There’s no denying the upcoming presidential election has exposed a dark, sick, seedy side of our society in which sexual assault, harassment, and abuse targeted toward women has become a staple of our day-to-day conversations, and how seemingly desensitized we’ve become to it. I can’t think of another point in history when we have had such a proud xenophobic, racist, sexist, abusive and extraordinarily dangerous candidate running for the most powerful position in the country; one who has six bankruptcies under his belt, who refuses to release his tax returns, who brags about sexually assaulting women, who actively encourages violence and oppression and who currently has 12 pending sexual abuse complaints against him (just to name a few of his misgivings). Even more troubling is the fact that the more we learn about Donald Trump, the more the plague seems to spread, with his supporters continuing to excuse his inexcusable behavior by helping carry the torch in the charge against women. The sad truth is, even if the American people do defeat Trump and Hillary Clinton becomes the first female Commander-in-Chief, it is likely things will get much worse before they get even the slightest bit better.
On Sunday, October 15, Vice President Joe Biden sat down with NBC’s “Meet The Press” where he discussed his concerns over the potential rise in sexism should Clinton win in November. Speaking to the issue, Biden said, “We’ve moved, thank God, too far along in terms of, there’s not a single man I know, no matter…how much of a sexist he is, doesn’t know, there’re a whole lot of really smart competent women ― and smarter than he is. They may resent it, but they know it. … I think it will surface.”
Biden has first-hand knowledge of how such things escalate, having served eight years as President Barack Obama’s second in command. Making it clear he would only speak for himself, he said he and the President expected racism would increase after Obama was elected, but not to the extent it did. Not surprisingly, it was Donald Trump who publicly declared the president was born in Kenya, for no other discernible reason than he is a black man, demanding he prove his American citizenship by releasing his long-form birth certificate. It was not until very recently Trump acknowledged Obama was, in fact, born in the states, though he takes full credit for making him prove it, which is simply beyond ridiculous. Much of the immeasurable change Obama accomplished while in office was overshadowed by racist bigots and their refusal to accept an African-American as “their” president (despite the fact he was elected. Twice.)
It’s definitely not a stretch to believe the rise in violence against (and apparent hatred for) women will continue if Clinton is elected, which could potentially mar her efforts to run the country effectively, no matter how qualified she may be. In what should be considered a federal crime punishable by law, a gun store in Las Vegas recently published an advertisement touting a sale on weapons, claiming if “Crooked Hillary” (Trump’s assigned moniker for his opponent) is elected, prices will “skyrocket” because, as many Republicans actually believe, one of her goals is to abolish the Second Amendment (it’s not). This is coming from Trump supporters who want to repeal the 19th Amendment to prevent women from being allowed to vote. To call this twisted form of “logic” mind-boggling would be a gross understatement, not to mention a cheapening of the very real danger we’ve now found ourselves in.
In response to the most recent allegations of sexual assault at the hands of the admitted groper, Trump has waved them off in denial, claiming the women who have accused him are “too ugly” for him to have wanted to forcefully have sex with. He’s also accused Clinton of playing the “woman card” (do we get cards? I wasn’t aware) and saying she doesn’t look “presidential,” which is undoubtedly a dig at her for having, you know, aged (like all humans do).
This isn’t funny (it never was) and must be stopped. Sexism, hatred, racism and threats of violence cannot and should not be ignored. We can’t live by a wait-until-something-happens standard before we step in, then wonder after what we could have done sooner to prevent it.