The morning after Stephanie Clifford, AKA Stormy Daniels the “stripper porn star” appeared on 60 Minutes giving rise to their highest rating in ten years, a group of women, steadfast Trump supporters shared their own views with CNN on who Americans should believe. These women have vowed to stand by their president.
In spite of Trump’s usual rhetoric ranging from NFL players kneeling to Amazon needing to be reigned in, it is the Stormy Daniels debacle that has given way to the president’s first seemingly self-imposed vow of silence, not having tweeted a single character in regard to the allegations of infidelity that took place over a decade ago. At the time, Trump was already into his third marriage and a new father. Infidelity is not so much the issue, even if we ignore the moral implications, but where the president’s exposure is buried is in the allegation that he tried to buy Daniels’ silence for $130,000 just days before the 2016 election. This act may be tantamount to an illegal contribution to the Trump campaign. Political repercussions abound.
Pornstar versus reality star. Who would the reasonable person believe? Who does America believe?
“To date, over a dozen women have come forward with allegations of sexual misconduct. Daniels’ story may be somewhat unique…”
Other than Daniels’ choices of occupations, both of which are perfectly legal, ironically I simply have not read or heard any negative press about her —no alleged lies, no extortion schemes, no secret meetings with Russian nationals or attempts to secure a backdoor channel. Who knows, she may even be willing to release her income tax records. It is no secret that Trump, prior to his presidency maintained a long and broken road of credibility, full of allegations and at times forced admissions. To date, over a dozen women have come forward with allegations of sexual misconduct. Daniels’ story may be somewhat unique as she is the only one on record indicating that their sexual encounter was consensual, perhaps the reason for the payoff.
Trump’s women, on this Monday morning, are of the same group of supporters who have suffered a kind of willful blindness when it comes to the topic of Donald Trump. Bibles are stuffed hastily back into the empty church pews, when these Christian women openly lament that they knew they were not voting for “choir boy”, suggesting that morality simply does not enter into their politics. Trump has carte blanche to tweet arguably racist and misogynist comments, threaten people before the altar of the entire world, and yet, he is given a pass by these women, perhaps even a sly pat on the head. These women continue to stand by their president the way women stood beside accused child molester Roy Moore, the way Hillary Clinton stood beside her then president and husband Bill Clinton after the Monica Lewinsky scandal, and strangely enough, how Trump’s wife, Melania, appears to stand beside Trump. And then there is Ivanka, Trump’s daughter, who is supposed to be an advocate for women’s rights. Yet, she stays. They all stay.
“Trump is a man so mired in scandal and dysfunction one can only appreciate it from a distance…”
Trump’s women don’t seem to mind Trump’s second and most recent attempt to restrict transgender people from serving in the U.S. military. Or Friday’s decision for ICE (U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement) to no longer release pregnant women charged with being in the United States illegally. Trump is a man so mired in scandal and dysfunction one can only appreciate it from a distance, and so perhaps it is the close proximity of his supporters, that blinds them hopelessly, mercilessly.
Whether or not Trump had “sexual relations with that woman” is not so much the point as the fact that on this Monday morning Trump’s women believe Trump solely because he is the president. “He had to change as a person in order to become president,” one woman remarked, but most Americans would disagree. Change would suggest that the president would have remained in Washington last weekend to see the wealth of kids marching through the streets or at least appreciate the message. But while the brave youth of the country marched to Washington, the president ran away. Pay no attention to the man sneaking out the back door of the White House.
Change would have meant Trump now appreciates the ongoing violence Blacks have endured at the hands of police officers, most recently, 22-year-old Stephon Clark, an unarmed father of two shot dead in the backyard of his grandmother’s home last week. More than 20 bullets fired by police officers, leaving Mr. Clark to quietly bleed out into the night. A p has determined seven of the 20 shots ended a young man’s life. Ignore the fact that the police officers neglected to identify themselves before giving chase, and ultimately pulling the trigger, 20 times. All the while Trump the man remains the absentee father, the alleged sexual harasser he has always been. Trump hasn’t changed, and yet Trump’s women refuse to take the word of another woman because she is a porn star. So be it, but if we are taking a tally, let’s add that Daniels is also a mother, and a daughter and a braver person than Trump will ever be for coming out to speak her truth, while Trump sits in silence, too petrified to even tweet her name. Again, he runs away, ignores, deflects and distracts manufacturing conflict as a shield. Comparing track records, the “stripper porn star” appears to be far more credible than the president of the United States, and according to the latest CNN poll, the majority of American stand by those numbers.
For more on the March For Our Lives please read the previous op-ed:
k.g. Sambrano is a Canadian writer known for his works of literary fiction and poetry, and is an occasional freelance political writer. His latest book, Trump- the First 365 Days: America’s Fight for America was released on February 20, 2018.