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It’s Worse Than Pussy Grabbing

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Repelled by Donald Trump’s pussy grabbing, Republican politicians are scattering like roaches exposed to strobe lights. (This just in: Many of the roaches are crawling back.)

Paul Ryan is “sickened” by Trump. Sickened by the image of pussy grabbing.

So is John McCain who pronounced Trump’s behavior demeaning to women and said, “… impossible to continue to offer even conditional support for his candidacy.”

Recall that McCain returned from captivity in Viet Nam and abandoned his first wife Carol, after a disfiguring accident left her five inches shorter. According to friends, McCain was appalled by Carol’s changed appearance. In other words, McCain left the wife who held the family together when he was a war prisoner, the wife who endured 23 operations. Yet pussy grabbing is “demeaning” to women. Also recall John McCain’s singing, “Bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb Iran” to the tune of “Barbara Ann.” Yet pussy grabbing is “demeaning” to women.

There’s nothing lower than a pussy grabber. Right.

Trump’s reaction to the Republican revolt: a call for war on the GOP, and speaking of war, Hillary Clinton is coaxing one with Russia.

Isn’t it eminently wiser to wage war on Republicans (and Democrats—in fact, the System itself) than on Russia?

Few days ago, I was driving, noticed police cruisers blocking entry to the I-40 ramp. Obama was in route to rally for his legacy by supporting Clinton.

Later, I read about the event. Of course, the president repudiated Trump: “You don’t have to be a husband or father to say, ‘That’s not right. You just have to be a decent human being.’”

Let’s hear it for Obama’s decency. For example, when he gloated, during a 2012 meeting with aides discussing drone policy: “Turns out I’m really good at killing people. Didn’t know that was a strong suit of mine.”

Which brings to mind his performing during a 2010 White House Correspondents Dinner. Obama said:

The Jonas Brothers are here; they’re out there somewhere. Sasha and Malia are huge fans. But boys, don’t get any ideas. I have two words for you, ‘predator drones.’ You will never see it coming. You think I’m joking.

Yes, he was criticized. No laughing matter. Just imagine how much heavier that criticism would have been if Obama had said, “Don’t get any ideas about grabbing pussy.” Because grabbing pussy is even worse than being incinerated by a drone.

Last week, a friend called. Said, “I can’t vote for Clinton.”

“Then don’t.”

“I don’t want to waste my vote.”

“WTF? You’re wasting your vote regardless.”

Another wrote, “I’m afraid Trump will ruin this country.”

“This country was ruined long ago.”

Long before Donald Trump bragged about the benefits of stardom, about grabbing pussy, wanting to grab pussy, admitting failure to grab pussy, rationalizing grabbing pussy. Long before John Kennedy’s womanizing. Long before Lyndon Johnson woke a female White House employee in a bedroom at his Texas ranch during the night and demanded, “Move over, this is your president.” (She did.) Long before Johnson as a college student named his wiener Jumbo.

Okay, I’m going to meander now from the sexism even though I empathize with anyone who’s been groped, pushed past a “no, no, don’t do that.” I understand the assault; both physical and psychic and acknowledge that women don’t have equal status. Abuse of authority is epidemic, and not gender or age specific. It’s just that when I think of injustice, I see men and women murdered for being Black or I stare at the photographs of Syria’s youngest victims, see the eyes and blood-and-tear-stained faces, the small bodies washed ashore. If this isn’t horrendous enough, there’s that other huge: the poisoning of our planet. Radiation leaks into our oceans. Toxins invade our atmosphere, our rivers, the soil, our pipes, our food, our children. Scientists disagree on whether we’ve passed the brink, yet even if there were time, even if there were a viable strategy, a global consensus would be essential. Few people are or would be willing to make the necessary sacrifices.

Trump’s fingerprints are on crotches. Clinton’s are on Haiti, Honduras, Libya, Syria, Iraq, anywhere U.S. Empire lurks. What a choice. It’s worse than pussy grabbing. We’re fucked.

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Missy Beattie has written for National Public Radio and Nashville Life Magazine. She was an instructor of memoirs writing at Johns Hopkins’ Osher Lifelong Learning Institute in BaltimoreEmail: missybeat@gmail.com

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