LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Allegations against Trump have a long history

I am not sure where Debbie Hilton was during the year leading up to the presidential election, but the sexual misconduct allegations against Donald Trump are not new. (“Tread lightly when accusing men in power,” DSN, Dec. 18)

Perhaps Ms. Hilton somehow missed the now infamous “Access Hollywood” tape where Trump admitted to sexually assaulting women — grabbing them by their genitals — because he was “a star.”

She may have even missed the clips of radio interviews where Trump freely admitted to walking unannounced into the dressing rooms of beauty pageant contestants when he owned the Miss USA/Miss Teen USA/Miss Universe pageants. Trump bragged that he could “get away with it” because he was the owner. (The Miss Teen USA pageant included contestants as young as 14.) These accounts have been corroborated by various contestants, and also by a Miss Universe winner who Trump “fat shamed” during a news conference.

The current allegations made against Trump are not new. All of these women came forward after the “Access Hollywood” tape, each with their own story of being groped, forcibly kissed or inappropriately touched by “The Donald.” Some were former employees, others were with the news media, some were guests at parties and events that Trump had attended, one happened to be seated next to him on an airplane flight, and one was a constant on his TV show, “The Apprentice.”

At that time, Trump branded them all liars and gold-diggers and claimed it was all a political ploy by the Hilary Clinton campaign. Trump even made disparaging comments about their looks, insinuating that they were not attractive enough for him to hit on. So where was the ethics investigation then? Why wasn’t something done? Because the Republicans threw their lot in with Trump; and like the good little sheep they are, they parroted his claims, downplaying it all. Some even agreed that the “Access Hollywood” tape was no big deal, “just guys being guys.”

While a few admitted they were “troubled,” they nonetheless supported and endorsed Trump despite of it. With the recent sexual-misconduct stories flooding the news, the 20 accusers have come back out and many want there to be an ethics investigation into their claims. House Democrats tried to call for an investigation, but were shut down by the Republican majority.

Why did these women wait so long to come out with their allegations against Trump and others? I’m sure there are myriad reasons, though the most common are that they will not be believed or that the blame for what happened will be placed on them — that they somehow “asked” for it.

There are also those who will try to rationalize and/or try to excuse the behavior away, much like what happened with recent Alabama Republican senatorial candidate Roy Moore who was accused of sexual misconduct/assault with underage girls. Many of the women who made accusations against Moore were afraid to come forward when they were teens because they were afraid of what could happen to them or their families because of Moore’s influence, and also because they thought no one would believe them, despite it apparently being common knowledge that Moore regularly pursued underage girls.

Numerous Moore supporters tried to rationalize his behaviors as being commonplace in Alabama, some even tried to tie to the Bible — comparing Moore to the older Joseph and his teen wife Mary. One religious leader even said that because Moore was a man of faith, he was looking for “purity” in a wife, which generally meant an “untouched” nubile girl. Think I’m making this up? Google it. Sad, but true.

Are the claims against Trump true? I don’t know, I was not there during the altercations, but I do believe there should be an investigation into them, especially in light of all the previous statements that Trump has made regarding his behavior.

Just because he is the president, he should not be above reproach, particularly when a number of congressional members — both Republican and Democrat — have stepped aside due to similar allegations. Trump has even tried to backtrack on the “Access Hollywood” tape, questioning its authenticity despite admitting that he made those statements when the tape first came out.

Again, I am not sure where Ms. Hilton was two years ago, but she apparently was not watching or reading the news. The allegations against Donald Trump are not new and have been ongoing — his accusers have just stepped forward once again, not wanting to be forgotten as more women refuse to remain silent and come forward with their stories of sexual harassment and misconduct by “men in power.”

Michelle Lapinski

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