In what is shaping-up to be one of the most contentious presidential elections in recent history, I have intentionally avoided the topic of politics on this webpage. This has been done, very much, by design.
I do not intend to publicly endorse either candidate. Nor do I plan on telling you who to vote for -- frankly it's none of my business. I trust that you're all smart enough to research the issues most important to you and then make an educated decision between either left or right.
That's the beautiful thing about being an American! We each enjoy the freedom to walk into the voting booth on November 8th, each one of us shrouded in complete secrecy, and then we cast our vote to screw up our country in whatever manner we think is best.
And all things being equal, I STILL wouldn't be writing about politics on this webpage, but I read an article today that I cannot ignore -- Not as a husband. Not as a father. And not as a human being.
Today I read an article in the Washington Post. The headline reads, "Trump Recorded Having Extremely Lewd Conversation About Women in 2005". I won't repeat the comments here, but I will include a link to the article.
My reaction is visceral -- it is one of both anger and disgust. It's a reaction that is justified.
But, at least for the moment, I ask you to put those raw emotions aside. I want you to ignore the actual words Trump said in 2005. Instead, I want you to focus on the response offered by Trump in 2016.
Regarding these quotes, Trump says,“This was locker-room banter, a private conversation that took place many years ago. Bill Clinton has said far worse to me on the golf course — not even close. I apologize if anyone was offended."
Those words -- that "response" -- is unacceptable. In fact, anything less than a complete apology (not for causing offense, but for the words themselves) is unconscionable.
Trying to rationalize and justify these comments to the people of America as "private" or "locker-room banter" only reinforces the obvious: Trump is a misogynist.
Undoubtedly, there will be individuals who run to Trump's defense. They will use lines like:
All men talk like that. -- No we don't. Apologize. Women are not objects for you to grab at your whim.
It was a private conversation -- Not anymore. Apologize. Your words are hurtful and dangerous.
Hilary's even worse than Trump -- That's what we call a deflection. Talk about the issue. Is it okay for men to talk this way about women? I'll give you a hint. The answer is "no". Apologize.
How do you explain these comments to your 8 year old daughter? Is that too young? Okay, how do you explain them when she's 16? When she's 36? How do you justify an American president who talks this way about women and then dismisses it as "locker-room banter"?
I wrote Kira, the Rainbow Princess for my daughter Fiona AND for my son Aidan. I wanted to write about a strong female character capable of saving herself. I wanted them both to read Kira. I wanted them to see a girl who was brave and smart and competent. That's the story I wanted to tell. That's the story I wanted them to grow-up reading.
But history has been telling us a different story for too long -- it's the same story Trump likes to share in the privacy of his locker-room. And now it's up to us - ALL OF US - to change that story.
Like I said before, you can vote for whoever you want. This is America. I'm going to do the same. But please, don't let these comments (and the world view toward women that they reflect) go unchallenged.
This is America after all, and it's about time we changed the story.