Who’s the worst per­son in the world?

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - OPINION - Kath­leen Parker Colum­nist Kath­leen Parker is syn­di­cated by The Wash­ing­ton Post Writ­ers Group.

It should sur­prise no one that this pres­i­den­tial elec­tion — the first ever to in­volve a fe­male nom­i­nee from a ma­jor party in the top spot — has de­volved into a con­test of man’s ul­ti­mate metaphor.

I’m not re­fer­ring to a spit­ting com­pe­ti­tion, if you’re strug­gling here.

Rather, the race ap­par­ently is to de­ter­mine which is the worst man on the stage — Bill Clin­ton or Don­ald Trump. Never mind that Hil­lary Clin­ton is the one run­ning for pres­i­dent.

This his­toric strug­gle for do­min­ion over a win­ning nar­ra­tive, ei­ther one of which would be a los­ing propo­si­tion in a sane world, proves yet again that we dis­missed Dr. Freud too soon. And, if I may add a foot­note for fu­ture dis­cus­sion, that women have traded their su­pe­rior pow­ers in pur­suit of the lesser dis­tinc­tion of be­ing equal to men.

Would that life were more com­pli­cated.

In­stead, we are hostage to a com­edy.

Shocked, shocked, I tell you, the peo­ple were to hear an 11-year-old record­ing of Trump talk­ing dirty about women. Re­ally? Democrats, who tol­er­ated a pres­i­dent’s abuse of power with an in­tern and, poor Freud, a cigar that wasn’t just a cigar, couldn’t be­lieve their ears. Repub­li­cans couldn’t be­lieve the hypocrisy of Democrats. Tell me if you’ve heard this be­fore.

The rev­e­la­tion that sent Trump sup­port­ers scur­ry­ing to pro­tect their women’s skirts? The GOP nom­i­nee’s brag­ging to Billy Bush about kiss­ing beau­ti­ful women and grab­bing their pri­vates, pre­sum­ably with­out their con­sent, be­cause that, young man, is what celebri­ties get to do!

No news here, folks. But speak­ing of weird, Repub­li­cans pre­vi­ously have been fine with Trump’s racist, xeno­pho­bic, and misog­y­nis­tic com­ments — but, this p---y busi­ness won’t stand.

Mean­while, poor Billy Bush has been sus­pended from his “To­day” show job be­cause he played along, laugh­ing at Trump’s ab­surd state­ments. Well, of course, he played along. He was a re­porter for a Hol­ly­wood show at the time, and this is what re­porters do. They will laugh at just about any­thing to keep an idiot talk­ing.

But Amer­ica is re­dis­cov­er­ing its virtue, if, as al­ways, se­lec­tively. Morn­ing chat­ter­boxes at Fox News re­mind us, as if we could for­get, that Chris­tians be­lieve in redemption and sec­ond chances. Trump apol­o­gized. Oth­ers have said that “ac­tions mat­ter more than words.” While Trump only talked about as­sault­ing women (as far as we know), Bill Clin­ton did have sex­ual re­la­tions with that woman, con­sen­su­ally, and pos­si­bly oth­ers who weren’t so in­clined.

In ei­ther case, out­rage is jus­ti­fied — and I won’t de­fend ei­ther man’s be­hav­ior. But a lit­tle con­text might be help­ful in un­der­stand­ing these two char­ac­ters.

Trump and Bill were born two months apart in 1946 into a rev­o­lu­tion­ary cul­ture that soon would em­brace a hip­swivel­ing crooner named Elvis Pres­ley and Hugh Hefner’s Play­boy magazine.

Ba­si­cally, ev­ery­thing you need to know about Bill Clin­ton and Don­ald Trump can be found in these two mid­cen­tury icons. A fel­low South­erner, Clin­ton saw him­self as Elvis. Even now, his face some­times be­trays Elvis’ smol­der­ing glance with the slightly curled lip. Trump, a New York City boy, was Hefner. He col­lected all the toys of the Play­boy lifestyle — boats, planes, cars — the best of ev­ery­thing a gilt­mon­ger­ing rich boy would seek to glam up his sex ap­peal. Mara-Lago was his Play­boy Man­sion. All three of his wives have been bunny qual­ity, and Trump Tower isn’t just a tall build­ing.

Of course, he be­lieves any woman would wel­come his kisses — and more. And then things got weirder. Trump has dis­missed his ca­sual chat with the muchy­ounger Billy Bush as “locker room talk.” Where­upon, of­fended ath­letes more re­cent to the locker room — and to a greater aware­ness about sex­ual ha­rass­ment and rape — de­cried Trump’s in­sult to their in­tegrity.

At a “news” con­fer­ence be­fore the sec­ond de­bate, Trump rounded up three women who shared rec­ol­lec­tions of their un­wanted sex­ual en­coun­ters with Bill Clin­ton. A fourth woman con­demned Hil­lary Clin­ton for serv­ing as the court-ap­pointed at­tor­ney in de­fend­ing a man that she ac­cused of rap­ing the woman when she was 12.

Whether Hil­lary Clin­ton’s at­tempts to con­tain “bimbo erup­tions” are suf­fi­cient to un­der­mine her global role in ad­vanc­ing women’s rights will be a tough call only for those to whom Ken Bone’s red sweater is a hero.

As for Elvis and Hef, they are so yes­ter­day. Per­son­ally, I never could stand ei­ther one.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.