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I don’t like Donald Trump. I never have, and after watching the second presidential debate Oct. 9, I know I never will. Since the beginning of his campaign, I have disliked him for his racist, sexist hubris and overall judgmental views on every person other than himself. He even said he’d date his daughter if she wasn’t, well, his daughter. Not to mention his completely radical and ignorant plans to “make America great again,” including building a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border and banning Muslims from the country. And while I have always disliked him and wish for the good of this country that he does not become president, I have never truly despised him until now.
On Sunday the 9th, I gathered with everyone else in the country to watch yet another debate in which Trump made a complete fool of himself on national television. One of the biggest topics of the night was the recent release of a video taken in 2005 in which Trump is recorded having an extremely inappropriate conversation with Billy Bush about women. In the video, Trump boasts about how he can “grab [women] by the pussy. You can do anything. When you’re a star, they let you do it.” Trump is heard bragging about how he can use his fame to get away with touching and grabbing women without their consent, as well as catcalling and speaking to them in an inappropriate sexual manner. After this video was released, several other women came forward with allegations about how Trump acted inappropriately toward them in public. What Trump tried to pass as “just locker room talk” is sexual harassment and assault. Being someone who has experienced sexual assault, the release of this video brought my view of Trump to a completely personal level.
The first time I tried watching the video, I couldn’t watch more than half of it before I had to turn it off. I felt sick listening to Trump speak about women like they were objects, like it was his right to do with us what he pleases. Every word that came out of his mouth in that video painfully reminded me of my own experience, and though Trump may make excuses and apologize all he wants, the damage is done. Every time I see his face or hear his voice, all that comes to mind is the image of a different male who already haunts my dreams. The idea that this man, this predator, could be the person representing me and the other 300 million people living in the U.S. for at least the next four years makes me nauseous.
If Trump becomes my president, then that means he represents me.
A man who takes pride in sexually assaulting women is not the man I want representing me. And what about the other 3.6 billion women in the world? What will they say if the same man who admitted to sexually assaulting a number of women becomes the leader of one of the world’s greatest nations? I don’t want my younger siblings, my baby cousins or my future kids growing up in a society where sexual assault is a matter that can be brushed off and forgotten. Because, in the end, everyone always forgets that story about the girl who was raped. Everyone gets the privilege to forget except the girl, who has to live with that memory forever.