Editorial: Trump’s vile words prove him unfit

Monday, October 10, 2016

Editor’s note: The editorial contains crude language of the sort we normally do not publish. But given that they are the undisputed words of a major presidential candidate, we believe that readers should see them.

There was something distinctly predatory about Donald Trump’s demeanor during Sunday’s presidential debate, as he glowered and growled and stalked about the stage, ignoring the ordinary Americans who had gathered there to ask heartfelt and important questions. Instead, Trump did his best to loom over, insult and bully opponent Hillary Clinton.

Why are we not surprised?

Friday’s release of a tape showing Trump bragging about the pleasure he took in forcibly kissing and sexually assaulting women was just the latest evidence that the Republican candidate is a man who will stop at nothing to get what he wants. It is now up to voters to ensure he is denied the thing he wants most — the American presidency.

Sunday’s debate was a grotesque moment in American history, as Trump tried to recover from a tape that has finally sent many of his Grand Old Party supporters running for the exits. During the debate, he called Clinton a liar, the devil, a woman with “tremendous hate in her heart” who belongs in jail. He even went so far as to invite into the audience women whose claims of sexual misconduct involving former President Bill Clinton have long since been resolved or found to lack evidence.

Last time we checked, Bill Clinton wasn’t running for president. But Donald Trump is, and he should be held to account for his words and deeds.

Already in this race, Trump has mocked the mother of a heroic soldier who died in service to our nation, made fun of a reporter’s physical disability, painted Mexican immigrants as rapists, promised to bar law-abiding Muslims from our shores, bragged about not paying the same taxes as ordinary American workers and leveled a series of insults at women based on their breast size, body type and menstrual cycles — prompting Clinton during the first debate to call him out for branding women as “pigs, slobs and dogs.”  

As it turns out, such statements were just the edited version of Trump. A tape of his banter in 2005 aboard a luxury bus with television personality Billy Bush revealed Trump’s nature when he doesn’t know the nation and world are listening. Speaking of a married woman he had tried to seduce, Trump used language that would land a junior high student in the principal’s office. 

“I moved on her like a bitch, but I couldn’t get there,” Trump confided in Bush. “And she was married. Then all of a sudden I see her; she’s now got the big phony tits and everything. She’s totally changed her look.”

But no worries; there were other conquests, including the woman who was waiting to greet Trump and Bush outside the bus. Before the door opened, Trump reveled in his lack of self-control — and behavior that could amount to a crime. 

“Yeah, that’s her, with the gold. I’ve got to use some Tic Tacs just in case I start kissing her. You know I’m automatically attracted to beautiful — I just start kissing them,” he told Bush. “It’s like a magnet. I just kiss. I don’t even wait. And when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything.”

“Grab them by the pussy,” Trump continued. “You can do anything.”

In the world according to Donald Trump, there are no limits on his ambition, his appetites, his animus. Nobody else is as smart, as successful, as entitled.

In the wake of the tape’s emergence, women have flooded social media to say that the attitude and actions described by Trump are hardly unique. Those women — and others, including some we know in the Pioneer Valley — say they have been assaulted in similar ways by men who seem, like Trump, to think that a woman’s body is there for the taking. To excuse Trump’s verbal and physical assaults, they say, would be to encourage the other men like him. 

During Sunday’s debate, Trump shrugged off his bluster on the bus as “locker room talk.”

But his words were so much more than that. They were proof that Trump sees women as nothing more than collections of body parts to be rated, groped and cast aside. The man has no shame, knows no decency, possesses none of the moral fiber required of the leader of the free world.  Trump is unfit to serve.