Column: You can't always play devil's advocate
It’s a noble goal to try to play devil’s advocate when you feel that a legitimate view is not given the respect it deserves. But sometimes that view is shown to be so categorically undependable that playing devil’s advocate is morally impermissible. The defenders of the Donald Trump presidential campaign have reached that moment.
Recently Trump has shown that he is categorically unfit to be the President of the United States of America and I can no longer, in good conscious, play devil’s advocate.
An audio recording was recently leaked of Trump discussing how he would sometimes kiss and grope women without even knowing them. Current Vice President Joe Biden has called the actions Trump described as “textbook sexual assault." If you haven’t heard the audio, I should warn you that coarse language is used and the subject matter is mature in nature.
His behavior was not simple “locker room talk” as he would have you believe. There is such a thing as locker room talk and that’s not what Trump engaged in when that so-called "hot mic" picked up his words 11 years ago. Locker room talk is light-hearted coarse language. Locker room talk is candid discussions about consensual sexual activity. It’s a private conversation where friends can talk and joke about generally taboo subjects without the potential of accidentally offending anyone. Locker room talk is not bragging about sexually assaulting people, nor is it about reducing people to sexual objects.
Two women, Jessica Leeds and Rachel Crooks, have since come forward following the release of that recording accusing Trump of exactly the kind of behavior he was caught bragging about back in 2005. Both women have reported unwanted sexual advances by Trump. These reports confirm that Trump’s behavior was more than just mere talk. What’s more, as Leeds’s story will attest, is that Trump has been engaged in activities like these for at least 36 years.
I understand that this election has been an extremely divisive race. I understand that many are upset with the status quo that is the federal government and I understand that many are distrustful of Hillary Clinton, but what is difficult to understand is how someone can still support Trump. I cannot understand how someone can look at this behavior and believe that he is fit to be Commander-in-Chief, and what's more perplexing is how excuses can be made for his actions.
Trump is so unjustifiable as a candidate that those who still support him cannot even claim to do so out of party loyalty, as droves of Republicans have been quick to pull their support of trump. This includes Arizona Sen. John McCain, a previous Republican presidential nominee himself.
There are few arguments that could be made in favor of Trump and none can be made to justify his objectification and treatment of women. While benefit of the doubt can often serve the truth and help reveal a candidate’s true character, Trump revealed his 11 years ago and no longer deserves benefit of the doubt. I can assure you he certainly won’t receive mine anymore.
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