OPINION — The surprise of Thursday night’s Republican debate wasn’t that Donald Trump came off as an egotistical, misogynistic, racist jerk.
Everybody knows he is an egotistical, misogynistic, racist jerk.
The real surprise is that Fox News commentator Megyn Kelly actually has a few journalistic chops.
I’ll say a few because after she came out of the chute with her questions about Trump’s history of demeaning comments about women – entirely legitimate fodder for a Presidential debate, Trump’s protestations notwithstanding – she neglected to pursue her questioning of Trump or the other Republican candidates on other women’s issues, particularly the wage gap.
She also neglected to ask these guys if they realize that Planned Parenthood spends only 3 percent of its budget on abortion, with the rest going to cancer screenings, general women’s services, contraception, and screening and treating sexually transmitted diseases.
She didn’t ask about domestic violence, the need for Constitutional equality or reproductive rights. There wasn’t a word about curing the creeping social disease of deadbeat dads who take no responsibility for the lives of children they helped create, leaving us with a community of single moms trying to raise their kids on wages that are far below what a man earns for similar work. This is of particular interest in Utah, by the way, which is fourth-worst in the nation. Utah women make 70 percent of what their male counterparts earn, almost 10 percent below the national average, which is an abysmal 79.2 percent.
Kelly had a stage filled with, supposedly, the GOP’s best and brightest. As a conservative commentator for a conservative news outlet moderating a debate of conservative politicians, it would have offered a unique opportunity for the right to try to come up with reasons why women should vote Republican in the 2016 election.
Unfortunately, none were forthcoming and, quite frankly, I can see no reason why a woman would vote for any of the conservative candidates who want to control her wages, her voice, her body.
So, although I don’t normally go out of my way to defend Kelly or her news organization, she certainly does not deserve the verbal assault launched against her by Trump, especially the disgusting suggestion that her questions were tough because she was menstruating.
But, this is Donald Trump, The Donald, the “You’re Fired” guy from reality TV, the guy with the bizarre comb-over and a facial expression stuck on angry.
It was a huge mistake when the Huffington Post recently relegated coverage of Trump to its Entertainment section.
There is nothing entertaining about this guy.
But, take that with a grain of salt because I am but a humble reporter and, according to Trump during last Thursday night’s GOP debate, we “are a very dishonest lot.”
I wonder who in Trumpland is acceptable.
He doesn’t like war heroes, as evidenced by his comments about Sen. John McCain.
He has no respect for our president or his office, as expressed in his comments about President Barack Obama.
He views many as pawns he can control with monetary donations, such as his old friend Hillary Clinton who he demeaned when he said she had to attend his wedding because he had donated to the Clinton Foundation.
He has no respect for Mexicans, who he smeared with racist rhetoric when he announced his candidacy.
And, he has no respect for women, as evidenced by three marriages and a boatload of public quotes where he demeaned some as “fat pigs, dogs, slobs, and disgusting animals.”
Trump gets away with this because he is rich, very, very rich, and the rich live by different rules.
And, he appeals to the ugly, unspoken, dark corners of the American psyche, where racism, sexism, arrogance are allowed to wallow.
That’s why Trump gets cheered for some blunt, rude, or crude statement about women, Mexicans, politicians.
That’s why Trump is rooted on when he makes a ridiculous statement like “I don’t have time for political correctness.”
Mr. Trump, political correctness is not some new Republican attack target. Political correctness is about being gentlemanly, being tolerant, being considerate. It is possible to be blunt while being politically correct. All you do is remove the rudeness and crudeness of your remarks, make your point, and move on.
The amazing thing is the number of people who say that the Republican Party, which really has no idea of what to do with Trump in the race, is trying to undermine him. I’ve read a lot of pieces where his supporters claim vehemently that the GOP and media twist his words in an effort to destroy him.
The problem is that there are miles of videotape out there proving that, indeed, those words the GOP and media are quoting came directly from the horse’s mouth.
Trump is riding a populist wave right now, but remember, so did Joe the Plumber. So did Ross Perot.
So did Sarah Palin.
But, where are Joe the Plumber, Ross Perot, and Sarah Palin today?
Well Joe the Plumber, who, in reality, was not a journeyman plumber, but a plumber’s assistant – there is a huge difference – is working in a Jeep plant. Ross Perot still sits around drawing up charts and graphs nobody understands. Sarah Palin?
Well, she’s still looking at Russia from her front porch in Alaska.
Maybe, when this is all over and Trump is dumped on his rump, we can ship him to Alaska where he can enjoy the view with Palin.
Even Sarah Palin deserves better.
Ed Kociela is an opinion columnist. The opinions stated in this article are his and not representative of St. George News.
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