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October 10th 2016 print

Michael Warren Davis

So, You Thought He Was a Choir Boy?

No one can honestly be surprised to hear a serial philanderer like Trump talk that way. It would be rank hypocrisy to decide that, of all the coarse and offensive things he’s said and done, this particular episode is what makes him terminably unpalatable

trump dirty‘You know I’m automatically attracted to beautiful – I just start kissing them. It’s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don’t even wait. And when you’re a star they let you do it. You can do anything. Grab them by the p—y. You can do anything.’

These are Donald Trump’s comments from 2005, unhelpfully labelled by some pundits as ‘controversial’. There’s really nothing controversial about what he said. No one – not even the current Mrs Trump – is defending him. Everyone’s in perfect agreement that he registers somewhere between a Clinton and a Cosby on the creep-o-meter. The controversy is over whether or not he can be forgiven for speaking that way.

If you ask John McCain, he’ll say no. The Arizona senator and spectacularly unsuccessful 2008 Republican presidential nominee withdrew his endorsement from Trump, saying in a statement: ‘Donald Trump’s behavior this week, concluding with the disclosure of his demeaning comments about women and his boasts about sexual assaults, make it impossible to continue to offer even conditional support for his candidacy.’ This was the most outstanding example of such criticism – that Trump isn’t sufficiently respectful of women to be president – but it neatly summarises his detractors’ complaint.

Scott Baio, an actor of no recent achievement and Trump surrogate, responded directly to these claims by saying: ‘I like Trump because Trump is not a politician. And ladies out there, this is what guys talk about when you’re not around So if you’re offended by it, grow up, okay? And by the way, this is what your guys talk about over white wine when you have your brunches.’ I guess this unselfconsciously elitist defence of an arch-populist is worth noting. Do most American women get brunch while their husbands sit around, drinking white wine and talking about groping strange women? I guess that will be for the American people to decide – if they can pry themselves away from their chateaus in Aspen long enough to fly home on their private jets and vote for the man who represents, erm, working-class interests.

But never mind that. Trump’s an elite and his surrogates are elites. I guess, from time to time, they’ll inevitably slip up and say something elitist. That doesn’t mean Trump can’t (or doesn’t) represent Middle America.

Both McCain and Baio are missing the point. Insofar as Trump doesn’t act on those animal impulses – and the women in his life are adamant that he doesn’t – there’s no real scandal here so far as women are concerned. We can even concede to Baio that many men do talk like that when women aren’t around. Some talk like that when they are around, as anyone who’s ever been to a dive bar will know.

None of that, however, makes Trump’s comments acceptable. The problem isn’t that he’s a bad feminist; the problem is that he’s a bad man. Yes, guys can be pigs when they’re horny. It’s part of male DNA. But we’ve always insisted that men suppress those urges, as much for their own sake as for women’s. We’re supposed to be ashamed of our appetites. We’re supposed to moderate our sexuality. We’re supposed to hold ourselves to a high standard of gentlemanly conduct. That’s part of what it means to live in civilized society, a Judeo-Christian society in particular. We recognize that crude lust is a poison that eats away at men’s souls – that unrestrained carnality undermines the institutions our entire way of life is based upon, not the least of them marriage.

Yes, sometimes we fail. We have our ‘locker room talk’… or, if you’re Scott Baio, our ‘white wine with the lads talk’. But that doesn’t mean we don’t criticize ourselves and others when we slip up. That’s part of maintaining a healthy, well-ordered society. That’s part of cultivating a healthy, well-ordered soul. So I’m with this Baio person. If you’re ‘offended’ by Trump’s language, grow up. I’ve heard far worse at University of Sydney’s annual Radical Sex and Consent Day festivities. (Though, to their credit, consent is in the name.)

This isn’t about Trump saying naughty or even creepy things. It’s not about him being indelicate with female sensibilities.It’s about him failing epically to live up to the Western ideal of manhood. (Sorry, multiculturalists, but however you dice it, that’s the case. That sort of language wouldn’t be out of place in, say, Saudi Arabia.) And it’s about our right, as adherents of Western civilization, to hold our leaders to higher standards of personal conduct. If Trump can’t govern himself, why should Americans let him govern them?

Whether this is a fatal infraction is up to the American people to decide. For my money, it wouldn’t be. No one can honestly be surprised to hear a serial philanderer like Trump talk that way. It would be rank hypocrisy to decide that, of all the coarse and offensive things he’s said and done, this particular episode is what makes him terminably unpalatable. But if voters have completely abandoned our Judeo-Christian paradigm of manhood, they’ll carry him to a handsy – sorry, handy – win.

Comments [21]

  1. Andysaurus says:

    In a word – braggadocio. Breathes there a man…

  2. Salome says:

    What sort of blokey blokes sit around drinking white wine with each other? In any case, in a recent article, there was a report of the Clinton Collective killing a woman’s cat to frighten her out of giving evidence against Bill. Killing pussycats is far worse than grabbing . . . oh, never mind.

  3. Keith Kennelly says:

    Fatal attraction. Is killing pets as nasty as potty mouth talk?

  4. Keith Kennelly says:

    Or taking advantage of interns or as lustful as serial sexuality?

  5. Geoffrey Luck says:

    Australians discovered what Americans were really like in 1941; they coined the memorable phrase to describe them: “Overpaid, over-sexed and over here.” Underline the second term. (Growing up in Brisbane I overhead one U.S. officer tell another how he had taken this girl into a telephone box and “put his love muscle into her.” ) We have since had proved to our satisfaction why America is the nation whose psychologists coined the term “Cognitive dissonance”. Meaning they can hold two opposing views (in this case moral positions) at the same time without having to call Beyond Blue. Americans must profess the most sincere and public worship of their God, yet carry on in the most God-awful ways. The attempt at reconciliation of these two irreconcilable positions – which occurs only when someone is caught out while conforming to the second mode while professing the first – is truly wonderful to behold. It’s when hypocrisy becomes hypocritical. Just like the last 48 hours.

    • Jody says:

      Again, no mention of the consenting females in all this behaviour. For just about every aggressive, entitled male bully-boy there is a willing, consenting female. You just cannot have one without the other, unless you’re doing a remake of “Lars and the Real Doll”.

  6. Bill Martin says:

    Is it not ridiculous to the extreme that while there is a plethora of real and often terrifying problems all around the world, supposedly serious, sensible people are hyperventilating over some locker room banter by Donald Trump 11 years ago?! How many of those holier-than-though men pronouncing on Trump could sincerely declare, hand on heart, that they have never ever said anything remotely like that? What a miserable bunch of hypocrites!

  7. Egil says:

    “And when you’re a star they let you do it.”
    A lot of women throw themselves at stars/celebrities/alpha males.
    That is the way it is/ always has been and that was the point Mr Trump was making.
    In a crude way in a private blokey conversation 11 years ago.
    Flawed character for sure, but from what we know, JFK and Bill Clinton were far worse on the scale of saintlyness.
    The media will run with the “grab” until election day, of course.
    But some perspective:
    Another 4 years of “Obama”, more of the same proven failures plus even more open borders.
    That is what HC has on offer.
    Is that the way to go or is it time for Trump?

    • Jody says:

      JFK and Clinton had additional qualities that Trump does not have and never will have!!

      • Egil says:

        Absolutely!!! :-}}
        But DT may well have some qualities that your old favorites missed out on.
        The universal “get him”/posse mentality of pretty much every media organization on the planet,
        hardly reflects truly on the man.
        His family does.

  8. Bran Dee says:

    Now that Trump has handsomely won the second debate lets hope that Jody can use sisterly persuasion to get another vote in the US for the Free World’s man of the moment.

    • Jody says:

      Don’t worry; I’ve had fierce arguments with my sister over HC!!! She stopped emailing me after on such argument when she returned my email with “unsubscribe” written in the ‘subject’!! (I did laugh, though, because she was very obviously ‘upset’!). The gays think they own Clinton – and the feministas. Actually, they can HAVE her!! I just don’t think the world should have to tolerate those insufferable pants suits for the next 4 years and a lean and ailing Bill, long after his potency has deserted him!. (Ah, the world of the mind..!!)

      So, Hobson’s Choice for the USA. They need to grow up and elect a decent leader. Surely there is one amongst 325 million people!!! Sure makes Jeb Bush look good!!

  9. What annoys me far more than crass Trump words and boasts is the absolute and sheer HYPOCRISY of the media. Bill Clinton has been involved in [and bragged to others including Trump] about far more serious deeds and words [including rape] most of which were covered up for and by [and even enabled by] his ‘wife’ Hillary and a complicit media. Apparently when you are a socialist and supposedly acting for the ‘common good’ you will be forgiven almost any sin and virtually deified, [for example Mao killed 60 million, Stalin 25 million yet both are still heroes to the left] while if you are a conservative [like TA] even winking, or looking at your watch while a ‘feminist’ is talking is an unforgivable ‘crime’.

  10. Ian MacDougall says:

    In military shorthand, Obama is ‘POTUS’ – President Of The United States.
    A President Trump (may God spare us all from that) should by the same token be GROPUS.
    I rest my case.

  11. Homer Sapien says:

    Nobel prize winner Alexander Solzhenitsyn deeply regrets what he has done to German women after winning the war. Those actions pale compared to Trump’s. “Who shall throw the first stone” is the question?

  12. en passant says:

    “If Trump can’t govern himself, why should Americans let him govern them?”
    Because the alternative is a slimy crook, with no ethics, no morals and a criminal record that dwarfs even her deadly incompetence and Clinton Foundation thefts.. What a pity those snipers she dodged in Bosnia were just another lie from this congenital liar who supports a sexual predator of a husband. Not to mention she is mentally and physically unfit to be in any public office.
    Oh, Jody and Ian, didn’t Jools support someone to be Oz Speaker who said and did far worse?

    • Jody says:

      I don’t know why you’re asking me this; I am neither a Clinton supporter, nor an American. I’ve called their election “Hobson’s Choice” for a reason. They’re in a world of trouble in the USA and they’ve got no leader who has the chops for the job, let alone one who understands what the depth of the problems are in the first place. They are at a crossroad.

      For decades the USA promulgated the American Dream through hegemony and popular culture. Occasionally we’d see gritty, realist films and TV series (remember “The Naked City”?) but nothing like a De Sica and “Italian Neo Realism” post WW2. The take-home message was that the USA was “great”, “affluent”, militarily successful; a model of capitalism. The white picket fence/home ownership/family with 2 kids/2cars/working wife/educated parents became the cut-out image which was eagerly consumed by uncritical audiences of mass culture. And that message spread to the whole world (which I always regarded as a very bad idea). Recently you’ll see popular films which provide a glimpse of the reality of American life…”Gran Torino” being a notable one. A troubled neighbourhood of immigrants, a violent culture, the breakdown in society, the end point of Miller’s Willy Loman dream. And not without good reason did the chief protagonist, played by Clint Eastwood, display the American flag in his front yard. Think about that. And then contemplate the extent of America’s self-imposed crisis.

  13. Bran Dee says:

    Leftist Hollywood lit the pyre and the Leftist media stoked it.

    • Jody says:

      It’s far more complex than that. As the dominant hegemon, the USA spent most of its time policing the world, projecting its image outwards and none of its time concerned with domestic issues; that’s just one tiny part of the problem. I don’t think the Left had much to do with it at all – the projection of images from Hollywood, that is. This is largely controlled by large, public companies and I’ve long hoped for a more realistic vision of American life. Instead of always focusing on the mafia, the USA should tackle the important issues – as it did post war with films about anti-semitism (“Man in the Gray Flannel Suit”), racism (“To Kill a Mockingbird”), the law (“Twelve Angry Men”), the bible (“Elmer Gantry” and “Inherit the Wind”). They were much braver back in the 1950′s/early 60′s.