In 2005, aboard a tour bus in a television studio backlot, Donald Trump is heard off-camera while wearing a live microphone lamenting not having a tryst with a married woman. Chatting with Billy Bush, host of Access Hollywood, Trump gloats about using his celebrity to exploit women, “And when you’re a star they let you do it. You can do anything. Grab them by the pussy. You can do anything.” Is he wrong? What can’t he get away with?
With the election 30 days away, nothing short of a Trump heart failure is stopping nor slowing his campaign’s momentum: not inciting violence against people attending his rallies; not inflaming racists with incendiary rhetoric; not failing to repudiate the endorsement of the KKK, a domestic terrorist organization responsible for the deaths of American born men, women and children; not tone-deafness during calls for social justice by shouting, “All Lives Matter;” not galvanizing his base by emboldening white nationalists; not the reinstatement of patently, racially biased policing by supporting stop-and-frisk; not doubling-down on dated misogynistic statements with fresh ones; not insisting women seeking legal abortions should be punished; not shaming Veterans by stating that the military is a disaster, or insisting that POWs are not heroes; not calling for the prohibition of Muslims immigrating to America; not asking for the death penalty for under-aged teens wrongfully convicted for rape, nor rescinding his position once they were exonerated with DNA evidence; not mocking the disabled; not bald-faced bigotry stating that an American born judge cannot be unbiased due to his Mexican ancestry; not boasting that he could shoot someone without losing voters during a national crisis from gun violence; not bankrupting Atlantic City; not even being hundreds of millions of dollars in debt, and failing to pay taxes for nearly twenty years while touting his accomplishments as a businessman. So, to surmise his campaign will be suspended for bragging about sexual assault seems a stretch – what can’t Trump say?
Since launching his campaign in June 2015, Trump has championed a platform of authoritarianism, bigotry, oppression, and xenophobia. He has for years presented himself as a sleazy, slimy, and sincerely sexist attention whore. His three ring circus of failed businesses, failed marriages, and failed patriotism provided a boon for network television ratings. Anchors, producers, and media personalities barely stifled their laughter mocking the absurdity of a reality-television star running as a Republican candidate – then Trump became the Republican nominee.
Did he play the game, dial-back his rhetoric, and polish up his public persona? Of course not, Trump already electrified the Republican Party in defeating 16 candidates for President, many of which had legitimate experience as elected public servants. The damage done in allowing silver-spoon fed, inheritance rich, integrity poor, and intellectually deficient Donald James Trump to represent a major political party for the office of the President has had a global impact. This election has demonstrated to the world the disgusting truth of America’s inadequacy to accept the truth about our national history. It vividly displays our stubbornness to acknowledge the work necessary to resolve issues of implicit bias, abject poverty, rampant sexism, homophobia and xenophobia. What’s worse is it has emboldened ignorance and by giving it a national media platform lasting nearly 16 months. Even writing about it now is arduous.
A rich, establishment, white male, real estate pimp finds himself entitled to the nation’s highest office and scoffs in the face of an opponent whom is a trained attorney, having informed public policy, former First Lady, Senator and Secretary of State. Trump has always been ready and willing to be at his worst, and the American public has been ever eager to watch the train wreck. For a profoundly inexperienced Trump to even have the gall to run against Hillary Clinton, a woman who is the single most qualified candidate in American history to seek the presidency, reeks repugnantly of sexism.
Is it truly shocking for a man who proudly paraded young women competing for Ms. Universe around in bathing suits, using them as props for his entertainment empire, called women pigs, jeered women for their weight, and challenges women’s professionalism for sake of their periods to speak about women as objects available for his sexual discretion? Not even remotely. What is shocking is that we have allowed its persistence for this long.
Frankly, I’m shocked Trump admitted he said it and blown away that he apologized in an official statement. He has never, not once, apologized for any of his previous controversial statements. In fact, he has outright denied any such utterance or just plain lied about his involvement. He may as well have stated in response “Bitches ain’t shit but hoes and tricks,” and waited for his rise in the polls.
While Trump is responsible for his reckless nature throughout his campaign, we the American public are accountable for permitting the travesty that is his candidacy to occur in the first place. Rich, white males manipulating public interest by making empty promises is not a unique phenomenon – that’s the American way. The only way to make America great is accept the fact that we have one clear choice to make on Tuesday, November 8 in electing Hillary Rodham Clinton.
Anything short of this decision, whether by abstaining to vote, or protesting the vote encourages the outcome of a Trump presidency. Voting for Clinton keeps Obama's policies in place, while we continue to mobilize at the state and local level to elevate operators in the political revolution to higher seats in the Congress and Senate. Why risk the election of a white nationalist Neanderthal to the highest seat in the nation? At the least with Clinton, outside of this stanza, we’ll never have to worry about seeing Presidential Nominee and pussy in the same sentence.
Endnote: I’m fairly certain “Grab Them by the Pussy” was a club banger back in ’92.
Russ Green is a writer, comedian, husband, and father of four, from Washington, D.C. The Howard University graduate currently resides in Montgomery County, Maryland, living a mostly vegan lifestyle. He enjoys wearing blazers and button-ups and is fresh out of f*cks.
The opinions expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of BET Networks.
(Photo: ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)