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Tabloid politics

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COMMENTARY

Tabloid politics

12:09 AM October 19, 2016

I was thinking of a term that would describe current US politics—a term that would capture the furor that’s going on with the emergence of a video reportedly made in 2005, where Republican nominee Donald Trump was overheard making lewd remarks about women and bragging about committing various blatant and aggressive acts toward them. This prompted some women to come out and accuse him of groping and touching them inappropriately even in front of other people.

“Women Say Trump Groped Them” is a recent headline in the New York Times. This is hard to believe that someone who is running for the presidency of the United States no less has been doing this several times over. He has earned the moniker “The Four Ls”—Lewd, Lurid, Lascivious and Lecherous.”

Of course, Trump has denied these allegations calling them “horrible lies” perpetrated by his opponent, Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton and her husband Bill. The whole picture is so muddled and confusing that readers and TV viewers are turned off and look for other things to do with their time other than watching all this garbage being thrown around.

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The New York Times report starts with, “Donald Trump was emphatic in the second presidential debate. Yes, he has boasted about kissing women without permission and grabbing their genitals,” he said.

The report continues: “About 45 minutes after take off,” recalls one woman who was on the plane bound for New York, “Jessica Leeds, 74, recalled: He “lifted the armrest and began to touch her…. According to Leeds, Trump grabbed her breasts and tried to put his hand up her skirt; he was like an octopus. His hands were everywhere.”

This is just one lurid account of Trump’s predatory sexual behavior among several incidents related by an avalanche of women he had groped and assaulted.

One might as well be reading the similar accounts of predatory males in daily US tabloids such as The National Enquirer. It is really incredulous that such sordid events occur in a presidential contest.

Another woman, Temple Taggart, a former Miss Utah, alleged that Trump kissed her on the mouth more than once when she was a 21-year-old pageant contestant.

Trump was also heard telling a friend, Billy Bush, “Just start kissing them. It’s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don’t even wait.” He added to the amusement of Bush, “grab them by the pussy!” (Of course, many people don’t even understand the term.)

That is probably the most aggravating dimension of this continuing lurid Trump saga. He has boasted that as a celebrity, “you can do anything you want.”

Why are all these lewd events and behavior of Trump coming out only now when they happened so many years ago? The aggrieved women said that they only told friends and other women when it became obvious that Trump was running for the American presidency. He became more visible politically, and the women had to tell the world what kind of danger a Trump presidency would be.

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There is more to tell about Trump’s abominable and predatory sexual behavior. It turns out this has been going on long before he emerged on the national scene. Needless to say, he was already lagging in the national polls even before his real nature came out.
What a disaster! What else can one say?

Dr. Belinda A. Aquino is currently professor emeritus at the University of Hawaii at Manoa where she served as professor of Political Science and Asian Studies and founding director of the Center for Philippine Studies.

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TAGS: decency, Donald Trump, lewd behavior, US election, women
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