If buttercups buzz’d after the bee,
If boats were on land, churches on sea,
If ponies rode men and if grass ate the cows,
And cats should be chased into holes by the mouse,
If the mamas sold their babies
To the gypsies for half a crown;
If summer were spring and the other way round,
Then all the world would be upside down.
Why do my Idiots of the Week keep coming back to haunt me? Wouldn’t you think that, having been awarded with such a prestigious honour, they would be content to go home and leave me alone? But no … yesterday it was Katrina Pierson, and today it is Pat Robertson, who won the award in July for saying that “… the best thing to do is to sit on the sidelines and let them [gays and Muslims] kill themselves.” Today he is back in the news with more of his sleaze.
Three days after the release of the video tape with Donald Trump making lewd and obscene comments about women, and one day after the Sunday night debate fiasco, Mr. Robertson, a televangelist and onetime GOP presidential candidate, came out in defense of Trump, saying that he won the debate. (57% of viewers said Clinton won, 34% said Trump won. I guess the other 9% had no clue) But wait … Robertson does not stop there. He goes on to defend Trump over the 2005 obscene video tape:
“Let’s face it. A guy does something 11 years ago, there was a conversation in Hollywood where he’s trying to look like he’s macho. And 11 years after that, they surface it from The Washington Post to whatever, bring it out within 30 days or so of the election and this is supposed to be the death blow and everybody writes him off, ‘Okay, he’s dead, now you better get to get out of the way and let Mike Pence run the campaign.’ The Donald says no. He’s like the phoenix. They think he’s dead, he’s come back. And he came back strong. So, he won that debate. The next [debate] we’ll see what happens, but in the meantime, he speaks to adoring thousands wherever he goes.”
Macho? What the sam heck is macho about the disrespectful, degrading way in which Trump puts down women? And this from a supposedly religious man, a man who spouts his religion on television daily? A man who claims to have “Christian values” and live by those values? But wait … this sleaze ball is not alone!
Two other famed evangelists, Jerry Falwell, Jr. of Liberty University, and James Dobson of Focus on the Family, both came out in defense and support of Trump after the release of the video! Ask me again why I am anti-religion! These men, three of the most respected, most recognized names in the Christian community, think that it is fine and dandy for a man to sexually abuse women. These are the same men who are appalled at the idea of same-sex marriage, horrified at the notion of a transgender person sharing their restroom, but they are just fine and dandy with sexual abuse against a woman! I wonder … if Hillary Clinton groped one of them, would that be fine also?
Even Trump’s own running mate, Mike Pence, said, “I do not condone his remarks and cannot defend them.” Pence also refused to attend a campaign event in Wisconsin with Trump. So is Pence, who is a bigot and a homophobe, yet a better person than the nation’s three top evangelists?
Some professional athletes were disgusted by Trump’s remarks and the fact that he blew them off as “locker-room talk”.
- Oakland A’s Pitcher Sean Doolittle: “As an athlete, I’ve been in locker rooms my entire adult life and uh, that’s not locker room talk.”
- Cleveland Cavaliers forward Dahntay Jones: “Claiming Trump’s comments are “locker room banter” is to suggest they are somehow acceptable. They aren’t.”
- Philadelphia 76ers guard Kendall Marshall: “PSA: sexual advances without consent is NOT locker room talk.”
- Former Olympic hurdler Queen Harrison: “”Locker room talk”, “Boys will be boys”, “Harmless banter”. These are not valid excuses for behavior. Never have been, never will be.”
- English retired basketball player John Amaechi: “Politics isn’t sport. The White House isn’t a locker room. Respecting women (et al.) seems a desperately low bar to fail in 2016.”
Former Minnesota Vikings punter, Chris Kluwe even went so far as to write a letter . Much of the language in his letter is … well, not fit for this blog, but I will share a small portion:
“… you claimed that this was “locker room talk,” and it’s just how guys speak about women. You’re wrong … How do I know this? Simple. I was in an NFL locker room for eight years, the very definition of the macho, alpha male environment you’re so feebly trying to evoke to protect yourself, and not once did anyone approach your breathtaking depths of arrogant imbecility. I’m sure you’re wondering just what it is we talk about in a professional locker room. We talk about our families. We talk about our significant others, our children, and our parents. We talk about our fears that if a Hitler wannabe who can’t even string together a coherent statement on domestic policy becomes president, what that might mean for those of us who are married to a member of a minority community, or are a member of a minority community, or have children going to schools where hopefully nobody screams racial epithets at them.”
My blogger-friend, Hugh Curtler recently wrote a post titled Disgusted (an excellent post, by the way – you may want to check it out) in which he compared the current political environment in the U.S. to Alice falling down the rabbit hole. I find this to be an apt analogy, as many days I wonder if the entire world has turned upside down, or if it is just me. I have lived many years, seen many things … the Vietnam War, the Civil Rights Era, 9/11, the assassinations of JFK, MLK, and RFK. I saw our first African-American elected, not once but twice, and I cried tears of joy and of pride. And yet today I tell you that I have never seen such a mess in our political processes as Donald Trump has created in the past 16 months! We have supposedly moral ‘men of God’ defending and condoning sexual assault, while athletes are the ones who are showing themselves to actually have the higher moral ground. Yes, I do feel as if the world is upside down, as if I have fallen down a hole. I have always taken pride in this nation, but I am no longer sure that I can. The values of too many people are no longer values that I can recognize or adhere to.
Note: The lyrics at the beginning of this post are from an English ballad. It was first published on a broadside in the middle of the 1640s as a protest against the policies of Parliament relating to the celebration of Christmas. Parliament believed the holiday should be a solemn occasion, and outlawed traditional English Christmas celebrations.