“You Can Do Anything”: Trump, Rape, Fascism, and the Ruling Class

Photograph by Nathaniel St. Clair

Ooh, a storm is rising… Rape, murder, it’s just a shot away
It’s just a shot away

– Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, 1969

Top of Form

Bottom of Form

“Whatever You Want”

Last week in a federal court in New York City, E. Jean Carroll gave detailed and graphic testimony about how the malignant fascist Donald “Take Down the Metal Detectors the Guys with the AR-15 Don’t Want to Hurt Me” Trump raped her. Ms. Carroll described for a jury how Trump assaulted her in a dressing  room of the city’s Bergdorf Goodman store in the mid-1990s. Trump shut the door, she recalled, shoved her against the wall, banging her head against the wall. He pulled down her tights, put his fingers inside of her vagina, causing great pain, and then jammed in in penis.

That’s rape, precisely the sort of thing that Trump boasted about in his infamous comments to Access Hollywood host Billy Bush in 2005:

Trump: “You know, I’m automatically attracted to beautiful — I just start kissing them. It’s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don’t even wait. And when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything.”

Bush: “Whatever you want.”

Trump: “Grab ’em by the pussy. You can do anything.”

“Not Hot Enough to Rape”

E. Jean Carroll is one of many women who have accused Trump of acting on these sentiments. Anyone with even the slightest hint of psychological judgement knows that the allegations are certainly accurate.  The noxious sexist Trump takes malignant narcissism to new levels and has lived his life free of normal human and moral boundaries, taking joy in the pain experienced by those he harms.

Here’s an indication of how vile this fiendish ogre is: when Carroll first went public with her accusation, during Trump’s fascist presidency, the orange-hued brute went in front of his Hate Rallies to proclaim his innocence by saying that Jean Carroll wasn’t “my type.”  As if one expressed meaningful attraction through rape. As if rape is about the glorious magic of sexual allure instead of violence and domination.

And of course the monster was lying, as he did just 30,573 times during his presidency. The tangerine-tinted beast once mistook a picture of Jean Carroll for his second wife Marla Maples.  She was precisely his “type” in the mid-1990s.

A recent Kansas City Star column by Melinda Hennenberger is titled “Donald Trump’s Empty, Ugly Suggestion That E. Jean Carroll Wasn’t Hot Enough to Rape.”  Hennenberger perfectly captures the vicious sexist sociopathology of Trump’s claim: :

“Donald Trump’s argument that he couldn’t have raped E. Jean Carroll because ‘she’s not my type’ is meaningless. Not because he thought a photo of himself with Carroll was a picture of him with his ex-wife Marla Maples, though that did happen. Not because he’s a prolific liar, either, though his lifetime of practice has been thoroughly documented. .. It’s meaningless because even if it were true that he doesn’t go for thin blonde former beauty queens, rape isn’t about attraction. It’s not about desire, but domination. It’s not, ‘I like you,’ but ‘I want to hurt you.’ And Trump’s suggestion that, as Carroll’s lawyer put it, she was ‘too ugly to assault’ is beyond ugly. Doesn’t that imply that he wouldn’t mind raping someone more worthy of his mistreatment? It’s telling that Trump seems to think being rape-able is an honor he simply would not have bestowed on a woman who would have been 52 in the spring of 1996…” (emphasis added).

Death Penalty for the Central Park Five…What About Donald?

Rape. In the late 1980s, the racist pig Trump took out newspaper ads calling for the restoration of the death penalty in New York so that five Black and Latino men could be executed for allegedly raping a white woman in Central Park.  The “Central Park Five” were falsely convicted and subsequently released from prison.  The white supremacist brute Trump has never apologized for advocating their deaths. “You have people on both sides” of the case, Trump said in 2019, reminding people of his comment (“there’s good people on both sides”) on the white-supremacist riot in Charlottesville in the summer of 2017. So, if he in fact raped E. Jean Carroll, which seems more than a bit likely, will he volunteer himself for lethal injection?


“I am here because Donald Trump raped me and when I wrote about it, he said it didn’t happen,” Ms. Carroll told the jury last week. “He lied and shattered my reputation, and I am here to try to get my life back.” Ms. Carroll testified that she has been unable to have sex or a romantic relationship in the nearly three decades since Trump raped her. I am a happy person basically, but I’m aware that I have lost out on one of the glorious experiences of any human being,” she said. “Being in love with somebody else, making dinner with them, walking the dog together. I don’t have that.”

My very strong guess from reading various accounts of his life would be that Trump enjoyed hearing about that testimony. Numerous former associates and his own niece and psychologist Mary Trump have long reported that he is a sadist who derives pleasure from causing others pain.

