Trump’s #MeToo Moments
With all the investigative reporting being done by the “mainstream” media, I can’t help but wonder if transparency applies to Donald J. Trump. While Trump seems to do more attacking than explaining or addressing, he lacks the credibility needed to pass judgement on anyone else. Can you really have ethics probes in the Senate without including Donald Trump?
After the Access Hollywood tape was released, Trump’s main propagandist, Steve Bannon, cooked up a response to the dozen women who came forward and accused Trump of inappropriately touching them. The Trump camp’s defensive idea was holding a press conference with women who claimed they were abused, harassed and even “raped” by Bill Clinton. This was intended to take the eyes and ears off Trump’s transgressions right before a debate with then candidate Hillary Clinton, and it worked. They morphed the accusing women, including Hillary, into enemies.
They skillfully rolled out the term “locker-room” talk, with the future first lady adding the cute phrase, “boy-talk.” They dismissed the cadre of women saying that Trump was at least a womanizer and, most likely, a sexual harasser and groper. You know, a dirty old man?
This is not a new concept in private, corporate or public life. Some men and women use their power to take physical and sexual advantages of those who work for them. This obstructs transparency on an issue that should be out in the open. Many corporations employ intimidation and confidentiality agreements to keep problems in the office and off the front page. A no disclosure agreement usually includes a payment of money in exchange for silence. Corporate America, which Trump was part of a year ago, has the standard operating procedure to pay off victims, or openly dismiss them with the warning that court costs will break them.
With Alabama’s Senate Candidate Judge Roy Moore now being accused by nine women of inappropriate activities with minors or teenagers, the President is in a pickle jar he thought was behind him. After all, the fury from the females he touched had been put to bed. Trump could have simply stood his ground by saying that the people of Alabama should decide the case against Roy Moore with their ballots, but he made a critical mistake.
Al Franken, who spent most of his life writing comedy and saying the most outrageous things on SNL, ran for office, got elected and now serves as the Junior Senator from Minnesota. What may have seemed a fun road trip with the USO tour back in 2006, exposed in graphic detail his wrongdoing. His accuser released an embarrassing photo of Franken’s grope in progress, which put him in a precarious position.
Like a good soldier, Franken fell on his sword, admitted his mistake, apologized and now sees the gravity of his errors. As much as insiders in show business will openly claim that Franken could at times be very difficult to work with professionally, that is not what he has admitted to this time.
Once patterns are established, one can begin to see that it wasn’t just some drunken misbehaving or a belief that one woman gave “all the right signs.” There’s a term in our society, “Getting to second base.” This phrase describes a man’s conquest of a woman based on the baseball lure that once you get to second base it’s much easier to score. Some men in power believe that they can go right to third base without much conversation, and that is always a bad assumption.
Now, we find that President Trump is back in that pickle jar because he didn’t have the discipline to NOT Tweet something about Franken, while being so presidential in how he is handling the Roy Moore affair.
When Trump decided to tweet this gem out, “The Al Frankenstien picture is really bad, speaks a thousand words. Where do his hands go in pictures 2, 3, 4, 5 & 6 while she sleeps? …..” he lost his interested bystander status. I’m not sure why the President’s spellchecker didn’t fix his Frankenstein and misuse of ellipses. He had 280 characters to ramble on about Franken, but maybe he forgot about the format change on Twitter.
Once Trump attacked Franken, he opened the media flood gates, and they correctly pointed out his hypocrisies. This gave them an opening to draw comparisons to his misdeeds with Franken’s and Moore’s.
The White House said the difference between citizen Trump’s accusers and Franken is that Franken admitted what he did. This could be a great method to use in a court of law. All you have to do is say you didn’t do it and everything goes away. Lying is not a problem for our great Orange Leader, but the implication of the opposite is at work here.
By saying that Roy Moore has legal grounding because he denies the allegations, Trump has now equated himself to Moore. Trump and Moore are attempting to act like judges. Many women are advancing the same charges and both men believe that their word is more powerful than their accusers’ accounts. This power over women and young girls is the exact reason they thought they could get away with it. The words, “who’s going to believe you” paints a deadly assumption no man should every make.
Trump cannot denounce Roy Moore. Trump can’t say vote for him. Trump doesn’t want to fragment his base in Alabama. In short, Trump still believes that Bannon is smarter than he is. One wrong move and Trump could not only lose the Republican majority in the Senate, but also lose Alabama votes in 2020.
While Trump took potshots this weekend on Twitter at Jeff Flake, Hillary Clinton, the NFL players and LaVar Ball, the father of the famous basketball players, he once again revealed his lack of common sense, fundamental truths and principles.
His line, “I should have left them in jail!” caught my attention. When the President of the United States makes an effort to get the release of any US citizen held abroad, he should get the praise without making the return a big deal. The way Trump acted on this issue, practically begging for the “Thank you” from the players even before they had their press conference, was unseemly. Once he got the “Thank you” he should have moved on. The crazy father, LaVar Ball, was messing with Trump, as he does with everyone. Mr. Ball’s comments got the President to turn against all three players. Wow! What a sad little boy on the playground with no friends. Is Trump really prepared for the possibility of being played?
When the time comes, and President Pence is pardoning Donald Trump, we can all say, “We should have left him in jail!” We never seem to learn. We let them get away with things and then we eliminate their punishment. Trump has certainly stunted our growth and buried our values.
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