It’s taken me a day to write this. I’ve sat down numerous times over the past 24 hours and tried a myriad of different beginnings to this post. I talked about how long I’ve been writing here and how I’ve tried to avoid things like this because, sometimes, when you love your friends sometimes things have to stay off of the discussion table. I started a list of the ten ways Donald Trump is lying to you right now. I’ve brought the discussion back around to Baby Bee, like I did a few weeks ago, but this time applying Trump’s statements to my three daughters and none of it worked. From an artistic perspective.
Maybe, I was too angry to focus what I wanted to say. Maybe I was too dejected to organize my thoughts. Maybe I was too depressed by my lack of surprise to talk about how awful this situation is once again. Maybe my morale is too low because people, again, are excusing this man’s awful, awful words. Maybe I’m too sickened as I see mothers of daughters defending his words.
I’ve tried, over the past eight years, to keep my blog free of controversy. I don’t want to alienate my readers. I want to say things that resonate with all of us. I want to talk about how I’ve worked through grief, how I cope with parenting and marriage. I want to talk about baseboards and kitchen islands and how much I love my new cooking gadget. Those are the things I want to talk about here, because it’s what I’d want to talk to you about if we were sitting down for coffee somewhere. I’d want to talk about how you were coping with the loss of a loved one or how you were managing your baby going off to Kindergarten. I’d want to talk about your home improvements, your latest hobbies, which book you’d just read and that fantastic dinner you made last week.
But, I can’t do that right now. I need to talk about this.
Last week, as everyone knows, a tape was released with Donald Trump making another terrible statement about women. In that statement, he suggested that he could kiss and fondle any woman he wanted. Her marital status didn’t matter. Her consent didn’t matter. Nothing mattered expect him doing what he wanted and knowing he could get away with it because of his celebrity. At first, I couldn’t react. It was both completely believable and completely unbelievable at the same time. But, I watched the shock spread. I watched loved ones who have been sexually abused react. I watched them be trivialized, again. I watched my husband, the father of daughters, struggle with anger and fear and sorrow. I watched mothers claim they didn’t care about it one whit, laughing at memes mocking the disgust of others. I watched the same, tired “But, the Clintons…” lines be trotted out over and over and over again.
First, let me be clear about something. When I ask you about something Trump said, I’m asking you about something Trump said. I don’t want to talk about the million things you think Clinton did, I’m talking about this. When one of my kids has done something they shouldn’t, I do not field their protests regarding what their sister did. I’m talking about this. I’m happy to talk about Benghazi, Emails and Bill’s infidelity, but when I ask you how you condone this answering with “But, the Clintons” tells me one of two things. First, you don’t condone what Trump is saying, you have absolutely no argument to make in his defense, but you’re voting for him anyhow for some reason. I’d like to talk about that reason. I can respect someone who said that they hate what he did, but they have to vote for him anyhow. Good. Let me talk to you about the DNC and Bernie, then. Or, second, you do condone what he’s saying, by which I mean you see no problem with it. You see no problem with him mocking disabled people, calling Mexican people racists, urging his supporters to be violent or grabbing a woman by the genitals without her consent.
I’m not going to trot out the girls, though I think it’s appropriate. I think asking people to humanize this is a good thing and some of my friends have done that. They’ve posted pictures of their daughters and asked if it’s okay for her to be treated that way. It makes people uncomfortable as it should because when you don’t condemn Donald Trump for saying that, you’re condoning his actions. You’re giving permission for people to treat the women and girls you love like he did. This is difficult for me because people I love who I know care about my children are voting Trump. In my heart, I know they don’t want my children to be assaulted or abused. I know they would never want that. But…they’re voting for someone who would do it. Who has done it. What is that saying to me? To my children? To the other women and girls they love and care for?
It says you don’t really care about us, if you’re wondering. It says you only care about us on a case by case basis. It says you don’t care about us in totality. It says your trivialize the things that happen to us. But, why should we be surprised, ladies? It’s what this campaign has been doing all along. Black? Muslim? Hispanic? Gay? Disabled? Now, it’s our turn.
The thing that is so painful, for me, is the people who believe that Trump cares about them. Folks, he doesn’t. If he did, don’t you think his manufacturing operations would be in the United States? If he cared about the little guy do you think he’d stiff small businesses? If he cared about you, would he have involved you in a ponzi scheme? If he cared about you, don’t you think he would have paid some damn taxes to fund the crumbling infrastructure he bitches about? If he cared about you, would he have killed your local economy? He’s not bringing good paying manufacturing jobs back to Ohio, folks, because that’s impossible and if he could or cared to, he would have.
Character is what you do and say when you think no one is listening. Donald Trump keeps giving us these glimpses into his character, and people continue to refuse to listen to him. Did it finally take him being vulgar and crass to do it? I can only hope. Listen to what he’s said. Think about the people in your life that he could be talking about. And then vote your conscience (but not like Ted Cruz because that guys a total sell out).