Due Process (Column, Cartoon and Video)
No one expects Donald Trump to be a bleeding heart. The man doesn’t possess a trace of compassion or empathy, at least not for those who need it. At this point, we should all give up on the guy being any sort of decent human.
When it comes to violence against women, he doesn’t care. His first instinct is to defend the man who has been accused. When he has gone after men for sexual harassment, it wasn’t out of a concern for justice as much as it was an opportunity to hit a liberal and score political points. His criticism of Bill Clinton, Harvey Weinstein, and Al Franken were just opportunities to hit Democrats.
He even defended Clinton back in the 90s, before he jumped into politics. He said Clinton was the “real victim” and that his accusers were “terrible” and “unattractive.” When asked if it’d be different if the accusers were supermodels, Trump said, “I think at least it would be more pleasant to watch.”
What is not pleasant to watch is a man destroying the dignity of the presidency, but at least 100,000 repugnant Trump followers disagree with me. That’s at least how many “liked” Trump’s latest tweet defending the accused and trashing the victims.
Saturday morning, Trump tweeted, for no apparent reason, “Peoples lives are being shattered and destroyed by a mere allegation. Some are true and some are false. Some are old and some are new. There is no recovery for someone falsely accused––life and career are gone. Is there no such thing any longer as Due Process?” Still burned by the women’s march, which had a much larger crowd than his inauguration, he’s taking on the #MeToo movement.
Maybe Trump feels if he can convince people the men are innocent, then people will believe he’s innocent from the accusations from at least 19 women who have accused him of sexual misconduct (even though he’s bragged about that conduct on more than one occasion).
Sarah Huckabee Sanders used his denial as a defense that his situation wasn’t comparable to Al Franken’s because Trump denied it. It’s as though the denial itself is proof of innocence.
When defending now-resigned White House secretary Rob Porter, Trump focused on the denial. He never once mentioned sympathy or compassion for victims of domestic violence. It didn’t matter that the stories came with corroboration, a restraining order, and a photo of a victim with a black eye. His empathy was in his statement “he’s very sad now.”
While endorsing Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore, Trump brought up the denial. He said, “he totally denies it. He says it didn’t happen. You have to listen to him, also.” Trump has never listened to the accusers.
Trump defended Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly and Roger Ailes. He described O’Reilly as a “very good person” and said he shouldn’t have settled with his accusers. He defended Ailes by criticizing his accusers. “I can tell you that some of the women that are complaining, I know how much he’s helped them. And now all of a sudden they’re saying these horrible things about him. It’s very sad. Because he’s a very good person.” The men are always sad and good.
While defending former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski against a battery charge when he grabbed a female reporter, Trump said, “How do you know those bruises weren’t there before?”
There have been five men associated with the Trump administration and campaign of assaulting women. I’m sure they’re all “good and sad.” Trump even argued that Mike Tyson shouldn’t have gone to prison for a rape conviction.
Trump hasn’t always been a believer in “due process” or worried about accusations ruining people’s lives.
He accused Ted Cruz of having an affair and his father of being involved in the JFK assassination, based on nothing more solid than stories in the National Enquirer. I can’t decide which accusation is more far-fetched. The involvement in the Kennedy assassination, or someone wanted to sleep with Ted Cruz.
In perhaps the most famous incident of Trump ignoring due process, he called for the execution of the Central Park Five, the black and Latino teenagers who were convicted of raping and assaulting a white woman in Central Park in 1989. He bought newspaper ads campaigning for their executions. They were later exonerated in 2002, but Trump was still arguing in 2016 that they had admitted their guilt.
There are instances of false accusations, and they’re terrible. But that isn’t just the first concern from Trump. It’s the only concern unless they’re black or a Democrat (when he defended Tyson, he was making millions off the boxer in his casinos. Probably the only black person who didn’t face discrimination as an employee in one of Trump’s casinos). At some point, while discussing violence against women, a decent person would actually discuss the violence against women.
This year, 390 women are planning to run for the House of Representatives. Many more will be running for lower seats in state legislatures and city councils. Trump’s continued attacks against women and the #MeToo movement will surely make the number of women running increase.
If there is truly a “due process,” we’ll have fewer Trump sycophants and enablers in Washington in 2019. And maybe, we won’t have Trump.
Email Clay Jones at [email protected]