I’m not asking who you’re voting for. I’m asking what kind of human being you are.
I’m sure you’ve read what Donald Trump said by now, but let’s watch the video and read the transcript just to make sure we’re all on the same page.
I was considering titling this essay “Donald Trump is a referendum on our character.” But it isn’t “our.” A significant majority of Americans hate Trump, including millions who are going to vote for him anyway.
So today I want to talk about you. You’re not at all comfortable with Donald Trump. You think he’s appalling. You may even feel a little dirty at the thought of voting for him. But you’re voting for him, or thinking about it, because you hate Hillary Clinton.
Know what? So do I. There are a lot of good reasons not to support her. There are also a lot of made-up reasons that a disturbing number of you seem to think are real, but that’s beside the point. The truth is that Donald Trump is still alive, just a month out from Election Day, because the Democrats nominated one of the most reviled politicians in recent history. If they had merely nominated one of average popularity the conversation right now might be about whether Trump was going to win any states at all.
But that isn’t the case, so it’s critically important that you and I have this discussion.
Trump’s comments have been dismissed as “locker-room talk.” I’ve been in a lot of locker rooms, and I can affirm that yes, one does hear some disgustingly offensive things in there. I can also tell you that you hear the most offensive things in those locker rooms from the most offensive people. The nice guys, the really good men in the locker room, they don’t carry on about grabbing the pussies of strange women.
What happens in the locker room does not stay in the locker room. If a guy talks like a pig inside, he probably acts like one outside.
More to the point, Trump’s comments were not just locker room talk. They were an acknowledgement of sexual assault.
Trump: Yeah, that’s her. With the gold. I better use some Tic Tacs just in case I start kissing her. You know, I’m automatically attracted to beautiful — I just start kissing them. It’s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don’t even wait. And when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything.
Bush: Whatever you want.
Trump: Grab ’em by the pussy. You can do anything.
See a woman, go up and start kissing her? Don’t even wait? Grab her by the pussy?
He’s saying “this is what I do,” and the clear message is that if you’re a star – he’s talking to a media celebrity here – you can do it, too. This isn’t just bragging, it’s advice.
Many of you prospective Trump supporters have daughters. Wives. Sisters. Female friends. Would you be comfortable leaving one of these women – say, your sweet 19 year-old daughter – alone in a room with Donald Trump?
If not, then how can you conceivably consider, for even a second, voting for him? If so, what the hell is the matter with you? Have you not been paying attention at all?
Donald Trump hasn’t changed since yesterday. He’s the same guy he was last week, last month, last year, his whole life. And you know it. What has changed is the acceptable amount of hedging, hemming and hawing and waffling and false equivalency about the other candidate. What has changed is that it just got a lot harder to lie to yourself.
If you can’t bring yourself to vote for Hillary Clinton, I fully understand. I have a very hard time with this, as well, and I doubt you have been any harsher a critic of her (or her husband) than I have. In my case, I’ve been stomping Clintons, sometimes in front of audiences, for two decades. I get it.
So don’t vote for her. Sit this one out. Vote third party. Vote for Gary Johnson. He’s a clown, but he never raped a 13 year-old, which Trump may have. There will be no shame in turning your back and saying sorry, neither of these candidates is worthy of my vote.
I don’t need you to reply. I don’t really want you to. I just want you to look in your daughter’s eyes. Your wife’s eyes. Your sister’s eyes. Does a famous, wealthy man have the right to grab their pussies? Can you explain to them, one on one, that you voted the way you’re thinking about voting?
Then find a mirror and look in your own eyes.