Cardona op-ed: We cannot elect a pervert and pig president
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The collective gasps were heard as jaws dropped all across the nation Friday night.

Even Republicans were sickened, as most of America was, at the sight and sound of Donald TrumpDonald TrumpIran convicts American businessman on spying charge: report DC, state capitals see few issues, heavy security amid protest worries Pardon-seekers have paid Trump allies tens of thousands to lobby president: NYT MORE verbally demeaning women, by describing what he likes to do to them physically, and bragging that because he is a “star, they just let you do it.”

As Trump described grabbing a woman’s private parts, and kissing them without their consent, he was describing nothing less than sexual assault. 

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Many thought Democrats would be positively gleeful at this apparent and unfixable “October surprise.” Whether it’s a death knell for Trump, is up to the voters. 

But make no mistake. There is no glee here. Only disgust and deep sadness at what our politics has become. America, the 2016 Republican nominee for President of the United States is an irredeemable pervert and predator. 

As a woman, a mother, a Latina, and an immigrant, I am nauseated at the fact that this man is asking for our trust to lead the country, to improve our image on the world stage, and to solve our most pressing problems.

He cannot. 

What we have learned is that this man knows only how to do four things, and he will do them all if he gets anywhere near the White house:

He will demean women.

He will degrade Latinos, immigrants, Muslims, veterans and the disabled.

He will defraud hard working Americans trying to make a living, while he himself gets to declare bankruptcies, pay no taxes, and stiff the working people who toiled for an honest day’s labor, only to be cheated out of what is rightfully theirs. 

He will divide all of us, and point to those of us who do not look, sound, or act like him and many of his supporters, and blame us for the frustration and stagnation that his followers may feel. 

This is not a man worthy of even competing for the highest office in the land. 

Even Republicans are shunning him, as they should. Reince Priebus, the head of the Republican Party, stated that “No woman should ever be described in these terms or talked about in this manner. Ever.” Good for him. But will he still support Trump?

Congressman Jason ChaffetzJason ChaffetzThe myth of the conservative bestseller Elijah Cummings, Democratic chairman and powerful Trump critic, dies at 68 House Oversight panel demands DeVos turn over personal email records MORE has rescinded his endorsement of Trump. Others have even urged him to step down. What will his deeply religious, conservative running mate Mike PenceMichael (Mike) Richard PenceNewly released video from inside Capitol siege shows rioters confronting police, rifling through Senate desks Author: Meadows is history's worst White House chief of staff Democratic lawmaker says 'assassination party' hunted for Pelosi during riot MORE do?

GOP Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanRevising the pardon power — let the Speaker and Congress have voices Paul Ryan will attend Biden's inauguration COVID-19 relief bill: A promising first act for immigration reform MORE said he was sickened by what he heard from Trump, saying women are to be championed and revered, not objectified. But curiously, he gives Trump an out by also saying “he hopes Mr. Trump will work to demonstrate that he has greater respect for women than this clip suggests.”

Overnight, we got a Trump apology. Except it wasn’t. It was a forced statement telegraphing zero regret — only that the tape was made public — and instead of authentic remorse, he blamed Hillary and Bill ClintonWilliam (Bill) Jefferson ClintonThe challenge of Biden's first days: staying focused and on message Why the Senate should not rush an impeachment trial Revising the pardon power — let the Speaker and Congress have voices MORE for worse behavior. Please. My children are more mature than this. This is not a man who shows real contrition and certainly does not indicate any greater respect for women than the leaked tape suggests. The “apology” was an #epicfail. 

I hate to break it to Speaker Ryan, but this ain’t the first time Trump has acted like the misogynistic, chauvinist pig that he is. 

Let’s remember in the 90s how Trump on the Howard Stern show, degraded women by grading their bodies and objectifying them, describing lewd acts with them, even admitting on air that he could not say that he respected women. That is jaw dropping, in and of itself. 

Add to that the years-long complaints, also now coming to light, that Trump mistreated many of the women that were his subordinates, including a former Miss Universe, Alicia Machado, of whom I wrote about in an earlier column

Turns out, she wasn’t the only one with complaints. Miss Australia had complaints about how he made the women feel bad about their appearances repeatedly. There was a recent AP story about how the women in his spectacularly successful show “The Apprentice” were treated shabbily and degradingly by Trump. He famously said to one female apprentice on the air “you on your knees must be quite a sight.”

Come on.

That’s not all. Another recent piece in the Los Angeles Times accused Mr. Trump of trying to fire hostesses for not being pretty enough. 

And can we forget his highly visible spat with Fox News anchor Megyn Kelley when she famously went at him at the first GOP Primary debate asking him about his insults to women calling them “fat pigs,” “dogs,” and “slobs?”

My friends, this is nothing new. 

So I agree with some of the high profile Trump supporters who twist themselves up in knots trying to defend the indefensible. I agree with them when they say that Trump speaks from the heart. That he is authentic. 

YES! He is! This is truly his heart speaking and this is exactly who the man is — a narcissistic, misogynistic, bigoted racist, who believes that women are inferior objects to be used and abused and tossed aside when it benefits him.

We cannot allow a man who devalues our girls and who teaches our boys that it is more than okay to treat women as less than human, to get anywhere near the Oval. 

Let’s be clear — this is much more than just about not allowing misogyny to become normalized accepted behavior — though that is high on the priority list.

This is about how a candidate for president of the United States sees 53% of the American electorate, and more than half of the global population. It has repercussions well beyond being a horrific role model for our children. It is about global leadership and even having the ability to keep us safe.

Donald Trump’s ungoverned behavior is a danger to us all. This should prove beyond a shadow of a doubt just how temperamentally unfit, uniquely unqualified and wholly unprepared this man is to be our Commander in Chief.

So now, will Republicans stand with him or salvage some dignity and some ability to recoup some semblance of what their party was before it became the Trumplican Party?

Republicans say they were sickened. For the sake of the country, and their party’s future, they need to prove just how much.  

Maria Cardona is a principal at the Dewey Square Group, a Democratic strategist and a CNN/CNN Español political commentator. Follow her on Twitter @MariaTCardona.


 

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