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Why Donald Trump’s Past Matters

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Her Campus TCNJ.

In light of recent events surrounding the Trump campaign in regards to the treatment of women and minorities as well as the rhetoric used, I felt that this is an important issue that college aged people in particular must speak up about. We are the future of this already great country. We can no longer stand in the background and let people such as Donald Trump say and do whatever they want. And men, you can no longer pretend this is not your issue too. Yes, we women are someone’s mother, daughter, or sister, but we are also simply human beings who deserve respect no matter what our relationship to another man is.

Our right to respect has no correlation with our relationship to men, the color of our skin, our sexual preference, or our identity in general.

For those that are unaware of some of the comments that have been made by Mr. Trump, here is some background information from over the years. According to ABC News, on March 7, 2006, Trump said, “If Ivanka weren’t my daughter, perhaps I’d be dating her,” that a spokesman later said was just a “joke.” (Gag!) Then, there’s the Rosie O’Donnell feud that has been happening for years, saying that she has a “fat, ugly face” in 2006 and that it would take “one trillion, at least” for him to make out with her in 2013. He kicked out a transgender woman from his beauty competition, Miss Universe, because she did declare her trans status and – shockingly – the pageant does not accept trans contestants. Trump called pregnancy an “inconvenience for businesses,” said that Mexico is sending over “rapists,” and even compared Hillary Clinton’s ability to “satisfy her husband” to her ability to “satisfy the country.” If you want to read even more of the hurtful, misogynistic comments, a good amount of them are right here, but I’m afraid that site did not capture all. That’s almost impossible.

Most recently and most importantly, however, was a video that was released from 2005 in which he is heard talking to Billy Bush, a former host for Access Hollywood, about an unnamed woman. He says extremely lewd things about her, admitting that he tried to make a move on her even though both were married, claiming that “when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything.”

That is exactly the problem. The root of the problem lies within his assumed privilege. The fact that he thinks he can do anything he wants and suffer absolutely no consequences, which (news-flash) is not the way of the world when you are president. Everything you do has some sort of consequence – whether good or bad – and every single country is watching. One wrong move and the most powerful nation in the world could be changed forever.

Donald Trump cannot get away with everything anymore.

As a young woman who has unfortunately grown up in a world where women are not free to express their sexuality, while men are encouraged to do so, I have seen men like Mr. Trump before. All women have. All women have dealt with a man who believes that the power they hold in jobs or status or even just in their gender automatically transcends into the other areas of their lives – including the power to control, degrade, and insult women (as well as every other minority).

We have had enough. No longer will we sit down or stand in place. No longer will we stay in the kitchen or only exist to bare children. We have ambition, goals, and lives of our own. We are marching forward, Mr. Trump, and you will not drag us down. Your idea of the time that America was “great,” was not great for the majority of the population.

I bring up his past and the comments that he has said because to him (and his supporters), they do not seem to be a big deal; however, to women and minorities all across the world, we know exactly the type of person Donald is from these comments. We know that he feels as though women’s bodies were made for his pleasure. We know that he is the type of man to judge us based on the way we look instead of our ability to do our job. We know that we do not stand a chance of gaining any sort of respect from him – no matter how good we look. Look too good and he’ll make sexual comments about you; look too bad, he’ll tell you that you’re ugly. The proof is there and it is real.

And this is the man running as the Republican nominee for President of the United States.

The man that has time and time again used his words to instill fear into the people he talks poorly of. The man who has proven that his character is one not fit to run a country, let alone a business that has declared bankruptcy four times and refuses to pay his employees unless their performance is up to his standard. The man who has publicly talked and boasted about his genitals on national television. The man who refuses to show respect to his more qualified opponent during a debate and instead, interrupted her 51 times within 90 minutes.

Donald Trump’s past is important. The things that he has said are important. His character and lack of respect for others who are slightly different is important. And I hope that those who are able to see why, ban together on November 8 and stop America from making a huge mistake because we are far more alike than we are different.


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