My mother died in February 2009. She was able to vote in the fall of 2008 and told me she was pleased to be able to help elect a black man to the presidency. Mom was civic-minded and took voting seriously. She had long wanted to be a poll worker and finally achieved her goal in her 70s.

Though I miss my mother every day, I’m grateful she’s not here to see this mess of an election.

I might not even have been able to talk to her about some of the issues that have been rearing their ugly heads. She was sensitive to vulgarity. Whenever she’d visit my husband, Paul, and me here in Maine, I’d have to be careful about the movies we rented to watch. They had to be no stronger than PG.

Turns out this election is rated R. Or maybe, X.

Mom would have hit the mute button every time Donald Trump’s big head appeared on the TV screen. I must admit, I am often tempted to do the same. News junkie that I am, there have been times in the past month I’ve had to turn off the TV and the radio, set the newspaper aside, and hunker down for a rousing session of Candy Crush Soda Saga.

Yet there’s no forgetting that Trump’s lewd comments about women are a serious issue. It’s obvious that he turns foul-mouthed when he wants to appear “manly.” We knew he was a pompous buffoon well before he entered the presidential race, so there’s no surprise there. But we can’t possibly make the mistake of thinking his remarks are mere braggadocio.


They indicate a serious disconnect in his perception of women. And that means trouble. How can he be an effective president if, when he sees attractive women, all he can think about is grabbing them and kissing them? Without their consent, no less?

Yeah, that’s the PG version.

Trump has been known to call women fat and ugly. Will he be able to work with any women who could shed 20 pounds? I wonder if Theresa May and Angela Merkel meet his standards for attractiveness. Will his obsession with physical appearance affect how he deals with our allies?

It is also concerning that Trump revels in his ability to molest women without consequence (at least so far) because he’s rich and famous. What would he do if he became president, and hit a sort of trifecta? Rich. Famous. Powerful. The thought scares me.

There are so many reasons why Trump would make an impossible president. He has no experience governing, and his petulant nature does not bode well for the give-and-take, the compromising, that are necessary to keep the republic humming. He is rude and condescending and doesn’t seem to understand that once something is out of his mouth or into his Twitter feed, it is out there and cannot be denied or retracted.

His followers are angry and want radical change. The price they seem willing to pay has always seemed dangerously high to those who disdain him. Now the cost of his presidency has shot right out of the ballpark. We should not allow him to have a platform, let alone the Oval Office.


But will these new revelations cause his defeat?

I’m not sure. Trump has taken this election into the gutter, but the truth is, we’ve been wallowing there as a society for years now. Trash talk is not only common on the big and small screens, but in the supermarket. One of my colleagues recently endured a phone call from an angry person who was spewing F-bombs. Advertisers use sex to sell everything.

That makes it easy for die-hard Trump supporters to pass off his behavior as “just being one of the guys.” But every woman knows that all men are not like this. I’m married to a kind, decent man who doesn’t even see women the way Donald Trump does, never mind talk about them as he does. Moreover, I can always tell whether any man is seeing me as a woman or a person, and if it’s the former, I know I really don’t want much to do with him.

Trump always sees the woman. She’s either sexually desirable or disgusting. Perhaps he also has a category of “beneath notice.” How do you preside over a country that includes more than 160 million females with an attitude like that?

Liz Soares welcomes email at [email protected]

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