No Exceptions for Rape

Rape?  Recall that Trump and his fellow Republi-fascist Mitch McConnell teamed up to create a Supreme Court that last summer abolished women’s half-century constitutional right to an abortion in the Dobbs v. Jackson ruling. Some of the most revanchist states in the country – Alabama, Arkansas, Idaho, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, and Wisconsin – make it a crime for women and girls to abort fetuses caused by rape in the new “post-Roe” era created by Trump and McConnell’s Christian fascist High Handmaid Court. The Christian Republi-fascists of America, empowered by a Supreme Court ruling that cited Medieval state Christian law to make re-constitutional the return of the female bondage that is forced motherhood, think that women and girls should give birth to their rapists’ children. How F’ng sick is that?

The Fascist Rapist’s Republican Star Re-ascendant

Meanwhile, Trump faces 34 felony counts handed down by a Manhattan grand jury in connection with campaign finance violations resulting from his 2016 and 2017 payoffs to the porn star Stormy Daniels.  He will this summer be indicted for felonious election interference in Fulton County, Georgia. Then there’s likely coming federal indictments in connection with his predictable and predicted fascistic attempts to subvert the 2020 presidential election and to carry out a putsch to prevent the peaceful transfer of power — and also for his purloining of classified documents and obstruction of federal efforts to retrieve them.

He Could Rape Someone on Fifth Avenue – and Try to Overthrow Previously Normative Bourgeois Democracy

And here’s the thing: amidst all this legal peril and renewed evidence of his epic debauchery and sexual violence, this malicious fascist’s popularity has risen within the Republican base.  His status as the Republicans’ far-and-away number one presidential candidate has gone up, not down in the wake of his indictments – something that will certainly not be dented in the slightest if Ms. Carroll wins her rape and defamation lawsuit against him.

Here we must confront not just Trump’s evil but the horror of his frothing and yes – deplorable (the vicious capitalist-imperialist Hillary Clinton got that part right) – fascist base, about whom the Orange One all too accurately said this during his 2016 campaign: “I could shoot someone on Fifth Avenue, and I wouldn’t lose any voters.”  Maybe he should have said rape instead of shoot.

An update for  2023: “I could be indicted and convicted for raping as well as killing people and for trying to overthrow what’s left of democracy in the USA and my base would say it was all made up by witch-hunting Marxist Democrats.  The Democrats and their prosecutors are radical left animals who want to destroy our once perfect white supremacist and male-dominated nation.  They want to turn America into a communist nightmare that replaces virtuous hard working white people with lazy and inferior people of color. My volk, my people will respond to any attempts to enforce the rule of law on me with a great Storm, a bloody civil war.  It will mean death and destruction. They will use their big, beautiful guns to Make America Great Again by installing me as President for Life. I am their Retribution against the radical Trump hating left, the open-border Soros-backed communists like Joe Biden, who let Black and brown people rape and kill while decent and hard-working people – the flower of the nation – are abused. I will be their vengeance.”

Okay, I lent more narrative articulation to Trump’s imagined updated comment than anything Trump would ever say but my proposed revision is 100 percent ideologically accurate

“The Members of Congress Who Voted to Certify Biden’s Election Should be Executed”

My revision is a bit too extreme, perhaps, but not for everyone one in the Trump base.  Not by a long shot. Consider the case of  Micki Larson-Olson, a lunatic who met her messiah Trump in a New Hampshire diner on the same day that Ms. Carroll testified about being raped by Animal45. I’ll let NBC News tell the rest of the story:

“Former President Donald Trump embraced a Jan. 6 defendant at a diner during a campaign stop Thursday night, calling the woman, who served prison time for her actions during the Capitol attack and wants former Vice President Mike Pence executed for treason, ‘terrific.’…Micki Larson-Olson, a QAnon supporter who said she considers Trump the ‘real president,’ was convicted last year of unlawful entry on Capitol grounds. On Thursday night, she met Trump for the first time at the Red Arrow Diner in Manchester…Larson-Olson said she believes that the members of Congress who voted to certify Biden’s presidential election should be executed. ‘The punishment for treason is death, per the Constitution,’ Larson-Olson said. ‘I believe every single person, every single person that stole a voice from our collective voice of  We the people, of the people, for the people, by the people,’ deserves death, and no less than that.” [Here it is worth recalling that US Congressman Jamie Raskin once boldly described the people who attacked the US Capitol on January 6th as “fascist traitors” – P.S.]…Larson-Olson added that she ‘would like a front seat of Mike Pence being executed.’ The meeting comes as Trump has said he may pardon those charged in the Capitol attack and just a month after he opened a campaign rally with a song performed by the ‘J6 choir’ made up of Jan. 6 defendants who are incarcerated awaiting trial…Larson-Olson was introduced to Trump as a ‘Jan. 6er,’ and he signed the backpack that she said she was carrying with her that day… ‘Listen, you just hang in there,’ Trump said, calling her a ‘terrific woman’ and kissing her on the cheek. Trump said it was ‘so bad’ what has been done to Jan. 6 ‘patriots.’…”

Personal and Intimate

“If I were to imagine what it would be like to hug Jesus Christ — not that I’m saying President Trump is Jesus Christ — but, just, you know, if I was to imagine what it would be like to hug Jesus Christ, that’s what it felt like for me,” Larson-Olson said. “It was so personal and intimate.’”

