by Brent Budowsky
Not content with a recent Gallup poll that found 70 percent of female voters give him a thumbs-down, Donald Trump said Tuesday night that if Hillary Clinton were a man, she would win only 5 percent of the vote.
When the New York billionaire supported Clinton for the Senate, and when he later offered high praise for her work there, he did not say that if she were a man she would not be the great senator he applauded. When he praised Clinton as secretary of State, as recently as 2012, he did not say that if she were a man she would not have done the outstanding job at Foggy Bottom that he applauded.
Give Trump credit for one thing: While the presidential contender now says he has abandoned his long-term support for single-payer healthcare and claims that in his decades of praise for Bill and Hillary Clinton he was bearing false witness, he stands firm in his condescending and often hostile views of women.
To demonstrate that discrimination against women is ongoing, we might ask: how many votes would Trump receive in his campaign of bellowing insults and self-indulgent braggadocio if he were a woman?
During the first GOP primary debate, Fox News host Megyn Kelly fairly asked Trump why he has referred to various women as “fat pigs,” “dogs” “slobs” and “disgusting animals” and asked about the time on his reality television show when he told a female contestant that it would be a pretty picture to see her on her knees.
Trump’s response to Kelly was revealing. When he wasn’t retweeting with approval the words of Benito Mussolini he was retweeting with approval the sexist suggestion that Kelly is a “bimbo.” He then pursued a juvenile, months-long vendetta against her that can fairly be described as a form of internet stalking, behavior more appropriate for analysis by psychiatrists than presidential historians.
Soon Fox News will broadcast a new Trump interview with Kelly. In that war against that woman, the woman is winning. It will not be the last time. Perhaps Trump will someday apologize to Carly Fiorina for insulting her face, in another misogynist moment!
On bread and butter matters, Trump believes that female workers are overpaid. While Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders champion pay equity for women and a higher minimum wage, Trump has said — in a comment that will be a high point in the general election debates this fall — that American workers are overpaid. It offers no solace to women that his war against higher wages for female workers punishes male workers as well.
Trump recently said that women who have abortions, if they were made illegal, should be punished for them. His politically motivated retraction of that comment offers no solace to women who fear what he would do as president.
And his latest sexist insult against Clinton will not improve his 70 percent negative rating with women.
In his family life, Trump has been a good father, who has raised excellent sons and daughters equally well. I have defended Melania Trump and Heidi Cruz against insults offered during the campaign.
The Republicans’ problem is that Trump describes politics as war, and an abnormal number of his war-like insults over the years have been targeted against women, including a Fox News host, a GOP candidate for president and the wife of a GOP opponent.
If Trump is nominated, a number of prominent Republican women, along with Republican men, will announce their preference of Clinton over Trump.
Most likely the phone will someday ring in the Oval Office and Trump will say to President Hillary Clinton: “I always loved you, Hillary, and I need a little favor.”