Reflections Blog

Trump, the Vulgarian

By now, no one needs convincing that Donald Trump is vulgar.  The Access Hollywood videotape of him admitting that he tried to bed a married woman and bragging about being able to do virtually anything with women because he is a “star,” including grabbing women by the crotch—this evidence alone is proof that Trump has no moral center.  He is a vile, egotistical, bully and braggart who should never represent our country, can never be a role model for young people, and must never be allowed to make decisions that could affect hundreds of millions of Americans. 

He has been highly disdainful about the ten (so far) women who have come forward and accused him of sexual assault.  They are the liars, he claims.  His Access Hollywood talk was just that—talk.  He assures us that he has never actually assaulted women (he’s only bragged about it), but his denials ring false.  Bill Cosby’s denials rang false, too.  When several women came forward and accused Cosby of rape, he was all denials.  Then more women came forward.  At some point, Cosby defenders had to admit that it was unlikely so many women would come forward with claims that are embarrassing and disgusting to themselves unless there was some truth to it.  One accuser might make something up, but not ten. 

The uncomfortable truth is that Bill Cosby is a rapist, and Donald Trump has not just bragged about sexually assaulting women, he has done it, repeatedly, and probably more than just ten times.  The likelihood is that we have just seen the tip of the iceberg. 

Trump claims that the accusations against him are all lies, big lies, lies inspired by the media and the Clinton campaign, lies told by woman seeking fame.  His defense against accusations of sexual assault is not simply that everyone else is lying, it is, at least in the case of Jessica Leeds, that he wouldn’t have assaulted her because she’s not attractive enough.  That comment reveals as much about Trump’s shallowness and lack of character as any other.  To him, a woman’s worth is measured by only one standard—where he would grade her on his scale of 1 to 10.

In speeches at his rallies, he is constantly saying, “Believe me,” and “Trust me,” but independent fact checkers say he lies about eighty percent of the time—although he loudly accuses Hillary Clinton (and anyone else accusing him of wrongdoing) of lying.  Trump’s Big Lie is that he says whatever he wants to say and he says it long and loud, his assumption being that if he lies long enough and loud enough, many people will believe him.  And unfortunately he’s right.  There are people out there (millions of them, apparently) who believe his bullshit because they want to believe it.  He talks tough.  He ridicules his opponents.  He angrily decries anything said against him, and he disparages people who dare to disagree with him.

And his supporters want him to be our president?  The man is more than a serial liar, he is a vulgarian.

Now he thinks Saturday Night Live should be cancelled because they have parodied him.  Bill Maher on HBO has made fun of him, too.  So have dozens of other comedians.  Numerous columnists and newspapers have spoken out against him, as have thousands of other people, like me, who are witnessing this presidential election with a mixture of astonishment, anxiety, and disgust.  I said in an earlier blog article that I am not a staunch Hillary Clinton supporter.  I have issues with some of the things she’s done, but I am willing to make peace with that because, on balance, her heart is in the right place and she knows her stuff.  She is the better candidate of the two by far.  By light years.

Why is she the better candidate?  Here are just a few reasons:

First, Hillary Clinton is smart, stable, and highly qualified for the office.  Her list of accomplishments makes for an impressive resume, and she has dedicated most of her life to public service.  She has served as a U.S. Senator and Secretary of State.  She was president of her senior class at Wellesley and graduated with honors from Yale Law School.  She’s worked on many presidential campaigns and championed numerous causes, including reducing infant mortality, enhancing health care, reducing the spread of HIV, reducing domestic violence, promoting women’s equality, achieving sensible gun control, and protecting women’s reproductive rights. 

Second, she understands government and knows how Washington works.  That makes her an insider, and I have no problem with that.  I’d rather have an insider in office than a buffoon who has no clue how government works and has a record of not listening to anyone but himself.

Third, she is strong but diplomatic.  She knows how to work with foreign governments and would represent us well on the international stage.  Trump is a fool who doesn’t know when to keep his mouth shut and is impulsive and uncontrolled in his communications (witness those three am tweets that a smarter, more circumspect person would not have sent).

Fourth, despite Donald Trump’s false claims, Clinton would maintain a strong military and use it wisely.  Moreover, if Hillary wins, she will not instruct her Attorney General to appoint a special prosecutor to put Trump in jail—as he says he will do to her.  Only a petty, vindictive candidate would promise to put his opponent in jail.  We expect to hear threats like that from banana republic dictators, not from candidates for the highest office in our land.

