Recently Donald Trump has reportedly been considering the option of making Bill Clinton’s record of sexual misconduct an issue in the 2016 campaign, in order to put Hillary Clinton on the spot for aiding and abetting it. In the context of those reports, is it just a coincidence that a tape has now come to public knowledge that seems to confirm Donald Trump disposition to engage in what appears to be similar misconduct? Is the deployment of the tape a high inside pitch aimed at discouraging the Trump camp from thinking that Clinton does not have the wherewithal to counter any move to crowd Hillary Clinton’s political plate with Bill Clinton’s sexual issues?
Be that as it may, considerations connected with the debased anti-personnel tactics being deployed by both sides in the present Presidential campaign season are not the only things for voters to ponder. More significant is the tenor of Trump’s remarks. They are being characterized as typical “locker room” talk. Men who take this to be true obviously accept the notion, much touted by some feminists, that a violent contempt for women is characteristic of American males. For Trump’s remarks do not involve boasting about some triumph achieved by his winning and skillful techniques for sexual seduction.
Trump flatly describes his experience as a function of “star power,” which is to say the force derived from his fame, wealth and superior position of authority. He states flatly, in offensively explicit language that he deploys quite casually, that that force allows him to have his way with women, invading their persons without their consent, in much the same that the illegal immigrants he so harshly inveighs against, make their way across our nation’s borders without regard for its boundaries.
Just as a nation without borders is not a nation, a person whose private parts are presumptuously violated by someone who counts on his personal power to assure submission to his advances, are not being not being treated as persons. They are being used as things of no account. In this respect Trump’s words suggest a predatory disposition, a passion that has more to do with taking pleasure in the forcefully imposed submission of others than in the mutual surrender usually associated with sexual encounters.
The tone and tenor of Trump’s remarks thus go beyond boasting. They seem rather to flow from a disposition, an attitude, and a habit of mind that takes more satisfaction, as it were, from the exaltation of the pounce, than from the pleasures of the chase or the succulent meal that comes thereafter. This disposition may indeed be characteristic of one destined to rise to greatness in government—but it is the greatness of the conquering tyrant, who claims an empire in order to contemplate his own power. It is not the magnanimity of the presiding magistrate in a Republic, whose greatest satisfaction is to contemplate the prospering virtues of its people, and the example of decent happiness they uphold for the inspiration of others.
Christ once talked about the importance of a faithful disposition in little things. The disposition to disregard the bounds of propriety when dealing with individuals is not a little thing. But it nonetheless suggests, in individual measures, the penchant for invasive tyranny that builds empires by brushing past the inconsiderable individual claims and responsibilities (of marriage and motherhood, for example) one treats as if they are of no account.
What sane people, charged with choosing the Chief Executive of their republic, would choose one so disposed to tyranny; or another disposed to shield and abet such a predator for the sake of her own rapacious ambition? Yet this increasingly appears to be the election Americans are being told they have no choice but to accept. If they do accept it, I apprehend that it will mark our time as the manifest end of their Republic; and the rising of an empire disposed, from the start, to enforce whatever evil the predilections of its overlords require.