(Caution may be triggering)
Several years ago I worked as a therapist for sexual offenders and one case stands out. I worked with an 18 year old who had raped his 6 month old brother and almost killed him. I found out later he had also been stalking his 3 year old brother for a year to try to find a safe opportunity to sexual assault him but had never found the opportunity. He was the most dangerous human being I have ever known.
I asked him why. How did he come to do this? Why would he assault a defenseless infant?
His answer will stay with me forever. “I guess I just wanted to see what it felt like…”
It is that attitude, that way of thinking that has been basic to every sexual offender I have ever known. The most important thing in the world is how I feel and the best things in the world are those things that make me feel better. The purpose and value of other people is in how they make me feel. Others have no significance or value apart from how they do this. The purpose of women in particular is to excite me and to allow me to act out any urges I have with them. Power is important because it allows me to get what I want. Real men have power over women and the ability to get what they want. And when real men are together they enjoy talking about it, bragging about it with each other.
That was what I learned from the people that I worked with. It has also been what I have learned in the last weeks, maybe even the last months about Donald Trump.
The tape that came out explained what he liked to do with women, what he really thought of them. The last week had been a steady stream of women coming out to say he has acted on those words for a long time.
Every presidential candidate whether he knows it or not talks about how he sees the dignity, the significance of the people whose votes he seeks. He has a theory of people. Donald Trump does not think sizable portions of this country matter. His view of women is past pathetic but basically he doesn’t like anybody different…. Black, Hispanic, Asian, Muslims, poor people, disabled people etc. etc. etc. He is an emotional terrorist who tells people that he will make sure “those people” will get what they deserve and he will protect the interests of real Americans.
His impact has been real. The Republican Party helped to create him and then stood and watched as he seized control of their party. He could have never happened without their acquiescence. They took his 30 pieces of silver and sold their soul. They have lost their right to be regarded as a credible moral voice on anything. Their response to any criticism of Trump is “well what about Hillary.” Until they can answer questions about Trump talking about Trump anything they say is self serving hypocrisy. They sold out their country for the prospect of electoral victory and deserve only disdain.
I have been heartbroken at the response of the church to Trump. I am reminded of the story in the Bible of the Devil tempting Jesus and telling him that if he just followed him he would give him all power and make all his wishes come true. The response of way too much of the church is to decide to see if the devil is good for his promise.
I do not remember ever having this visceral of a reaction to any presidential candidate. I wanted Barack Obama to win but my reaction was no where close to this. I lived through Nixon. I lived through George Bush. Nothing even comes close to Trump.
In many ways I am a very old fashioned person. I believe in evil. I believe there are evil people and I don’t know when I have ever seen someone as evil as Donald Trump this close to so much power. I am 65 years old and while I hope I have some years left I don’t have forever time. My grandson is 2. In a way I never really thought possible to feel so deeply I am fighting for him.
Unfortunately I know many females that have been raped, assaulted or in some way abused. I never thought I would see the day when admitted rapists would be spared from jail least their lives be ruined. And I never thought I would see the day when someone who appears to be a serial sexual assaulter would be running for president and his supporters furious because they thought that the rest of us were being too hard on him. It is getting harder and harder to know “The Onion” from real news because the truth is so unbelievable.
This post was really borne in a story about Trump supporters questioning the validity of the stories of the women coming forward because they took so long to speak up. I was so mad when I read it I wanted to scream. I finally just decided to speak out.
I am not a woman. I did not go through some of the the things that the women coming out about Trump did but a little over 50 years ago I was sexually abused by an authority figure, my pediatrician. The abuse went on for over 6 months and I think the only reason he stopped was because he was afraid I was going to tell. In retrospect it was clear that I was not the first or I am sure the last. He was practiced and skilled and tried to tell me that there was nothing wrong with what was happening and if I thought there was there was something wrong with me.
I didn’t tell. I didn’t tell anyone. For almost 50 years. The only person who knew was my wife. Both my parents died never knowing.
For a long time I was afraid. I was terrified. I felt like I was different in a way everyone could see. I became isolated and withdrawn and as much as anything molded who I was. Strangely enough the pediatrician was the son in law of a man running for the vice presidency when all this happened. I knew you just didn’t tell.
About a year ago I wrote about it first on this blog. More than anything I wrote not trying to make anything different but because saying it was part of me being different.
I am grateful for those brave ladies who have spoken up and I hope, if there are more (and I would bet there are) if it seems right to them I hope they will also speak up. I know about shame and fear and I hope that for these brave ladies who have had the misfortune to have Donald Trump in their lives that they will know the shame is his and in the truth they have nothing to fear.
I have never felt about any political campaign the way I feel about this one. I am so thankful it is almost over. I matter. You matter. I believe that to be a fundamental truth. If there is an American promise it is of a country where that can be true for everyone. It is a promise that Donald Trump would steal.
Please vote. It matters. It is not our current reality but if there is a promise worth fighting for that is it.
Please send Donald Trump home empty handed. For so many reasons, for so many people we can never let him be President.
Vote. Vote like the future of those you care about depend on it. It does.