Yesterday, as we were jointly consuming barrels of popcorn while watching the Trump campaign reap the whirlwind, some of y’all mentioned Rush Limbaugh’s odd Trumpologia, which centered on the concept of consent. Here’s the mind-blowing quote from that ass pustule which sparked the conversation:
You know what the magic word, the only thing that matters in American sexual mores today is? One thing. You can do anything, the left will promote and understand and tolerate anything, as long as there is one element. Do you know what it is? Consent. If there is consent on both or all three or all four, however many are involved in the sex act, it’s perfectly fine. Whatever it is. But if the left ever senses and smells that there’s no consent in part of the equation then here come the rape police. But consent is the magic key to the left.
FSM knows Limbaugh wasn’t the only Trump apologist saying absurd things for broadcast consumption yesterday. One of his more ridiculous surrogates went airplane armrest truther to try to discredit one of the women who accused Trump of non-consensual groping on a flight.
But I think Limbaugh’s failure to grasp the role consent plays in regulating behavior between human beings is telling. It’s an explanation for his own serial depravities, certainly, but perhaps it is also a portal into the wingnut worldview that can help us decipher their thinking and behavior more fully.
Trump views women as objects he can grab and manipulate for his own ends, and we’re seeing a fraction of the results of what happens when a man lives 70 years on the planet with that mindset. He’s not done yet, of course: rounding up the women who’ve accused Bill Clinton of sexual abuse and displaying them at the recent debate was another example of Trump using women as a commodity.
If reports from the Trumpenbunker are to be believed, he plans to double down on that strategy. And if Hillary Clinton were to respond in kind, she might have to charter a fleet of 747s to transport Trump’s accusers to the next presidential debate.
But the problem isn’t just obvious creepers like Trump and Limbaugh: Apply their boggled view of consent beyond Trump’s serial molestations to actual GOP policy practiced by so-called respectable Republicans, and it explains a lot.
Mainstream Republicans like governors Scott Walker and Tom Corbett, as well as a number of House GOPers, support legislation to force women seeking an abortion to undergo invasive transvaginal ultrasounds. It may sound like “state rape” to you and me, but if women are merely fetus-bearing vessels without an claim to consent, what’s the problem?
Even the “Never Trumpers” are revealing their views of women as they criticize Der Gropenführer. Here’s the godly and upright Erick Erickson on Twitter this morning:
Donald Trump is Having a “Bimbo Eruption” and his supporters are behaving as they accuse the Clinton’s of behaving. https://t.co/BI21dDNI8B
— Erick Erickson (@EWErickson) October 13, 2016
See what he did there? In the featured article, he even helpfully links to a Wikipedia page describing the role of Bill Clinton campaign operative Betsey Wright in quelling rumors of Bill’s extramarital affairs, i.e., “bimbo eruptions.” Erickson unconsciously conflates consensual affairs with non-consensual groping, which is telling.
People like Erickson are going to solve the Republicans’ Trump problem? As my old ma used to say, “Bullshit!”
Anyhoo, as many have pointed out, 2008 taught us a great deal about America’s crushing problem with racism. And 2016 is revealing the depth of our misogyny problem. We’ve got a lot of work to do.