tax cuts, I’m happy that the economy is coming back under his aegis as it never did while Obama was in the White House, and I’m happy about a whole host of other things that my Progressive friends can’t stand.
And one more thing — if this rather outrageous post is to be believed, Trump is the head of a vast sting going back to his run for the White House. I actually don’t believe a word of this narrative, but it sure made me feel cheerful while I read it. As it is, I subscribe to a more Occam’s Razor view of things and doubt that a Rube Goldberg-ian plan has been afoot for more than a year.