Trump claims that if wins he’ll add millions of jobs to the economy and reduce taxes from 35% to 15%.  And he’s said that to reduce the nation’s debt, he’ll print more money.  But he has built his financial empire partly through bankruptcies, and he doesn’t seem to comprehend that a nation like ours can’t simply declare bankruptcy to avoid paying our debts.  For all of his so-called business prowess, he doesn’t appear to understand a national economy like America’s.  Moreover, his volatility and unpredictability would not make our markets more stable.  On the contrary, the markets hate volatility.  If you have any money in a retirement account like a 401K, or in a mutual fund, or invested in individual stocks, you can expect to lose money—perhaps a substantial amount of money—if Trump is elected.  He is too much of a loose cannon for Wall Street, and his protectionist stance on trade is likely to rattle markets around the world.  Don’t imagine that this won’t affect you personally.  It will.  Perhaps catastrophically. 

Trump has said that his Access Hollywood comments were like “Locker Room Talk,” as if that either explained or excused what he said about women.  When he said that, I told friends that I’ve been in plenty of men’s locker rooms in my life, and I’ve never heard men talk like that.  I thought, maybe I just don’t have male friends that vulgar, but then I read the tweets of dozens and dozens of professional athletes who said the same thing—men, except for a minority of vulgarians—don’t talk like that about women, inside or outside of locker rooms.  They especially don’t brag about being able to grab women by the “p---y.”  As a man, I am appalled by Trump’s statement, and as the son of a mother, the father of a daughter, the brother to three sisters, the grandfather of five granddaughters, and the husband to a very fine woman, I am outraged that a man running for the presidency of this country would talk like that, would think that way (at 59 years old!), and then would dismiss it as locker room banter.  Baloney.  Trump is a vile and vulgar man with no moral center, and it’s an insult to the men and women of America that he aspires to be our president. 

I want to believe the polls and the pundits who say that Hillary will win this election.  I pray that they are right.  A Trump presidency would scare the dickens of out me.  I would wake each morning wondering how Trump has used the power of his office to punish someone else who spoke out against him, wondering if the stock market has plummeted (and with it, my savings), wondering if he’s ordered the military to strike some country whose leader insulted Trump, and wondering if we’re at war yet and what the horrific consequences of that will be. 

Trump does not have the judgment or temperament to be our national leader.  He lacks the wisdom to make sound, informed decisions.  And if he is not in fact mentally ill, then he is at least a narcissistically impaired man whose need for approval borders on the pathological, and I would hate to be in his crosshairs if he decided to use his presidential power and the offices of the IRS, FBI, and other federal agencies to punish me for not singing his praises.  So if you’ve read this far, please do me a favor:  don’t pass on this article to Donald Trump or any of his Trumpettes.  I would prefer not to be on his black list, but on the other hand I won’t allow that possibility to silence my voice. 

Please do yourself and our country a favor by voting for Hillary Clinton on November 8.  The future of our nation depends on the good judgment of the millions of us who don’t buy Trump’s lies and bombast and who are offended by his shallowness and lack of character.


Mary Nowotny

Thanks, Terry, for putting together and posting this thoughtful piece. It's helpful to hear from such rational people like you who may help influence others to do the right thing - VOTE FOR HILLARY! best regards mary

October 19, 2016, 6:41 PM
Anna Pool

Terry, thank you for this unequivocal analysis of Trump's character. As Michelle said, his vulgarity makes females feel vulnerable, whether we talk about it or not. I hate thinking about my daughter living a world where Trump has so much power. Your candor and courage mean a lot.

October 19, 2016, 8:34 PM

Terry, again another excellent piece. You've highlighted the inaccuracies in what Trump proclaims, his inability to accept responsibility for anything he says or does, his unstable and vacillating temperament, and his lack of respect for not only women, but anyone he deems different, weak, or a threat to him. Thank you for taking the time and the risk to publish your thoughts. Vote Hillary and VOTE FOR DEMOCRATS FOR CONGRESS! Another 4 years of gridlock would be disastrous.

October 20, 2016, 4:26 AM
Joe Wade Plunk

Terry, I can only concur with every statement you've penned. Well, that and vote for Hillary. The aspect of his character - character?! - that has had the greatest impact on me during this horrific campaign season is not his vile nature, but rather the vindictive utterances he has caused to spout from the mouths of people whom I love and otherwise respect. I cannot even allow myself to consider what his Presidency would mean for America, which is already great.

October 20, 2016, 10:09 AM
Katherine Freiberger

Terry, your comments are right on target. Not only am I disgusted by Trump's ignorance and self-centered vulgarity, but even more frightened by the possibility that, as our nation's head, he could impulsively plunge us into situations with the rest of the world as well as ourselves.

October 21, 2016, 4:22 PM
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