Donald Trump is having a hard time keeping his campaign away from the demeaning ghosts of his sexist past over the last week. Even as his surrogates are trying to keep up a fierce defence for the Republican presidential candidate, and trying to make “crooked Hillary” and her husband Bill Clinton the target, with new evidences of Trump’s deplorable attitude towards women emerging everyday, it’s just going to get harder.
The Washington Post video, featuring Trump and Billy Bush, where the GOP candidate brags about taking advantage of women, and forcing himself upon them and how “when you’re a celebrity, they let you do it”, had served the hardest blow with its release just before the second presidential debate on October 8.
Ever since then, it’s been an uphill battle for the Republican campaign. Trump released a video apology, and defended his lewd comments as dirty talk about women that all men engage in, falling in line with his campaign’s defence strategy of labeling all his comments as “locker room talk”. The defence would hold up, except that Trump wasn’t talking about women, he was talking about sexually assaulting women and bragging about it. Billy Bush, the commentator laughing off at Trump’s crass comments and eventually encouraging them in the video, has since been fired from NBC network’s ‘Today’ show, tragicomically exposing how US news network anchors are expected to have a higher moral character than its major party’s presidential candidate.
A day after the Washington Post video, CNN released Trump’s conversations with radio show host Howard Stern where, to almost no one’s shock, he was heard objectifying women, including his own daughter. During his “locker room talk” on live radio, he made one cringe-worthy comment after the other. He gloated about how as the owner of Miss America beauty pageant he would walk into backstage areas where women were changing and talk to them when “they’re standing there with no clothes”, about how he would dump women after they turned 35, and discussed his daughter Ivanka’s physique — most disturbingly, calling her “voluptuous”.
According to all polls, Trump is now trailing Clinton, and his support from within his own party is diminishing, but the objectionable content against women that this 70-year-old man has spewed over the years is far from over.
On Wednesday, CBS news released a 1992 video owned by the network, where Trump can be heard talking about a girl, whose age though unknown, is definitely a child, and saying, “I am going to be dating her in ten years. Can you believe it?” Closely following this, The New York Times on Thursday published accounts of two women alleging they were inappropriately touched by Trump. The Trump campaign has defended their candidate against the allegations by the NYT report, claiming that the newspaper had “a completely false, coordinated character assassination.”
Even if these allegations are false, the presidential candidate of one of the world’s most powerful nations, has established himself as a man incapable of separating women’s worth from their physical appearances and continuously dehumanises and reducses them to a set of breasts and a pretty face. A trait he remains true to even when talking about children. That his support among women’s groups has sunk is clear from the recent opinion polls. Clinton now has a healthy 11 point lead over Trump with support even in the swing states that could virtually hand her the presidency on a platter.