I think everyone will agree that the tape from a 2005 conversation between the media and Mr. Trump is off color. That is not disputable. Even Donald Trump has acknowledged that it was embarrassing and has apologized for it. And while there are a number of consequences that have resulted from the tape, one has to stop and ask “what more do people want?”.
Granted, there are those who are calling for Trump to drop out of the race, but realistically that is not going to happen, nor should it. In all reality, the tape is a little bit more than a publicity stunt from the Hillary campaign.
Is the tape vulgar? Yes, it is. Does the tape degrade women? Yes. But does the tape shed any new light upon how women in today’s media, entertainment, and real world are talked about or presented? No, it does not. Here are a few considerations about the tape and some consideration about the effectiveness of or ineffectiveness of Trump’s handling of the issue.
People are vulgar, and you may be one of them
Divorces in America are almost at 51%. And while studies have shown that adultery is not officially in the top 10 reasons, I would be naive to think that the numbers are not similary high. Does this make Donald Trump’s pursuit of a married woman any less repulsive? No.
But be honest with yourself and acknowledge that this sort of behavior occurs every day all over the United States. Both men and women try to “shack up” with individuals that they know to be not available. Does pointing out that a politician was (at the point when he was not a politician) trying to do the same stop the infidelity rate from continuing to rise, or does it stop married women going after married men? No, it does not.
In regards to the language that was used in the tape, one could state that the language you hear around the water cooler, on your favorite song, or in a movie is just as bad. I recently did a IMDB search on a newly released blockbuster movie, I was shocked to find that the F word was dropped 64 times and GD was stated 47 times in the movie. To put that in perspective on a 120 min movie the rate was about once a minute for these words.
But let us say that you argue that it is just entertainment and not a public figure. Ok. Take your music artist which is a public icon, there are lyrics to top songs which talk about having sex with both a mother and a daughter, use the P word when talking about women, and let’s be honest, degrades women far worse than the tape presented ever has.
Just because it is the “norm” does not make it excusable
Those who watched the debate on October 9th would note that there was a frequent turning to the issue of the tape. Why? Because regardless of the norm that such language plays in our society, it is still not acceptable behavior to have a politician use such language. Additionally, the hype surrounding the tape provided the media an avenue in which to gain more viewers.
Donald Trump addressed the issue of the tape in a 50/50 acceptable manner, meaning that half was spot on and the other half was damaging. The half that was acceptable was that he did not dwell upon the tape. He acknowledged that what he did was wrong, he said that it was embarrassing, he stated that he has grown on the campaign trail and that he has a high respect for women, and then he moved on. Personally, I would have liked to have seen him look into the camera and say (as a response to Hillary’s attack that he never apologizes for anything) “I am sorry that if anything I have said during this campaign has caused individuals to think less of themselves. To those women who feel as though I have degraded and undermined the role of women in the world, I apologize. I have a deep respect for women and I applaud your spirit” It would have been that easy. But such is politics.
The part where Donald Trump erred is in bringing the women that Bill Clinton attacked to the debate. Yes, it did give him an edge in keeping Hillary from pushing the tape issue. At the same time though, it was seen as being a you shove me, I will shove back move which may have deflated the apology.
Locker Room Talk
Donald Trump stated that the tape was “locker room talk” as an excuse. While this may be true, it is not really an effective way to handle the problem. Then again, how does one really handle such an issue? If he dwells on the subject it only adds fuel to the fire, if he avoids the issue it looks like an admission of guilt.
So, in regards to his tactics, he did the best he could. And let us all be realistic here, any way in which the tape was addressed would have been met with opposition. Some republicans have just been itching for a reason to jump ship and this was that opportunity. Democrats (who are probably behind this unveiling just 30 days before the election) want to shift the polls.
Before Republicans go and throw Donald Trump under the bus, and before they switch sides to Hillary, let those people consider our own lives and whether there would be any embarrassment should any tape be produced about any sector of our own lives.
The odds are that there is something which you would not want flaunted about. The difference between Donald Trump and those who are shouting the loudest is that he got caught. Bill was caught multiple times… is Trump any worse?