A version of this was previously published on another of my blogs – http://joanvinallcox.ca/trump-mania/
I watched all the American election debates and coverage and I am nauseated. The 2nd debate, especially, sparked all kinds of reactions in me. Watching Trump make his (what I knew intellectually were baseless) accusations with his emotional tone so strong, I felt the sick fear that people would buy what he said, just because of the way he said it. I saw him pacing around and looming over Hillary when she was speaking, and recognized two things:
The normality of this kind of male behaviour, and
Why I thought it was normal; I’d seen it and experienced in the workplace for most of my adult life.
I felt sick with fear because I’d recognized Trump’s nastiness and misogyny from my first few media glimpses of him. I’d recognized his body language and the subtext in his words. I felt sick with fear as I watched apparently respectable people continue to support him, apparently blind to who he was. I felt sick with fear as I saw powerful men (and some women) support him. I felt sick with fear when I heard the bus tape because I’d known men with power who spoke about women in a similar way, and they weren’t penalized. I honestly couldn’t tell, during the debate, whether the man I’d despised, since even before the presidential race, was getting away with it, whether the earnest and smart, hard-working woman was going to continue being faulted because, they claimed, she was bad and her own party saw her as bland.
Perhaps it’s a good thing that the American presidential race lasts so long. Perhaps the length has given people the chance to look beyond the boasting and see the dark reality. I hope so. Goodness knows, lots of stories have surfaced about how Trump has stiffed contractors and even the caterer for his third marriage. The whole taxes thing that he’s now trying to spin into business acumen. The racial and religious baiting. The encouragement of violence – what did he mean when he said Hillary’s Secret Service guards should give up their guns?
Perhaps the long drawn out campaign has opened many eyes. I hope and pray! But I am astonished and fearful because so many are blindly supporting his appalling behaviour.