I am not an American. I suppose, technically, I am an American citizen, but as a result of my own life choices (which are fully my fault), I cannot partake in many of the rights bestowed upon all individuals enjoying full citizenry. For example, I have lost my 2nd Amendment right to own a gun; I have lost most of my 14th Amendment right to due process; but worst of all, I have lost my right to vote. I cannot participate in the process of choosing the legislators and leaders by whom I must abide.
I am, as Kurt Vonnegut once wrote, “a nationless man by inclination.”
Basically, I cannot participate in America. So as far as I’m concerned, I am not an American.
However, I am surrounded by Americans, and yesterday, those Americans elected Donald Trump as their president.
There is plenty of writing going on right now about this shocking election, but my perspective differs greatly from the current opinionated commentaries splashing across newspapers, news networks, and the Internet.
As much as it pains me to say it, I can relate to Donald Trump much more than I could ever relate to Hillary Clinton. But that didn’t particularly occur to me until recently. Until the beginning of October, I just thought Donald Trump was merely an ignorant buffoon. But then, the infamous “grab ’em by the pussy” video emerged. And in that video, Trump made two claims: He tried to “fuck” a woman who was married to another man; and he admitted to freely grabbing women inappropriately, knowing they wouldn’t report him because he was a “star.”
Here, watch the video…
In the subsequent weeks following this revelation, Trump tried to excuse these words as “locker room talk” or general male banter. And his minions followed suit, justifying his words by saying they’ve heard worse from other men and women; or by comparing him to the adulterous (but consensual) affair between Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky. However, what Trump’s followers failed to understand was that it wasn’t merely his words which were cause for concern; the cause for concern was his casual willingness to participate in this behavior. I personally don’t care what “words” Donald Trump uses; but when those words indicate that he is willing to sexually pursue married women while he himself is married, or that he is willing to sexually violate women by grabbing them “by the pussy,” it becomes extremely disturbing. And on top of all that, I haven’t even mentioned the federal lawsuit against Donald Trump for raping a 13-year-old girl – a lawsuit which was dropped after the victim received repeated death threats.
So just to clarify, the man freely condones sexual assault and adultery. The things in my life for which I hold the most remorse, Donald Trump freely boasts.
Following the release of this video, numerous women stepped forward and declared that they too were molested by Donald Trump over the years, but were afraid to speak-out against such a wealthy and powerful man. And when they did say something, they were ridiculed by his minions and dismissively ignored.
Have you seriously reached a point in America where it is acceptable to freely mock the victims of sexual abuse? Evidently.
I have written several times about being the victim of a sexual assault at the age of 18 – an event that changed my entire life – and I too told no one. I told no one for numerous reasons; partly because of humiliation, but partly because my abuser was one of the most popular people in my graduating class. So I kept quiet and buried it.
It took me over fifteen years to admit what happened to me, but I was abused. However, I have also been the abuser.
I abused my position of power as a teacher and exploited my social and occupational popularity, gaining the trust and admiration of my female colleagues with the goal of pursuing them sexually. And over time, it crossed the line from colleague to student. And at that point, I became the abuser; and I hate myself for that. No one will ever convince me not to hate myself for the harm I’ve caused, nor do I ever want to forget. And now that I am living a life which is nothing similar to what I was when I committed these acts, it is all-the-more bothersome when I see it in others, especially when it is boasted by a presidential candidate.
So, understandably, it disturbed me deeply when Donald Trump expressed his arrogant pleasure in his adulterous conquests and whimsically haphazard sexual assaults. And I thought to myself, There’s no possible way a “Christian nation” would ever elect this man. I honestly had faith in the diligent electorate from which I was forcibly removed. I couldn’t fathom the concept of America electing a man who condoned adultery and sexual abuse.
But you did. You elected a man who is, for all intents and purposes, an unregistered sex offender. America, you elected Donald Trump.
And here, let me make it worse…
As a part of my research for the current manuscript I am writing, I stumbled upon several references to Donald Trump stating in an interview that male students are not harmed by sexual relationships with a female teacher. This, of course, was in stark contrast to all factual evidence about abuse; but I read his quote, right there on the screen. Admittedly, my first thought was simply that this was negative propaganda, fueled by the hate-driven election – lies perpetrated by his opposition, printing fake quotes to make him seem even more sick, perverted, and unhinged. There’s no way he actually said that, I thought to myself.
And then, I found the video…
So, let’s recap, shall we? President-Elect Donald Trump has publicly condoned: a) adultery; b) sexual abuse/assault; and c) sexual relationships between teachers and students.
Hey America, when it came to Donald Trump, you were willing to overlook all those things, and on January 20th, he will be your new president. Perhaps it is somewhat comforting to know that even though Donald Trump won the election, he did not win the popular vote (for the fifth time in history, the loser received more individual votes). But that will be little consolation on Inauguration Day when Donald Trump places his hand – which has, by his own admission, grabbed multiple women “by the pussy” – onto The Holy Bible, and gives his oath.
And the crazy thing is, those three things – a, b, and c – are the exact same reasons why my little slice of America hates me; those three things are the exact same reasons why I have lost friends, family, 25 months of freedom, and numerous constitutional rights.
In the film American Beauty, Kevin Spacey’s character catches his wife cheating on him, and when she tries to explain it away, he interrupts her and says sternly, “You don’t get to tell me what to do . . . ever . . . again.”
So, America, don’t ever scoff at me again because of my sexual missteps. You just elected a man who has done far more and far worse than I have ever done; and he is proud of it.
You just elected an unregistered sex offender.
You just elected Donald Trump as your president.