Monday, May 16, 2016

Male Chauvinist

The New York Times did a piece on Sunday, which, to the extent that it's accurate, seeks to enlighten us on Donald Trump's boorishness with women. The column is, ostensibly, an attempt to convince voters, particularly Democrat voters, that they really shouldn't be supporting such a cad. Fair enough. Trump is not my idea of a role model for American young men, and I find his behavior in general, not just toward women, to be appalling.

Having said that, though, it's ironic to the point of hypocrisy that the good liberal progressives at the Times are trying to persuade Democrats to shun Trump on the basis that he's a walking collection of chauvinistic microaggressions. After all, no one who supports or supported Joe Biden, Bill Clinton, Ted Kennedy, LBJ, or JFK has any business telling anyone that they should eschew a candidate on the basis that he's a lout with women.

Trump's behavior will be a turn-off to a lot of social conservatives, to be sure, but liberal Democrats are not social conservatives. A lot of liberals didn't mind at all that each of the men listed above was pretty awful, and some were much worse than Trump. Indeed, Bill Clinton was not just a philanderer, he was credibly accused of sexual assault and rape, but progressives didn't care about that. He could be trusted to keep abortion legal and that was enough to justify their support. He may have been a man of deeply flawed character, but, we were repeatedly told, character doesn't count in a president, only competence counts. Now that Trump is the likely Republican nominee, however, liberals want everyone to think that character does count after all, that in fact it's paramount.

Of course, there's a problem in this for liberal Democrats because Trump's likely opponent has an ethical record even more odious than his own. Trump may have talked about women in ways that some might find offensive, for instance, but Hillary worked to destroy the reputations of women, the number of which was not inconsiderable, who made allegations of sexual impropriety against her husband. So, which is worse?

In this election it really does look like it will come down to voting for the lesser of two evils.