Speaking from the smoldering ruins of the NeverTrump movement, I understand editorial writer Jacalyn Carfagno’s dismay over the election results. Donald Trump exemplifies what in the 1970s was called a male chauvinist pig.
Yet describing a vote for Trump as an endorsement of locker-room talk (or any of his multitudinous sins) goes too far. Exit polling revealed that nearly half of Trump’s voters were bothered by his treatment of women. One-fifth of his voters didn’t even find the man likeable, but pulled the lever for him anyway.
In the end, the most unusual major party candidate in U.S. history won for the most usual of reasons: his opponent’s party had held the White House for eight years, and voters wanted change.
If Carfagno wonders how Kellyanne Conway could advise women to look past the sexual-abuse allegations and focus instead on the good he might accomplish, she should revisit Gloria Steinem’s famous New York Times column from 1998. Writing in defense of Bill Clinton, the uber-feminist introduced the one-grope rule, whereby a politician with the right views on issues like reproductive freedom may be excused for an unwelcome sexual advance.
Here’s a thought for Carfagno’s friends and others clutching their pearls after a glimpse into Trump’s mental locker room: Yes, you’ve seen and heard it all before. It seemed less outrageous then because the locker room belonged to your home team.