By focusing on Bill Clinton’s infidelities and affairs, Donald Trump, his followers and any media who follow his lead, are participating in a classic sexist dismissal of a woman in favor of a male in her life.
About 20 years ago, I had a Harley: a 1995 black Road King. We decided to add an oil cooler to the engine and I went to pick it up. The shop we bought the bike at was all the way on the East Side of town, so I went to the closer store on the West Side of Cleveland. I knew exactly what I needed.
So I popped in and walked up to the parts counter. And proceeded to be ignored. By three parts guys. And they ignored me. And ignored me. I was finally reduced to asking for assistance. I told them what part I needed–by number. They then had the nerve to quiz me about the bike: model, year, other accessories, and a bunch of other questions. Everything but “Does your husband know you’re buying this oil cooler?”
I was angry.
I was used to stopping by the parts counter at my regular shop just to chat with the guys who worked there. I could walk in and buy anything without a third degree and with the attitude that I knew what I was doing.
I was obviously not used to being dismissed on grounds of being female. I did not get used to it. I imagine that it’s not standard operating mode for Hillary Clinton, either.
Now Donald Trump wants to focus on Bill Clinton: against whom he is not running.
Trump plans to go beyond blaming the victim of her husband’s infidelity and instead accused Hillary of being an accomplice in it. According to Trump she, “has bullied, attacked and shamed” Bill’s real or alleged mistresses.
Nothing there about beating them up, Dynasty-like cat fights, or public confrontations. Although I do remember joking at the time about Bill maybe having to cover up a black eye or two.
Now the party of “family values” is stuck with a candidate who epitomizes the worst violations of family values. Christian conservatives will have to contort themselves into new knots tonight to justify their support for Trump at church tomorrow. They have opposed divorce and touted the sanctity of marriage between one man and one woman–unless their names are Bill and Hillary Clinton. In their case, according Rudy Guiliani, it proves Hillary was “too stupid” to be president.
Critics cannot dismiss her for infidelity, sexual abuse, or multiple marriages–so they use her family values as signs of weakness.
Imagine if Hillary were on her third marriage. If she had divorced Bill after his affair with Monica. Would anyone have supported her bid for president?
We know the answer to that.
And in the second presidential debate, we’ll see whether Trump tries to run against Hillary Clinton’s husband–rather than the actual candidate.