So, Donald Trump was caught on tape making disgusting comments about being able to grope women.
Raise your hand if you’re surprised. Hand up? You clearly haven’t been paying attention anytime this past, oh, say, decade.
Everyone from both parties is rushing to condemn Trump’s comments and distance themselves from him, and the media and political pundits are speculating that this might finally cost him the election once and for all. Some are even going so far as to speculate that he might withdraw from the race.
But here’s my cynical prediction: Trump’s campaign will get a boost from this.
His supporters will excuse it as “locker room talk” and decry the “overly politically correct elite” for expressing disgust. Trump has given his supporters license to express the most vile racist and misogynist thoughts in the recesses of their mind, and this is no different. Trump won’t apologize, not really. He’ll “apologize” (wink wink) while allowing Clinton to once again be seen as the spoilsport and disapproving schoolmarm. And he’ll pick up votes from people who secretly hate woman and believe that sexual assault is a man’s god-given right and that calling it a crime is an invention of feminists.
And one only has to look at how middle America (read: middle-aged white guys) feels victimized and put upon for no longer being able to freely express all the politically incorrect opinions they secretly hold. I mean, just look at All Lives Matter, Gamergate, and the Men’s Rights movement for examples. Racist, sexist white guys resent it when you point out that their views are racist and sexist. And they love Trump for giving voice to their anger and resentment.
Not to mention, the more establishment Republicans call him out for this, the more he gets to paint himself as anti-establishment and someone who “tells it like it is”.
I mean, look at how many people have pointed out that Trump is basically what happens when the YouTube comments section becomes human and runs for President. And take a look at the vitriol and violence that gets levelled against women in the average YouTube comments section.
A number of people have theorized that Donald Trump is like America’s id: He says and does the things that people wish they could get away with, but can’t. And they love him for it. So while all the political pundits rush around saying that this will finally be the straw that breaks the camel’s back, I suspect the Trump campaign is sitting back and waiting for the bump in poll numbers.
I wish that weren’t true. But, judging by the added support he got from calling women “pigs”, Mexicans “rapists” and calling for a ban on Muslims, I don’t see why this will be any different.
Let’s face it: Trump is disgusting. But so are the people who vote for him. And if they vote for him now, Americans will truly get the horrible excuse for a leader that they so clearly deserve.