Words Do Count

Diana Abraham

In 2005, Donald Trump was caught on tape saying, “when you’re a star,” it does not matter what you say or do to women. The video, obtained by The Washington Post, captured Trump talking with Billy Bush from Access Hollywood. The two were arriving on the set of Days of Our Lives to film a segment about Trump’s appearance on the soap opera with the starring actress Arianne Zucker.

GOP 2016 Debate

Trump was recorded saying, “I’ve got to use some Tic Tacs, just in case I start kissing [Arianne Zucker],” Trump says. “You know I’m automatically attracted to beautiful — I just start kissing them. It’s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don’t even wait […] And when you’re a star, they let you do it,” Trump continued. “You can do anything.”

In the second presidential debate, Trump was asked to address the video leak, but all he had to say to justify himself to his supporters was, “This was locker room talk.” And so, with this nonchalant response, a question comes to mind: Do words matter even if it’s “locker room talk”?

The answer is, without a doubt, yes. As Hillary Clinton put it, you can clearly see “who Donald Trump is” from his private conversations and thoughts. His disrespect for women is not merely a personal issue. Children have seen this video and have heard what Trump says, and it does have an impact.

Trump’s behavior has been broadcasted for all the world to see. Young boys in our society see this in a candidate for the presidency, and may be influenced by his behavior. Trump dehumanizes and degrades women to being seen only as sexual objects, and he attempts to justify his words by naming them “typical boy talk” and locker room banter.

In light of the video, there has been a pull back from Trump supporters. The Republican House Speaker, Paul D. Ryan, said he was “sickened” by Trump’s comments on women and said he would not appear with Trump at a campaign event in Wisconsin on October 15th. Ryan said, “Women are to be championed and revered, not objectified.” He argued that Trump should work to demonstrate a greater respect towards women.

The words used to create these vulgar comments are not merely words. They carry meaning and value that contribute to the perception of a person. Trump cannot justify what he said, and he should not put the heat on others. This leaked video shows America the private side of Trump and his true thoughts. As the upcoming election draws nearer, it is up to the American public to determine whether they want that in a leader.