By Matteo Mendoza
Within the span of a short 90 minutes at the second presidential debate, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump said the following:
- That the leaked video revealing his tendency for self-aggrandizing sexual assault was nothing more than “locker-room talk”
- That Clinton and her campaign owe him an apology for starting the birther movement, which he spearheaded
- That, if elected, he would appoint a special prosecutor to investigate Clinton and incarcerate her, because she “should be in jail”
- That the incoming refugee crisis could become the “greatest Trojan horse of all time”
- That he did, in fact, use tax loopholes to avoid paying federal income taxes for almost 20 years
- That Aleppo, Syria, has “already fallen” (it has not)
- That 45% of African-Americans live in poverty (the actual rate is around 25%)
- That Hillary Clinton has “tremendous hatred in her heart”
- That he did not tweet about former Miss Universe Alicia Machado’s sex tape (he did)
While these comments are only a small sampling of the debate transcript, they are telling of Trump’s character. Are these outrageous instances the new standard that Americans have come to expect from a candidate for the next leader of the free world?
They should not be, and the United States–especially younger generations–needs to take an affirmative stand today. Grossly inaccurate, misogynistic, racist, vulgar, uninformed, unpresidential— the list goes on. Donald Trump’s debate performances show his true character to the American public, and that character is nothing short of frightening.
The most vivid example must be the fiasco surrounding the leaked video of him discussing his predatory moves on women in 2005. The video, in which he brags about trying to seduce married women and groping their genitals, should disgust every American, no matter their political affiliation. These behind-the-scenes comments confirmed what most people suspected about Donald Trump.
The Republican response was unsurprising: Christians reeled, congressional leaders withdrew support and RNC operatives discussed moving funding away from his campaign. During the 48 hours leading to the debate, Trump’s campaign seemed to be in a fatal, campaign-ending crisis. The public looked toward the debate as an opportunity for Trump to show heartfelt remorse and sorrow for his actions in the video.
The opposite occurred. When the topic of the video came up at the debate, Trump briefly and unsincerely apologized and then went on to attack Bill Clinton’s infidelities for the remainder of his allotted time. In dismissing the video as “locker-room banter,” Trump encouraged a culture of sexual assault to younger generations, both male and female. By not apologizing to the women whom he discussed in the video, he showed his total disrespect and objectification of women. Furthermore, in redirecting the question towards the Clintons’ decades-old accusations, he revealed a deep insecurity in himself.
Trump’s “apology” at the debate fell quite short of an actual show of remorse, and it signaled a temperament that is unfit to serve as President. Inconceivable moments like these happened consistently throughout the first two presidential debates, and they present Americans with a clear contrast between two nominees.
Forget arguments about politics: Only one candidate has the moral sanity to become our next President, and that candidate is not Donald Trump.