Is that what it takes?

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - OPINION - Su­san Estrich Su­san Estrich is syn­di­cated by Cre­ators Syn­di­cate.

Does it re­ally take the most vul­gar, rude, of­fen­sive, racist, bom­bas­tic, in­sen­si­tive, un­qual­i­fied, dis­re­spect­ful boor ever to be nom­i­nated by a ma­jor party in our life­times to fi­nally get a highly qual­i­fied woman into the White House?

Seems so — as­sum­ing we’re lucky, of course, and we don’t make com­plete fools of our­selves, merg­ing the White House with the Trump Net­work and call­ing it the Trump House (where the Lin­coln Bed­room will now be avail­able to any bil­lion­aires, not just the ones who con­trib­ute).

This is aw­ful. It is be­yond bad. There is noth­ing to en­joy. It is hor­ri­ble to watch. I’ve been watch­ing the de­bates with my stu­dents, but I’d rather we were watch­ing any de­bate from any other cam­paign ever. I would like them to see de­cent can­di­dates, ones who cared enough to try their hard­est and do their best — not foul-mouthed boors who talk “locker room talk” ev­ery minute of the day.

Did you see Don­ald Trump re­peat­edly duck the ques­tion of whether he still talks this way? Tell me: Did he wake up one day and see the light? This is who he is. He makes no bones about it. He is the most au­then­tic can­di­date I have ever seen. And that’s the other scary part of it.

This is ex­actly who he is. He is a racist. He hates women. He ob­jec­ti­fies women. He “grab(s) them by the p---y.” He was not in a col­lege locker room when he said that. He was 59, for good­ness’ sake.

And his sup­port­ers, if the pic­tures, blogs and re­ports are to be be­lieved, are just eat­ing it up. They love it when he at­tacks women as sex­ual ob­jects and Mex­i­cans as crim­i­nals and Mus­lims as ter­ror­ists. They’re rais­ing a glass. They are ac­tu­ally telling peo­ple on the phone that they are for this man. They aren’t em­bar­rassed. There may be more of them. Who are these peo­ple? We keep hear­ing about the an­gry white man. Yes, they’ve felt down­trod­den as of late. It’s tough. But can I point out the ob­vi­ous? Most of these white men have white wives, daugh­ters or sis­ters, women who feel as de­meaned and put down by Trump’s dis­re­spect­ful oath as women of color. Are women not telling their hus­bands or broth­ers what it feels like to have a man who would be pres­i­dent of the United States talk about women as if we are pieces of meat? No­body stuck a mi­cro­phone in his shower while he was mut­ter­ing to him­self. This is clearly the way he talks to oth­ers; it’s who he is.

I don’t know whether Trump is a curse of an older gen­er­a­tion that will be gone soon or rather a con­tin­u­ous virus that in­fects young and inse­cure men with a false and dan­ger­ous sense of se­cu­rity, one gained by de­mean­ing oth­ers and de­grad­ing women — a virus that stays with them for the rest of their lives. We who are moth­ers would like to think we have raised our sons bet­ter. In all events, no such man is qual­i­fied to be pres­i­dent, but it shouldn’t take one for a qual­i­fied woman to win.

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