“Oh, I’m sure she’s never been grabbed before…”
—-Donald Trump, responding to the most recent accusations of sexual assault, in this case from Jessica Drake, a porn star who became the 11th woman to claim Trump assaulted her in a press conference over the weekend.
I suspended the Ethics Alarms Unethical Donald Trump Quote of the Day, or UDTQOTD, feature a couple of months ago when I realized that pretty soon there would be no room for anything else. This one, however, is special, and can’t be ignored. It perfectly encompasses so much of what is fatally wrong with Trump, his character and his campaign.
Here and elsewhere, desperate Trump rationalizers have defended voting for him over the horrible Hillary Clinton by reducing his abundant deficits of character to a couple of adjectives, essentially representing him as acceptable by strategic omission. As I recently replied in part to a commenter who argued that Trump may be “narcissitic and crude” but...gotta love that equivocal “may”:
“And no, you cannot get away with “narcissistic and crude” here. …Take out crude and narcissistic, and that still leaves ignorant, lazy, corrupt, arrogant, a fantasist, a liar, a misogynist, a fool, a political incompetent, a terrible delegater, a poor judge of character, lacking in any relevant experience, literally unable to comprehend what ethical conduct is, governed wholly by rationalizations, unaccountable, feckless, incompetent, cruel, mean-spirited, devoid of common sense, self-control, prudence, compassion and decency, and, on top of all of that, inarticulate and dumb as a brick. No responsible voter can risk making such an individual President, and doing so is indefensible. “
Let’s see…18, 19, 20…today’s quote embodies 21 of the characteristics on that impromptu list, and in only seven words, which is impressive.
It is ignorant, because it shows that Trump still can’t comprehend what sexual assault is, and arrogant, because it exhibits his conviction that he need not take any criticism seriously. It shows him to be a liar, simultaneously (in another section of his interview) denying the encounter and then dismissing the accusation as if it were true. The statement reveals, again, a misogynist, who does not respect women, a fool, who continues to speak in an insulting way about women even as this habit undermines his chances of winning the election, and a political incompetent, for the same reason. It again shows how Trump is literally unable to comprehend what ethical conduct is, and that he is governed wholly by rationalizations, in this case evoking “Everybody does it” and several more to make the case that porn stars have lesser rights than other women. He is unaccountable, refusing to take responsibility for his actions, and obviously feckless.
The remark once again highlights how stunningly incompetent a candidate Trump is. The expert campaigns of Barack Obama and Bill Clinton were important evidence (in Obama’s case, misleading) of their administrative and leadership skills, just as the inept campaigns of Michael Dukakis, Al Gore, John Kerry and John McCain raised legitimate concerns about their abilities to run the government. Trump’s campaign makes any of those losing candidates look brilliant by comparison.
The statement shows how cruel and mean-spirited Trump is. Has the U.S. ever elected a truly cruel President? Obviously the quote shows someone devoid of common sense, self-control, prudence, compassion and decency, and, on top of all of that, inarticulate, since like so much Trump says, his exact meaning is unclear. Meanwhile, nobody who isn’t as dumb as a brick would say this after all the hoopla over Trump’s misogyny, after all of the gaffes, knowing how the pro-Clinton news media is ready to pounce on any statement that can possibly be interpreted to reflect poorly on him. The comment shows us once more that Trump has a flat learning curve, or no learning curve at all. He acts, reasons and speaks like a child, but also like an incorrigible, self-destructive, none-too-bright child.
When one is running for President, words matter.When one is President, words matter infinitely more.
To be fair, today’s UDTQOTD does not provide additional evidence that Trump is lazy, corrupt, a fantasist, a terrible delegater, a poor judge of character and lacking in any relevant experience.