Which Men Get to Be Good?


While Republicans use every tactic they can to insist that Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh is a good man with impeccable character—and to discredit Christine Blasey Ford and Deborah Ramirez—let’s consider, for a second, which men Donald Trump believes should be taken at their word, and which are considered irredeemable criminals by Donald Trump and his administration. For Trump, the threat of men’s violence is both omnipresent and impossible. It all depends on which men you’re talking about.

How Trump characterized former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski, who grabbed a reporter by the arm at a campaign even in 2016 (and has since been alleged of committing sexual assault):

“I think it’s a very, very sad day in this country when a man can be destroyed over something like that.”

How Trump characterized former Fox News executive and alleged serial harasser Roger Ailes upon his ouster in 2016:

“I can tell you that some of the women that are complaining, I know how much he’s helped them, and even recently. And when they write books that are fairly recently released, and they say wonderful things about him. And now, all of a sudden, they’re saying these horrible things about him.”
“It’s very sad because he’s a very good person. I’ve always found him to be just a very, very good person. And, by the way, a very, very talented person. Look what he’s done. So I feel very badly.”

How Trump characterized former Fox News host Bill O’Reilly amid allegations of serial sexual harassment in 2017:

“I think he’s a person I know well — he is a good person,” Trump told the Times. “I think he shouldn’t have settled; personally I think he shouldn’t have settled. Because you should have taken it all the way. I don’t think Bill did anything wrong.”

How Trump, in November 2017, characterized the allegations against former Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore, alleged of molesting children:

“If you look at what is really going on and all the things that have been going on over the last 48 hours, (Moore) totally denies it. He said it didn’t happen. You have to listen to him also.”

How Trump characterized former White House aide Rob Porter in March, after the latter resigned due to reports that he allegedly punched and beat his ex-wives. The FBI knew about the allegations, and hired Porter anyway:

“We certainly wish him well. It’s obviously a tough time for him. He did a very good job when he was in the White House, and we hope he has a wonderful career.”

How Trump characterized former Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan in July, defending him from allegations that Jordan ignored claims of sexual abuse when coaching at Ohio State University:

“Jim Jordan is one of the most outstanding people I’ve met since I’ve been in Washington. I believe him 100 percent. No question in my mind.”

How Trump characterized Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, accused of attempted rape, September 2018:

“Judge Kavanaugh is one of the finest people that I’ve ever known. He’s an outstanding intellect, and outstanding judge. Respected by everybody. Never had even a little blemish on his record.”

Now let’s take a look at the men Trump and his administration have described as rapists and criminals.

How Trump characterized the black and Latino teens in the Central Park 5 case in a full-page ad in the New York Times in 1989. They have since been exonerated and awarded a settlement, which Trump called “the heist of the century”:

“BRING BACK THE DEATH PENALTY. BRING BACK OUR POLICE…What has happened to the respect for authority, the fear of retribution by the courts, society and the police for those who break the law, who want only trespass on the rights of others?”
“…I want to hate these muggers and murderers. They should be forced to suffer, and, when they kill, they should be executed for their crimes. They must serve as examples so that others will think long and hard before committing a crime or an act of violence.”

How Trump characterized Mexican immigrants during his presidential bid on June 2015:

“When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re not sending you. They’re not sending you. They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.”

How Trump characterized black people in a tweet about crime in 2015:

A day after a black activist was kicked and punched by voters at a Donald Trump rally in Alabama, Trump tweeted an image packed with racially loaded and incorrect murder statistics.
The image shows a masked, dark-skinned man with a handgun and a set of points, ostensibly about deaths in 2015:
“Blacks killed by whites — 2%”“Blacks killed by police — 1%”“Whites killed by police — 3%”“Whites killed by whites — 16%”“Whites killed by blacks — 81%”“Blacks killed by blacks — 97%’
…Almost every number in the image is wrong. The statistics on white victims are exaggerated five-fold. The police-related deaths are off as well.

How Trump characterized Mexican immigrants in April:

“With us, it’s a lottery system — pick them out — a lottery system. You can imagine what those countries put into the system. They’re not putting their good ones.
“And remember my opening remarks at Trump Tower, when I opened. Everybody said, ‘Oh, he was so tough,’ and I used the word ‘rape.’ And yesterday, it came out where, this journey coming up, women are raped at levels that nobody has ever seen before. They don’t want to mention that.
“So we have to change our laws. And the Democrats, what they’re doing is just — it’s insanity. I don’t — nobody understands what’s going on.”

How Trump characterized Mexican immigrants, again, in August 2018:

“They’re sending, I mentioned words — I won’t even mention them tonight because there’s a lot of young people here — but I mentioned words and everyone thought it was wonderful.” “And then about two days later and people said, ‘did he say this, did he say that?’” Trump said.
“Guess what,” he continued, “what I said is peanuts compared to what turns out to be the truth. It’s peanuts.”

The pattern seems pretty clear.

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