It’s been a hailstorm of an election cycle thus far. Not a small amount of disagreement has taken place surrounding the current political climate, and it seems that more people than ever are paying close attention to the future of our nation. Obviously, much of the media coverage and societal upheaval has centered around the Republican Party’s candidate, Donald Trump, and his particular brand of “outsider” politics. Although still wildly popular with a large swath of Americans, Mr. Trump has been accused of many things these past several months, from racism and xenophobia to rape and sexual assault. These are serious claims, and I’m not sure they’re all entirely false. I have watched, sometimes in horror, as Mr. Trump has said things that range from outright nonsense to blatant hatefulness. In truth, I’ve come to almost despise him, or at least everything he stands for — his ideals, his lifestyle, his arrogance. My gut ties itself in a knot every time I imagine him placing his hand on the Bible that fateful January day. Thus, I too have joined in the social chorus of evangelical condemnation of Mr. Trump’s words and actions.
However, with the recent release of the so-called “Trump Tapes”, I’ve found myself in a surprising, but unwelcome, inner-struggle. The recording, originally from 2005, shows Donald Trump flippantly discussing obscene behavior and his power to sexually assault women and face no consequences because he is a “star.” The tape is damning. It depicts a man who has little-to-no regard for the dignity of women and is morally deficient, perhaps altogether perverse, in the area of human sexuality. But the reason for my inner-struggle is just as damning — I am Donald Trump.