I woke up on the floor of my bathroom, my body battered from convulsions during the seizure, and hours later I learned I had a brain tumor that may kill me. I suspect many of my friends feel the same way this morning. This election is not as bad as cancer, I promise.
We know that little girls’ relationships with their fathers set their expectations about relationships with men for the rest of their lives. I have three daughters, and I hope someday they’ll read this blog to learn what sort of man their father is. I love my wife and my daughters, and there’s nothing I wouldn’t do for them. Today it means breaking my rule and writing about politics.
Donald Trump boasts about how “when you’re a star” women let you “grab them by the pussy”. Numerous credible women accuse him of putting these words into action. His response was to call them liars and criticize their looks. He divorced one wife in part because her breast implants “didn’t feel right at all.” He reflexively attacks women for being fat or ugly. He conducted a public, vindictive extramarital affair while relishing the humiliation of his then wife. He divorced another wife by leaking the news to a tabloid. He boasts about not preparing for presidential debates and boasts about the size of his penis on national television. He advocates making torture and war crimes the official foreign policy of the United States. He calls his daughter a “piece of ass” and suggests he’d like to screw her. The tired answer that “Bill Clinton did worse” is unconvincing; Bill Cosby did worse than Clinton, and Caligula and Nero did worse than that entire bunch of creeps. So what?
My daughters are priceless. They’re smart and beautiful and they’re going to grow up to be accomplished, creative, good people. I don’t want anyone to “grab them by the pussy”, and I don’t want them to hear anyone bragging about how easy it is to demean women. I certainly don’t have the patience to listen to any bullshit “I’m sorry if you were offended” non-apologies.
So, where’s the solace? The framers of the constitution made a system of government whose purpose is to make the personality of the executive irrelevant. This has sadly been eroded during the past two administrations. I suspect the enablers weakening traditional checks and balances (on both the left and right) are realizing this morning just how tragically misguided they’ve been, and perhaps the Trump administration will be the impetus necessary to restore professionalism and civility to national politics. We’ve survived bad presidents before; the genius of America is that we don’t believe that “great” men (or women) are necessary in a republic.
As for me, my life’s work is to raise my daughters. The Trump administration, and the sickening impulses behind it, are further proof that I MUST survive cancer to be their father for as long as I can. No one else can teach them that they’re beautiful, priceless people. The government certainly won’t.