In Wethersfield (CT) recently a Trump supporter and councilman, Michael Hurley, berated the town’s mayor for a Facebook post claiming that Hurley condones sexual assault by supporting Trump. The councilman, the Republican challenger in a bid for state representative, then called on Mayor Paul Montinieri to apologize. The mayor refused.
The flap came about because Hurley continues to display a Trump campaign sign on his lawn, an act which, according to Martinieri constitutes an acceptance of Trump’s sexual misconduct. It doesn’t, of course. Not really. None of us is ever in one-hundred percent agreement with the candidate we support, choosing instead a general feeling, a perceived attitude, or a recognized philosophy to help us decide.
My first reaction when I read about this incident was to chalk it up to local politics, but then I read Hurley’s response when asked if he was troubled by Trump’s admissions of assaults on women:
“I haven’t seen anything that has been substantiated,” he said.
Well now you’ve gone and done it, Mr. Hurley, because actually it has been substantiated—by the women whom he assaulted and all the friends and relatives in whom they confided. And Mr. Hurley, you should know that the same embarrassment that keeps women from reporting these crimes had kept Trump’s victims quiet also until the Alicia Machado incident opened his little lockbox of secret ways to disparage women. Substantiated? I won’t repeat myself—check here:
There are many Trump supporters who recoil at much of what the candidate professes but simply claim Hillary Clinton is worse. I am baffled as to how they can believe that, but I respect their right to say it and vote their conscience. But Michael Hurley would not even go that far, instead hanging on to a meager hope that Trump’s recorded admissions of guilt are wrong, that statements like
“There’s nobody that has more respect for women than I do,”
“I respect women incredibly”
actually mean something to Donald Trump. They don’t.
As delusional as he is, Trump probably believes these bogus professions of admiration, but his delusions do not impose any responsibility on us—and that includes Mr. Hurley—to feel the same. Up until now I hadn’t realized how much local politics had been blighted by the presidential race, but it has been. Michael Hurley may indeed be a good man, but when he stands four-square behind Donald Trump, that possibility becomes less likely.