On Saturday in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, Donald Trump laid out the policies his administration would prioritize within the first 100 days of taking office.
Just as President Lincoln did in his famous 1863 Gettysburg Address, Trump opened with threatening to sue the multiple women who accused him of sexual assault.
“Every woman lied when they came forward to hurt my campaign,” Trump told his crowd of supporters and members of the media. “Total fabrication. The events never happened. Never. All of these liars will be sued after the election is over.”
For those having trouble keeping track of how many potential lawsuits we’re talking about, eleven women have now made allegations of sexual misconduct against the GOP presidential candidate (the eleventh woman came forward on the day of this speech).
Trump made similar comments during his final debate with former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, claiming the stories of his accusers had been “largely debunked.” The day prior to the debate, six people went public to corroborate People magazine writer Natasha Stoynoff’s account of being assaulted by Trump in 2005.
Although he again received praise for his first thirty minutes when graded on what I refer to as the “Palin curve,” Trump’s Wednesday night debate performance was nothing short of devastating.
Trump desperately needed to expand his support beyond his core base of white males without college degrees, specifically with women voters. Needless to say, he shut the door on that possibility as if he were Jodie Foster in Panic Room.
As Hillary Clinton would unequivocally defend the practice of abortion and identify with the women who have made the choice to have one, Trump turned the medical procedure into a pitch for a Takashi Miike film:
“…you can take the baby and rip the baby out of the womb of the mother just prior to the birth of the baby.”
I’ve encountered this belief first-hand which I wrote about in my 2012 piece, Crazy People. Abortions in the ninth month don’t happen. Trump is simply repeating fictional propaganda from pro-life sites.
Considering he had once stated “there has to be some form of punishment” for women who have an abortion, Trump’s lack of empathy for women and their partners was far from shocking.
I highly recommend reading blogger Minsun Park’s personal account of having a late term abortion. It’s an incredible piece which truly touched my heart.
When the discussion turned to the multiple women who have come forward in the wake of Trump’s 2005 Access Hollywood comments bragging of sexual assault, he wrote their claims off as “lies” and “fiction.” However, Hillary Clinton was quick to remind the American people how Trump has responded on the campaign trail:
“He said that he could not possibly have done those things to those women because they were not attractive enough to be sexually assaulted.”
Trump would be more at home in a Neil LaBute script rather than the Oval Office.
Women were far from the only targets of Trump’s debate performance. Over the 90-minute runtime, Trump attacked illegal Mexican immigrants as “bad hombres” and undermined our very democracy when he stated he may reject the election results in November.
If anything, Trump’s debate performances are an excellent showcase against his presidency.
Although his lack of a filter is a disaster for a future of diplomacy, It would also give the nation’s women a new rallying cry during the final debate.
While Clinton discussed her policy of increasing taxes on the wealthy to preserve Social Security, Trump interrupted by saying, “Such a nasty woman.”
But Trump didn’t mean “nasty woman.” Reading between the lines, he essentially called Hillary Clinton a “bitch” on the debate stage. Clinton handled the insult with dignity, remaining focused on the subject at hand (an ability of which Trump is incapable).
It was a completely unnecessary remark that is yet another example of Trump’s hateful misogyny… and he desperately needs the female demographic to win the election.
In 2012, women made up 53% of the electorate. Nate Silver has found Clinton leads Trump in the female vote by 15% on average, concluding “if Trump loses the election, it will be because women voted against him.”
In a more traditional campaign, Trump’s policies to renegotiate NAFTA and support for a Constitutional amendment for congressional term limits should have been the headlines on Saturday. Instead, he couldn’t resist threatening the women he has allegedly victimized.
Trump recognized Lincoln’s ability to lead during a time of divisiveness, but he clearly doesn’t understand how to do it. If anything, Trump’s attacks on Clinton and his accusers further widened the divide on Saturday.
Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address spoke with optimism for a changing future and equality for all… neither of which I identify with Donald Trump.