In my column for the Daily Caller this week, I write about the significance of the lewd remarks Donald Trump made boasting about how his “star power” lets him have his way with women, invasively groping their private parts without their consent. Quick to apprehend the politically costly impression this particular brand of sexual prowess might have on Trump’s candidacy, his defenders conjure up a change of venue. They push the line that his remarks were just “locker room talk.” This aims to induce us to dismiss Trump’s remarks as nothing more than hormone-fueled adolescent boasting. They should not, therefore, be construed as evidence of actual behavior.
Of course, this requires that we simply ignore the fact that Mr. Trump was just shy of 60 years of age when the recording was made (2005). But if he his functional age at the time was somewhere between 14 and, say, 21, that would mean that, though he is 70 now, his functional age may still be shy of the 35 years required to be eligible for president.
Maybe that’s why Mr. Trump recently retreated from always insubstantial activities in regard to upholding that constitutional provision. (Will the “strict constructionist” justices he will supposedly appoint to the SCOTUS deal thus superficial with the Constitution’s provision in question? I suppose that will depend on whether the age requirement is a matter of procedural or substantive due process.). Be that as it may, the spin doctors’ prescription may thus far be working to quell, somewhat, the moral anxiety of his much vaunted Christian supporters. As it happened, however, the “boys’ locker room” had decided it was a recording studio – and one of its appendages included a microphone that was (unbeknownst to Mr. Trump) turned on.
Now several women have come forward claiming that Mr. Trump treated them in exactly the fashion described in his “adolescent boasting.”
Even without resolving the “he said, she said” aspect of each particular allegation, Mr. Trump’s situation is awkward. For he has taken to calling Bill Clinton a rapist because several women have accused Clinton of assaulting them. The other day he assembled several of them for a media moment, apparently by way of substantiating his otherwise possibly slanderous use of words.
But if the legally untried complaints of several women are sufficient to prove Clinton’s aggressive behavior, why should similarly untried complaints simply be dismissed when several women come forward to say Mr. Trump aggressively invaded their persons in just the way his own idol boasting (pun intended) suggests he had the habit of doing?
I know many Christian voters who are deeply concerned with the ongoing effort to discard America’s God-revering founding premises. They struggle to hope that Mr. Trump will somehow work to stop it. However, now they face a stark dilemma. The overwhelming evidence available on the record of Donald Trump’s behavior suggests that his current pro-life stance is an expedient switch, made in aid of his campaign’s effort to gull votes from conservatives fed up with being constantly betrayed by the GOP’s quisling leadership. So people who believe that he has in fact switched positions are pretty much taking him at his word. But, which word is that? Is it the word of the boaster, vaunting his evil abuse of power; or the word of the candidate, promising to use power to prevent that same type of power abuse against our posterity?
Even if they go along with the “locker room talk” spin, they are acting on the assumption that Mr. Trump is someone who says things that are not true in order to convince himself and others of his powerful personality. In a word, he lies in order to aggrandize himself. What if the positions he has asserted in aid of his dream of presidential power are similarly fabricated?
On the other hand, what if we take him at his word? Then we cannot seriously dismiss what he thought was private boasting about the wicked perquisites of his personal power, wealth and fame. But violating the personhood of others on account of one’s self-presumed status of superior power is of a piece with the violation of right involved in abortion, and every other crime against humanity. Such crimes oppress, assault, discard, exploit or otherwise degrade the intrinsic worth innocent people are supposed to enjoy on account of their God-endowed nature as human beings.
Taking Trump at his word thus leaves conscientious pro-life voters in a deep quandary. In order to support him, they must vest their hope for the restoration of God-endowed right in an individual who may have outrageously acted out the evil, unjust and aggressive disposition that is at heart the source and substance of the evil abortion represents. They will be doing so even though he has not admitted to and/or repented of the actions arising from that disposition. And the more he fights to defame and destroy his accusers, the more deeply he will demonstrate that he has not altered, but rather has acting upon, the same idolatry of personal power that his boastful remarks indicate to be his actual “religion.”
The physical lives of some nascent children may be saved if Donald Trump acts on his promise to seek the appointment of “pro-life” justices (the historical record stands against this assumption, however). But the moral, spiritual lives of all oncoming generations of Americans will be put at risk if Mr. Trump is still the aggressive self-idolater his vaunting suggests. What will it profit our nations if we save some physical lives, when doings so involves the sacrifice of moral and spiritual lives for generations, beginning with our own?
Which should we fear more: the evil that destroys the body, or the evil that destroys both body and soul in Hell? Christ gave the answer in words and again in His suffering and death upon the Cross. Should those who call themselves Christian voters to take His name in vain by contradicting that answer in our performance of our sovereign duty as voters?
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