If I offended anyone…

It’s an embarrassment to America that we have allowed Donald Trump to represent us, even remotely, to the rest of the world. He doesn’t represent us any more than Vladimir Putin represents the average Russian or Kim Jong Un the average North Korean, but the damage is being done anyway.

The release of Trump’s vulgar comments yesterday cannot possibly come as a surprise to anyone—that leer of his, the one that he polished to perfection in his television show, did not spring full grown from some nominating committee in 2015. He’s worked at it for a long time. And nothing is more indicative of that inveterate depravity than his tepid apology—if I offended anyone. If?

Women’s advocates are seizing upon this latest outrage as another reason to deny a Trump presidency, but they miss the point if they consider this an attack only on women. It’s an assault on anyone Trump considers less valuable or more vulnerable than he is. Women, yes. The poor, yes. Immigrants, minorities, blue-collar wage earners, lawful taxpayers,—yes, yes, yes, and yes.

Even with all this, I doubt if yesterday’s revelations changed many minds, and if he doesn’t resign, he still has a good chance of winning.

Those who watch Bill Maher’s Real Time may have heard a similar sentiment expressed last night, but something has worried me since earlier in the week when the citizens of Colombia rejected the peace treaty that would have brought to a close a fifty-year(!) war. They did so because continued revenge against the rebels was more important to them than the prospect of a stable country where their children might grow up in peace. (We humans love our revenge even though it only makes us miserable, and if we can retain that anger forever, well so much the better.) I don’t even wonder why the Colombian people rejected peace; after all, the Brexit vote occurred a mere two months ago: voting against one’s own best interest is not an American phenomenon, though we seem to be perfecting it this fall.

After yesterday’s revelation of Trump’s Clutch-and-Grab Guide on How to Pick up Women, the experts predicted a quicker demise for him. I hope so, but these experts are overestimating the common sense of the American people. Don’t forget the primary season and the convention: it was Trump virtually unimpeded. And even today people treat him as a serious candidate, placing him in the same historical context as Hillary Clinton, or more disturbing, FDR, Lincoln, Jefferson, Kennedy, et al.

This morning many Republicans are calling for Trump to resign. They get no accolades from me, nor should they. Where were they when he insulted the Mexican judge, or Khizr Khan, or wavered over disavowing David Duke, or suggested a ban on Muslims, or wondered why nuclear weapons couldn’t be used if we had them, or suggested murdering the families of ISIS fighters—as if these women and children are somehow registered as such? Party leaders like Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell apologized for their candidate time after time, but kept supporting him. Even today, in light of yesterday’s revelations, neither of them has suggested Trump’s resignation. McConnell wants a stronger apology, as if that would matter. At least Ryan uninvited Trump to his Wisconsin rally, but even that benefits only Ryan.

It has been said that the election will turn on the undecided voters, but let’s be serious—nobody with a scintilla of sense could, today, remain undecided. These so-called undecideds are voting for Trump—they’re just too embarrassed to admit it. The hatred for his opponent resides so deep within them that they will squander their one vote to elect a liar, swindler, and now it appears, rapist.

These folks—and their partners the deplorables—should no longer be coddled or cajoled. So I suggest this: since Hillary Clinton is under no obligation to participate in any debates at any time, she should blow off the next two, maybe enjoy Poldark on Sunday evening, or watch the Giants and Green Bay. Clinton has nothing to gain by showing up—not any more—and worse, she gives Donald Trump credibility by her very attendance: hey, if she’s a presidential candidate, then he must be one too.

But he isn’t.

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