“Personal and intimate.”  Tell it to Jean Carroll and seventeen other women who in 2016 reported past inappropriate groping and unwanted kissing from Trump: Jessica Leeds, Kristin Anderson, Jill Harth, Kathy Heller, Temple Taggert, Karena Virginia, Mindy McGillivray, Rachel Crooks, Natasha Stoynoff, Jennifer Murphy, Jessica Drake, Linni Laksonnen, Summer Zervos, Cassandra Searles, Tasha Dixon, Bridget  Sullivan, and Amy Dorris. Dorris recalled that Trump waited for her outside a bathroom in a private box at the 1997 US Open tennis tournament. When she walked out:

“He just shoved his tongue down my throat and I was pushing him off. And then that’s when his grip became tighter and his hands were very gropey and all over my butt, my breasts, my back, everything. It felt like an octopus was hugging onto me. You just picture those suction cups on octopus. They’re stuck on you, and you’re trapped. That’s how I felt. I felt trapped.”

(More women have come forward with highly believable harassment and abuse charges against Trump since 2016.)

Like the rest of the Trump base that goes to his new campaign and hate rallies, the QAnon nutcase Larson-Olson would reflexively and instantly reject all these claims, informing us that they are “fake” charges made up by evil “radical Left Democrats.” A fair portion of the base would agree with her likely sentiment that the people who accuse her Christ-like Dear Leader of crimes should be put to death.

Because the Ruling Class Allows It

Why is the demented women-hating maniac Donald Trump free to roam the country stirring up and channeling mass neo-fascist lunacy among his racist-sexist-eliminationist-conspiratorialist and gunned-up backers in the spring of 2023? Why does this cancer on humanity still have a central presence in our political life two and a half years after January 6th? That’s a somewhat complicated matter that I cannot fully address here but I do want to say and not for the first time that it’s long past time to stop letting the US-American capitalist ruling class off the hook for the all-too living Trump phenomenon. This revolting fascist pig and likely rapist Donald Trump would not still be free and might not still be breathing if we had a ruling class seriously committed to and united around the goals of retaining basic bourgeois democracy, rule of law, and civil decency.

This is a class-rule society where people atop structures and institutions of highly concentrated wealth and lethal power know how to cancel people they find antithetical to their interests at home and abroad: Lumumba, Allende, Malcolm X, Fred Hampton, even Dr. King…the list goes on. The Trumpenstein could be gone in a flash if the nation’s owners and rulers agreed to end the Danger Clown Donald Show. It’s just a shot away. But the Orange Malignancy lives on, free to inspire more deranged, hate-filled psychotics like Micky Larson-Olson, who gets a “personal and intimate” hug from her malicious and lethal quasi-messiah while declaring that she wants his former Vice President and hundreds of current and former Congresspersons killed because they did not go along with his attempt to overthrow previously normative bourgeois democracy and rule of law —to establish himself as fascist Amerikaner strongman-for-life atop the world’s most powerful nation.

Let’s be clear: the vile Trumpist spectacle, this revolting hate parade, keeps rolling along because our bourgeois masters want it to.  It serves their interests in different ways – and I am not talking only about those capitalists who are on board with the Christian white nationalist and neofascist agenda.

If all goes well, fingers crossed, I will elaborate on this analysis next week. In the meantime, there’s tons of Micky Larson-Olsons from coast to coast. These are folks for whom January 6th was not an end but rather an opening shot, a dress rehearsal for “the Storm” and “Final Battle.”  These are people for whom shot-away Ashli Babbitt – the knife-packing military veteran and arch-Trumpist who got herself killed while trying to attack Congresspersons who were daring to perform their normal bourgeois-constitutional duty of certifying Joe Biden’s Electoral College victory – is a venerated martyr.

Here’s a homework assignment before reading my next Paul Street Report: Google up the name “Horst Wessel.”

This essay appeared initially on The Paul Street Report.

Paul Street’s latest book is This Happened Here: Amerikaners, Neoliberals, and the Trumping of America (London: Routledge, 2022).