Much like my two favorite comedians, John Oliver and Jon Stewart, I cannot help but follow the incessantly entertaining shit show that is Donald Trump running for president. When he first announced his candidacy in June, I thought it was a joke. I mean he can be a funny guy (if you equate something funny with something ridiculous). But now I’ve realized it’s no joke, and although it is a joke that a crook, sexist, racist real-estate developer is running for the most important job in the world, this is very much real and very much not funny.
I’ve listened to many interviews and TV appearances with Trump (and the entire Fox Republican debate, which is 90 minutes of pure comedy) and cannot believe the words coming out of his mouth are passable for a presidential candidate—let alone one who’s leading in the polls. When Kanye announced he’s going to run in 2020, I didn’t even blink an eye. Trump has set a precedent for egomaniacs that have absolutely zero political experience to do the most narcissistic thing there is to do. Trump’s slogan says he wants to “Make America Great Again”—but I don’t think it’s an inclusive, safe, free America he has in mind. Trump has spit out his vehemently dumb views about everyone and everything from illegal immigrants (just call a spade a spade and admit you hate Mexicans) to calling climate change a “hoax.” Arrogance and stupidity is a very dangerous combination.
But since even before his announcement, it is women who have been perpetually in his firing line. His overt sexism is well known and in fact, some view it as almost cute, charming…you know, that uncle that always makes inappropriate comments but means well and we should just ignore him? YES! Let’s ignore him. But wait. We can’t. HE’S FREAKING RUNNING FOR PRESIDENT.
The comments he made to and about female contestants on The Apprentice bear first witness (by the way, he says he will give the show an Emmy Award and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame if he’s elected president…self-interest much?). In 2010, female contestants told the NY Post about Trump’s sexist dilly-dallyings on the show. “So much of the boardroom discussion concerned the appearance of the female contestants—discussing the female contestants’ looks—who he found to be hot,” said Mahsa Saeidi-Azcuy, a former Brooklyn assistant district attorney. “He asked the men to rate the women—he went down the line and asked the guys, ‘Who’s the most beautiful on the women’s team?’” Then, in a 2013 Celebrity Apprentice episode, Trump trumped himself, saying to former Playboy Playmate Brande Roderick: “It must be a pretty picture, you dropping to your knees.” Now this makes scintillating television, sure, but that is exactly where it should stay.
No one’s safe from Trump’s chauvinism—not Rosie O’Donnell, not Angelina Jolie (who he basically called a slut), not Bette Midler, not his even own daughter, about whom he made this comment: “I don’t think Ivanka would do that [pose for Playboy], although she does have a very nice figure. I’ve said if Ivanka weren’t my daughter, perhaps I’d be dating her.” Creepy. Even if it’s a joke, still creepy. As for Rosie, who called out Trump after the winner of the Miss USA pageant that he owns was found to be engaging in underage drinking and drug abuse back in 2006, she was branded a “disgusting slob”: “Rosie O’Donnell is disgusting—both inside and out. If you take a look at her, she’s a slob. How does she even get on television? If I were running The View, I’d fire Rosie. I’d look her right in that fat, ugly face of hers and say, ‘Rosie, you’re fired.’ We’re all a little chubby but Rosie’s just worse than most of us. But it’s not the chubbiness—Rosie is a very unattractive person.” This is the kind of person fat feminists should be targeting!
The most recent comments, however, were directed at Fox News host Megyn Kelly after she questioned him about whether his comments about women—the name-calling, the insulting, the creepy remarks—throughout the years really make his a suitable presidential candidate. His response was blaming her alleged period, saying to CNN: “You could see there was blood coming out of her eyes–blood coming out of her wherever.” He also called her “overrated” and a “bimbo.”
But should we really be that surprised? This is a man who equates women with inanimate objects, after all: “Beauty and elegance, whether in a woman, a building, or a work of art is not just superficial or something pretty to see,” he writes in his 2006 book Trump 101: The Way to Success.
Now, let’s turn to his policies, which is the real scary part. Good thing Obama legalized gay marriage, because well, it’s not Trump’s “thing.” He’s another old, white, rich man who thinks he can make laws about women’s bodies, changing from pro-choice to pro-life after friends of his decided to have a baby they were initially going to abort and who’s now a “really great child” (relevance?) When Kelly questioned him about his policy of banning late abortions, except for ones stemming from rape or incest, Trump underlined again that he is pro-life, ignoring the other, VERY important part. This is the man who said back in July 2000 that public assistance should be restricted: “Let ‘saints’ help teen moms”. And I dread to think what will become of sexual assault survivors if he’s president. In May 2013, he tweeted: “26,000 unreported sexual assults in the military-only 238 convictions. What did these geniuses expect when they put men & women together?” Oh wow (plus, can you learn to spell).
A part of me hopes Trump is chosen as the Republican candidate because then I can watch the incessantly entertaining shit show continue…and watch him square off with Hillary (although her poll numbers are sinking). Before he even announced his candidacy, he tweeted in April (since deleted, but nothing really dies on the internet): “If Hillary Clinton can’t satisfy her husband what makes her think she can satisfy America? #trump2016.” He must have thought: Boom. I’m thinking: HE’S BLAMING HILLARY FOR BILL CHEATING ON HER… Isn’t one of the most important presidential values family?
But a much bigger part of me is very afraid for my sisters in the US if this ignorant, conceited buffoon (if you’re going to name call, so will I, Trump) prevails. As much as I want to see the ridiculousness that a Trump/Clinton race would bring, I much prefer actual politicians who actually care about their country (i.e. Sanders) to have a real chance of running it.
Main image courtesy of bloomberg.com.