Beyond the Trump videotape

An unaired tape of an “Access Hollywood” program captured Donald Trump giddily describing women and his opinions on women in extremely vulgar terms. The tape, made in 2005, caused Trump to apologize but it is hard to accept that the unprepared and candid words “don’t reflect who I am.”

In the presidential debate, he refused to answer questions directly about the incident and merely stated this was “locker room” talk. The talk confirmed that Trump is crude and vulgar as well as disrespectful and demeaning toward women.

Trump stated that he tried hard to “f***” an unidentified married woman and that he “automatically” starts kissing beautiful women. He bragged how he pursued the married woman even though he was married to his third wife, Melania. He bragged about how his star status permitted him to get away with “anything.” He shared that a celebrity can just “grab” women “by the p****.” The bombshell revelation is an  honest reflection of his thoughts and feelings about women.

He tweeted that he was “wrong” but merely moved on to attack Bill Clinton for his sex scandals and attacked Hillary Clinton as if she should be accountable for the affairs of her husband. Trump previously hinted that would not bring up Bill Clinton’s affairs during the presidential debate but he did and trotted out the woman that accused him of having an affair with her while he was Governor of Arkansas. Trump spent the entire debate interrupting and speaking over Hillary Clinton and he alleged she had “hate in her heart,” was a “liar,” was a “devil” and promised she would be “in jail” if elected.

His words reveal the hateful, spiteful, mean-spirited and avaricious candidate in this race. Trump admitted that he does not pay federal personal income tax but blamed Hillary Clinton for his decision. His words reveal his shortcomings as a person and a candidate. He admitted, “I’ve never said I’m a perfect person … I’ve said and done things I regret.” He added, “I pledge to be a better man tomorrow, and will never, ever let you down.”

Trump asks America to look past his mistakes, decisions and behavior but wants America to judge Hillary Clinton on the actions of her husband and to hold her accountable for any negative thing that ever happened in 30 years of public service, even when investigators and tribunals have exonerated her.

It’s no big surprise. He wants a double standard based on gender for the candidates. We need a president who is the better person now, not tomorrow. America deserves a qualified candidate with the knowledge and temperament to lead, and that candidate is Hillary Clinton.

Voter discontent buoyed the Trump campaign and it is a legitimate reaction to the ineffectiveness and opacity in government everywhere. In New York City, Mayor Bill de Blasio displayed a Trump melt-down when questioned about decisions made by his administration. When asked about a controversial teacher annuity fund deal that could cost taxpayers $1.2 billion, he refused to acknowledge the reporter.

Bob Hardt, from NY1, pointed out that when “The mayor gets to decide which credentialed reporters get to ask him questions, he should just outright cancel his increasingly rare press conferences.” People want as much transparency and honesty as possible from their elected representatives. The mayor needs to rethink this imperial information policy.

In Brooklyn, we mourn the untimely passing of District Attorney Ken Thompson. He died only days after announcing that he was battling cancer. His family and all of Brooklyn are diminished by the loss of such a dedicated supporter of honesty and fairness.

He said his duty as a prosecutor was one that required a dedication to “do justice.” He wanted to “protect public safety, but … ensure that our criminal-justice system is based on fundamental fairness.” His successor will have to work hard to continue the good work begun by Mr. Thompson.

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