Make No Mistake: Trump's Campaign Has Left Wreckage In Its Wake

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Donald Trump’s candidacy won’t last forever; hopefully it will suffer an abrupt ending on November 8th. Regardless, it’s clear that his rhetoric surrounding women, sexual assault, and general lack of respect for those he disagrees with can have long standing effects.

This sort of disrespect is, in one way, another branch of the “Trump-ed up trickle down” that Trump has been known to endorse. It started at the top of his campaign and has made way to the mouths and minds of voters. Trump’s dangerous rhetoric has shamelessly entered the American lexicon.

I witnessed it firsthand.

A few weeks ago, I sat in my doctor’s office and had the misfortune of overhearing a sharp conversation between a husband and wife. The conversation was lewd, consisting of some common critiques of Hillary Clinton being “a liar, crook, etc.” Outside of those, though, a few comments struck me as unique.

The wife argued that “Hillary is a crook and Trump is a rich boy.” This was quickly remedied in a response by her husband stating “without rich boys we wouldn’t have things like Walmart or Ford.”

Ok.

“I’d lock her up and throw away the key. Trump should have grabbed her by the pussy too.”

I walked out, and after exiting the facility I saw a bumper sticker that read “TRUMP THAT BITCH.”

Not surprised.

The comments were uniquely dangerous. Rhetoric that once challenged ideas and political positionality is now pointed at legitimizing acts of assault and in certain instances legitimizing rape culture.

Trump has acted as a catalyst to a much needed conversation in America regarding sexual consent and sexual assault. No, rape culture didn’t start nor will it end with Trump. As a society, we must repudiate actions that condone and endorse a culture of rape. “Locker room talk” can no longer serve as an excuse to engage in harmful conduct.

This is more than politics. Similarly to unfriending someone on Facebook, “to reduce it [the social damage done as a result of this election] to a matter of politics is to misunderstand (or show a remarkable amount of apathy toward) the very crux of the issue.” Now we have the opportunity to shape our own history, to craft the narrative that later generations will understand and to show them that we rebuked this type of behavior.

We must affirm the value of a woman’s right to consent.

We must work together to tackle the complex issues left in the aftermath of Trump.

If we don’t, we risk losing the progress of some of the greatest movements known to man that have bent the arc of humanity towards morality.