Donald Trump’s disgusting comments from 11 years ago about women are not examples of typical locker room talk. As a male who has been in locker rooms and served as an officer in the US Army, I am familiar with the language used. The particular words that Trump uttered are not what defines Trump’s despicable character. It is the fact that he was boasting about sexually assaulting women, about having tried to cheat on his third wife with a married woman he was about to meet again, about claiming he could get away with whatever he wanted to do to women he met because he’s a “star,” and about kissing and groping women without their permission. Locker room talk may be all too common for teen and young adult males in the throws of pubescent hormones, adolescent immaturity and testosterone culture. However, most men out grow that behavior as they mature and become confident in their developing masculinity. Donald Trump seems not to have matured in that way.
Sexual assault is any sexual activity, including words or actions directed toward a person, that is not fully and clearly consented to by the recipient. Kissing and fondling someone without consent is sexual assault. Discussing a person’s sexual body parts or making sexual comments in front of the person without consent is sexual assault. Reports are emerging from many people who worked on the “Apprentice” show that Trump did those things on the set of the show. He used sexist language, rated female contestants on the size of their breasts, and asked male contestants if they wanted to “f**K” a female contestant, admitting that he wanted to, in front of her while she squirmed in embarrassment. These actions are sexual assault.
Donald Trump cheated on his first wife with his second wife. He cheated on his second wife with his third wife. He seems to marry women who he thinks make him look good. The disclosure of the lewd language and boasting of 11 years ago is just the straw that broke the camel’s back. The problem is a character-defining pattern.
This pattern of behavior defines a sexual predator and a despicable person. It is consistent with Trump’s narcissism, sense of entitlement, disregard for the feelings of others, aggressive nature, and propensity for countering every criticism, affront or even normal disagreement with ferocious attacks.
Electing a national leader requires more than just being strong and tough. Dictators have those qualities. Our democratic republic needs a leader who represents American values, a leader we can be proud to represent us, and a leader who solves problems with diplomacy and wisdom, not just force and bluster.