I just read this terrific article about Donald Trump’s comments Friday night, written by Stassa Edwards for Jezebel.
Here’s the part that has stuck with me all day:
Perhaps it’s because the Republican party had a very ugly realization. Namely that if Trump speaks a certain truth—as John Kasich claimed during the debates—or that his bold honesty reveals the restless id of the base, then that base revels in pits so repulsive, and holds fast to “truths” so vile, that they might be more dangerous to unraveling conservative ideology than any mere Democrat.
The laughter and applause that Donald Trump got from the audience after laughingly acknowledging that Rosie O’Donnell is the person he was referring to when he called women fat pigs, slobs, and disgusting animals was almost as appalling as the comments themselves.
THEY APPLAUDED. They applauded a candidate for President of the United States for making schoolyard taunts about women. Is it because she’s fat? Is it because she’s gay? Why is it ok, why is it funny, and why on earth is it acceptable to call women any of the things he did?
The thing is, Donald Trump exists only because we allow him to. He is a caricature of himself. He has no value outside what we assign him. His wealth was inherited, and he’s a bombastic fool. BUT HE’S ALSO THE REPUBLICAN FRONT RUNNER. That means that his 5th-grade vocabulary and bullying tactics are appealing to an alarming majority of republicans. We have somehow created an environment in this country in which this kind of behavior is acceptable.
When George W was elected? I cried. Actual tears. I couldn’t believe we’d come to that as a country.
When Barack Obama was elected, I was giddy. For an entire day, I felt like the world had changed. But in the intervening years, it seems to me that racism in this country has gotten worse, only it’s more covert. Every decision he makes, every Executive Order he issues, all of the rhetoric spewed by the pundits, it’s just too much. So much of what is said about him and his policies is so detached from reality that the only explanation for it is that it is a thin cover for racism. And it’s wearing thinner.
So after eight years of this, Trump steps into the spotlight as another Presidential candidate. And the only explanation is that the ugly racism at the root of the Tea Party has metastasized, creating something worse. And somehow we are letting this happen.
I don’t have an answer. I don’t have a solution. It does make me want to scrape my pennies together and start donating them to Planned Parenthood, or NOW, or the NAACP (check it out, I included handy donation links in case you’re feeling the same way.)
I’m just tired of it.
Edited to Add:
SO HAPPY to see someone else calling him and the audience out on this shit: