I’ve been writing about the LIST since at least 2010. This is a periodic roundup of men who just think they are so special that the normal rules of respectful conduct involving women do not seem to apply to them. This is bi-partisan, non-partisan, totally about observing what goes on in the public eye. What goes on outside of the public eye must be even worse, if this is what we see.
My last blog about this was The List: Huxtable Hoax Edition concerning the dozens of women accusing Bill Cosby of sexual harassment. That blog featured a cover story in New York Magazine with the first person stories of the accusers. Cosby is now disgraced and trials are ensuing about some of the allegations where the statutes of limitations have not run.
Today, the New York Times has published a story with interviews of many women who have been the objects (and I use the word deliberately) of Donald Trump’s attention, sometimes welcome, sometimes unwanted. The story is scandalous. A person with any kind of moral conscience, any remaining shred of decency, would at least slink away for a while. But not The Donald. Heck, this is a person who, allegedly, pretended he was his own publicist to call reporters to brag about his sexual conquests. Geez.
Ok, so nobody’s surprised about a story detailing Trump’s misogynist behavior toward women. Duh, right? That seems to be the official position of Reince Priebus, head of the Republican National Committee, who said on Fox News today that “people just don’t care” about Trump’s disgraceful treatment of women.
Hello, Reince? Last I looked in the mirror I was a people, too, and I do care. I know a lot of people who actually do care. Many of them are women, yes. But quite a few are also men.
PEOPLE DO CARE, REINCE! This callous, dismissive attitude toward the shameful behavior of the presumptive Republican nominee for president is evidence of the utterly amoral pit into which some politicians and their handlers have fallen.
Was/Is Trump’s behavior toward women worse than others on THE LIST? Relative badness is not the point. The man is likely to become president of the United States. (OK, cue the Bill Clinton & Monica, Jennifer, Paula, etc. rebuttal. Point taken. Bill is definitely featured on THE LIST. But using the Bill Clinton scandal to explain away Trump’s ugly behavior seems a bit self-defeating. But let’s stay with the current story and not the old news…)
THE PEOPLE (that’s us!) have a right and obligation to question whether his track record on women will become his policy inclination. We have a right and obligation to know about his moral character, his respect for human dignity, whether he has violated the law or normal expectations for behaviors toward others that tell us the kind of leader he might be. (In the same vein, we have a right to know his financial dealings and to see his tax returns, just as we expect for all candidates, and his brush-off of that issue is further indication of serious concerns about truthfulness and character),
People can vote for whomever they want, but people must know the facts. The record on Trump’s treatment of women is of grave concern. His handlers should take it very, very seriously. People do care about the moral quality of their leaders.