Donald Trump’s statements about women are indefensible, inexcusable, and disgusting. They are demeaning to women, perpetuate the culture of sexual assault and violence towards women, and represent a disappointing standard for a presidential nominee. But, that doesn’t mean you will change your vote.
For one, the fact that Trump would say such things should not come as a surprise to anyone; his campaign has been driven by nasty and degrading comments from the beginning. That this incident would push people over the edge or surprise people is a real shock— Trump revealed his true (disrespectful) self on day one and has given no indication of changing his ways. With regard to Mexico, he stated that “we get the killers, drugs and crime, they get the money”, referred to Jeb Bush (a fellow Republican candidate) as a loser and basket case, mocked a reporter with disabilities, and generally categorized the people of Mexico as rapists. So, honestly, that he would insult and allegedly assault women should not be surprising— unacceptable, but not surprising either.
Armed with this knowledge, Trump’s supporters will vote for him on the basis of two factors: either because they agree with his policy decisions or because he is not Hillary Clinton. These two factors outweigh the more moral considerations about Trump’s comments for one simple reason— this election is not an election based on morals. Trump’s words may be inappropriate and degrading, but to many Republicans Clinton’s untrustworthiness, lies, and repeated scandals are just as immoral. So, when there is no candidate with a clearly superior moral high ground, many supporters are ignoring the immoral antics of the election altogether. Thus, many people will choose not to let Trump’s comments about women affect their opinions on the election— for better or for worse. Or, they truly agree with Trump’s policies and believe he would be the best leader for the country. There are many people who are dissatisfied with the direction of the country under President Obama and think Trump is the perfect candidate to change that direction. Either way, Trump’s supporters have decided that their motivations are more important than his comments, and I can think of nothing he can say that will change that.
And, in what world would a Hillary Clinton supporter choose to support Trump in light of his comments? It goes without saying that this would simply never happen. So, you can be insulted, be angry, or seek reform in the primary system that produced this situation in the first place. But you probably will not change your vote.
Personally, as a woman and a Republican, Trump’s comments put me in a very difficult position. I want to disregard his words as “locker-room talk” or pretend like he doesn’t mean the things he says, but I know that is not true. How can I vote for a man that repeatedly insults major segments of the population and degrades everyone he disagrees with? However, as someone who disagrees with almost all of Clinton’s policies and is deeply angered by her penchant for dishonesty, this leaves me in a situation I would have never imagined at the beginning of the election cycle. Who do I vote for— the insulting, unprepared, disgusting candidate or the dishonest yet experienced politician on the opposite end of my political spectrum? (I believe that the current electoral college system we live in equates third party votes to throwing away your vote, so I will not even consider voting third party.) Either choice will be painful and disappointing for me, and for many others in my situation. This is why I have come to one conclusion— vote based on the Supreme Court. With one vacancy already and potentially two more over the course of the next term, vote for who you think will nominate the Supreme Court justices that will best represent your beliefs. The presidential choices can be held in check by the other branches of government, and the Supreme Court will be a influence on the system. Putting my faith in the courts seems like a better option than putting my faith in either of the two candidates.
Personally, I place the importance of the Supreme Court over the Presidency. It hurts me to admit that Mr. Trump has my vote, and makes me furious that my party has put me in this situation. But, I value the influence the Supreme Court has and simply cannot give away the majority of the court to people whom I disagree with. Please note, though, that casting a vote for Trump does not mean support of Trump— I believe he has a vile personality and several wretched ideas that do not stand for what I believe; he is simply an evil that must be endured for the sake of the Supreme Court. I can only hope that the insults are merely an election gimmick and advisers would keep him from making rash decisions in the White House. Regardless, whatever candidate you have already decided to vote for, get out and vote on election day to make sure your voice is heard.