A vote for Donald Trump is an endorsement of rape and all other forms of sexual harassment. Make excuses all you like, but it’s the truth. Granted, there are usually a host of issues that any given candidate has a stance on, but Mr. Trump’s other policy ideas have been so vague, I think it’s fair to say that normalizing sexual harassment and other forms of discrimination are among his only solid positions. And the scariest part is that if he is elected, it will only get worse. “And when you’re a star they let you do it.” Imagine what he will think he can do if he is occupying one of the most famous and respected offices in the world.
Mr. Trump has apologized, surprisingly, promising to be a better man and insisting: “Anyone who knows me knows these words don’t reflect who I am.” Here’s the thing, though: They do reflect who you are, Mr. Trump. There are countless other examples of comments like this being made over the years, even in this election cycle, so claiming that somehow these particular comments are not representative of the whole is inconsistent with reality and frankly, rather insulting. Not only that, but the fact that instead of apologizing, your initial response was to try to blow it off as simply being “locker-room banter” demonstrates that you don’t feel you should have to apologize for it. You are only apologizing now because you think that not doing so will hurt your campaign. You are not sorry. You think this type of thing is excusable and a joke, and it’s disgusting.
When you, people of the United States, step into the voting booth in November, remember that the president (along with other elected officials) is supposed to represent not only your political views, but also the United States as a nation. When the rest of the world looks at us, the president is who they see. When your son or daughter or mother or father thinks about the face of America, the president is who they see. Is this the way we see ourselves? As defenders of rape and propagators of hate? If you feel that way, then go ahead and vote for Mr. Trump. I’m not going to stop you, nor do I have any right to. Just remember that your vote has consequences.
Mr. Trump is not going to stop his puerile behavior just because he’s elected. He’ll keep saying these things and worse because so far, he’s discovered that no one will stop him or call him out on it. And every time he does, you will have to answer for it because you knowingly helped put this misogynistic, racist, homophobic, cruel person in office. But this is our chance to turn things around, to show Mr. Trump and everyone else who shares his beliefs that this is not who we are. Electing him will be a huge step back in the progress that we’ve made as a nation toward equality. Please don’t take it with him.