I wrote this the night before Trump's inauguration.
The year was 2003. The King of Pop was back in the headlines. This time it was after the airing of the Martin Bashir directed documentary: Living With Michael Jackson. The documentary led to the admission that Michael Jackson had shared his bed with children (though more specifically, young boys). Every network was hoping to capitalize on its success. CBS decided to air an expose’ on his many plastic surgeries, and invited one of his best friends to speak about them. That “best friend” was Donald Trump, famed Manhattan billionaire. He spoke of Michael’s great embarrassment of having so many surgeries and how he thought Michael ruined himself. Here was one of Michael’s “best friends” telling millions how he ruined himself. It has been a rule of mine for years: pay attention to the way people talk about their friends, it will tell you all you need to know about their character. Donald Trump left a bad taste in my mouth then.
Fast forward a few years. Miss USA winner, Tara Conner, was busted by TMZ for acting out in a few NYC bars and testing positive for cocaine. Trump held a press conference in which he allowed her to maintain her crown. Rosie O’Donnell, the moderator of the ABC daytime talk show, The View, had some harsh words for him: “Left the first wife, had an affair, left the second wife, had an affair. Had kids both times, but he’s the moral compass for 20-year-olds in America…” Trump exploded. He appeared on nearly every cable news show for days, perhaps even weeks, calling Rosie a loser, a fat pig, threatening to sue her, and denigrating her success as a talk show host. Keep in mind, Rosie’s original talk show was enormously popular, second only in ratings to Oprah and was not cancelled. For me, the most disgusting thing he said about her was this:
“And she ought to be careful ’cause I’ll send one of my friends to pick up her girlfriend, and I think it would be very easy.”
Ask a lesbian who’s had an argument with a belligerent, straight male, bully and you’ll likely find that at some point that the bully used his gender as a weapon to belittle her sexuality or that of her partner’s. “Your girlfriend is only gay because she’s never been with a man like me.” The implication I got from his comment was just that. He was man enough to turn Rosie’s girlfriend into a heterosexual. Never mind that the two were married and Rosie spoke of her as her wife nearly every day of her run on The View. To him she was just a girlfriend who had yet to find a dick like his. Forgive my poor language, but if you’ve had the distinct pleasure of listening to him speak this past year, it pales in comparison.
My opinion of him was sealed then. He was a man who talked poorly of his friends and sought to dehumanize and delegitimize his perceived enemies. He used the same tactics when he challenged the fact that our first black President was born in this country. He claimed he sent paid investigators to Hawaii and that they couldn’t believe what they were finding. There is no evidence that this happened, but it was a chance to keep the cameras on him, to prove that the American people would listen to him despite the fact that most of his speech was filled with demonstrable lies. Political theatre trumped any debate over policy. He was on to something then. It was tragic foreshadowing. He could spew lies like a tennis ball machine and the press was lucky to hit one of them back.
When he came down on that escalator in the tower that bore the Americanized version of his family name (I doubt Drumpf would look as pretty or as tacky, however you view it) and announced that the American dream was over, I knew there was no way this man would get my vote. What I didn’t know at the time was how low he would stoop to win. I knew he was a bully, but I’m not sure anyone could have predicted some of the words that came out of his mouth. This is a man running for the highest office in our country, a country that represents freedom and diversity. This country that gave birth to civil rights icons like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Medgar Evers and great presidents like Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Dwight D. Eisenhower. Can you honestly imagine them implying that their wealth gives them the right to grab women, “by the pussy?”
Imagine if during the 2008 campaign that Barack Obama said about his rival, “He’s a war hero because he was captured? I like people who weren’t captured.” Imagine if he said to his primary rival, Hillary Clinton, “Look at that face. Would anyone vote for that? Can you imagine that, the face of our next president?” Imagine if Obama had implied during a debate that he had a large penis or that one of his female debate moderators had, “blood coming out of her wherever.” His chances for president would’ve fizzled out faster than Howard Dean’s after he made that weird shriek that sounded like an elephant stepping on a donkey’s foot. And yet, tomorrow, barring any interference by the man upstairs (I’m still holding out hope), Trump will be inaugurated.
The other side would like me to admit that they won, to accept that he is our President, and to give him a chance. But have they won? What does it say when 74 million people voted against Trump and yet he “won” with under 63 million votes? Is that winning? Or did he correctly predict that the system was rigged, just in his favor? I will not accept that he is our president nor will I give him a chance.
You don’t reward the bully by making him the class president. A bigot should never be given billions of dollars of free media. A proud sexual assaulter doesn’t deserve to be president, they deserve to be behind bars. And there is a special place in hell for anyone who mocks the disabled.
Give him a chance? Let me do my best Miss Sophia from The Color Purple impression, “HELL NO!” I’ll give a chance to those ready to fight, to organize, to march, and to make your voices heard as we put Trump and his deplorables back in their basket. Every time he goes after the media, call it out. When one of his cabinet picks goes against a campaign promise like not cutting social security, call it out. When you see an act of hatred inspired by the man, call it out. When a friend sends out a fake news article, call it out.
I’ve reached a point where I would prefer a President Pence. With him, my rights are threatened. With Trump our existence is threatened. Who knows which dictator he’ll piss off with a 3AM tweet. The next four years is not going to be much fun, but I haven’t been this fired up and ready to fight in a while.
Like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said, “Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.”
Let’s wake up, put our Wendy Davis shoes on, and get out there.
Two days later I took part in the largest U.S. Protest Ever, the Women’s March.