President Donald Trump has been called the Teflon Don by many because nothing seems to stick when it comes to potentially stopping him. However, now he's facing not one, but two irresistible forces closing in on the immovable object that he truly seems to be.
As we've chronicled before, we've seen Trump survive countless situations since 2015 that would have ended the career of absolutely anybody else. Will the #MeToo movement finally terminate his political career? How about the Robert Mueller investigation into his potential treasonous collusion with Russia?
We'll cover the latter in the second part of this article series, but today, we'll focus on #MeToo, currently the seismic shift in our society and a movement that played a major role in defeating Roy Moore's bid for a U.S. Senate seat.
A prevalent social theory holds that #MeToo has partially sprung up from the outrage of Trump winning the electoral college and becoming President of the United States despite the presence and widespread coverage of the Access Hollywood tape, a session in which he literally bragged about repeatedly committing the classic definition of sexual assault.
You also have his appearance on Howard Stern, in which he once again bragged, this time about his ability to observe underage beauty pageant contestants removing their clothes.
One year later, does Trump still win the electoral college with both of these tapes essentially common knowledge to most Americans?
Has #MeToo changed this country that significantly and that quickly for the better?
What signals are we to take from a Democrat, Doug Jones, winning a Senate seat in the reddest of the red states for the first time in a quarter century?
We spoke with Cici Battle, a Director of Young People For, People For the American Way Foundation.
"What Alabama has shown us is that Republicans and specifically white female voters vote against their womanhood and fall in line with the party," said Battle.
"If we have learned anything it's that Republicans stick together no matter what."
"Trump is a master manipulator and knows how to bombard the media with so many fires, which makes it difficult for the public to focus on one. The electoral college is usually comprised of white folks and just like Alabama, they will fall in line."
Roy Moore won white women (31% of the voting public Tuesday night) 63%-35%. He lost black women (17% of the electorate in this election) by a near consensus 98%-2%. Doug Jones won Alabama women in general by 16 points, but it was
a.) thanks to black women
b.) in spite of white women.
"The #MeToo movement was founded by a black woman, the Alabama senate race was won by black women," Battle continued.
"Has it changed our country? No. What it has done is shed light and resources on an issue that has been around since the beginning of time.
"Now, the real question is, are we going to listen and continue to hold folks accountable? Because black women can’t do it alone."
The #MeToo creator that Battle refers to is social activist and community organizer Tarana Burke, who created the phrase on MySpace way back in 2006 as part of a grassroots campaign to promote "empowerment through empathy" among women of color who have experienced sexual abuse.
Battle is completely spot on in her assessment of the electorate, and according to new data, help could be on the way. It appears that the tide might be slightly turning. Chuck Todd, host of Meet the Press, gave a very interesting and highly informative "data download" segment this past Sunday.
He highlighted the results of a recent Gallup poll, which shows dramatic and consistent changes this past year when it comes to party identification.
The percentage of respondents identifying as Republican went from 42% to 37%, while Democrats held steady at 44%. Among age 18-34, Republicans fell 4%, in age 35-54 down 4%, for 55+, it was a 5% drop.
The GOP was -4% for those with a college degree and -5% for those without. Among women, the total was down 5%, showing a 7% drop among white women. Additionally, more white women are shifting from the GOP to the Democrats.
Todd showed a graphic indicating GOP affiliation dropping from 48%-41% over the past year, with Democratic affiliation going up from 43%-46% among white women.
Democratic Senator Kirsten Gillibrand is currently riding this wave, and it could take her all the way to a 2020 Presidential nomination. When she led the way to removing Al Franken from the Senate, it wasn't just an attempt to clean house in her own party and seize the moral high ground on #MeToo for her party.
She also eliminated a competitor, with 2020 vision from her own party. The Democrats are being very strategic, both in the long and short term, on the issues of sexual assault and sexual harassment. They are boldly differentiating themselves from the opposing party, and banking on the American voting public to recognize that, and thus appeal to the so-called "coalition of the decent."
It's a risky bet, given how Trump still won the presidency, in spite of almost 20 different women coming forth with accusations of sexual misconduct.
Gillibrand was also setting up Trump, and he was of course, narcissistic, shallow and petty enough to take the bait. He couldn't resist but make a Twitter snipe at someone who might oppose him in the 2020 election, should he last that long.
That led to the USA Today editorial page, unflavored vanilla in the world of political opinion, to write an extreme scathing op-ed against Trump. When you have such a white bread national op-ed page calling out the POTUS, and on this extreme a level, it's truly a sign of the times.
“A president who’d all but call a senator a whore is unfit to clean toilets in Obama’s presidential library or to shine George W. Bush’s shoes,” -- USA Today’s Editorial Board
Trump's defenders say he was calling out Gillibrand in regards to campaign finance, and if it were Paul Ryan or Mitch McConnell making that tweet, sure that would make sense. (Of course no career politician would ever make a tweet like that, so this hypothetical is pointless).
Trump has made it very clear, over and over again that he sees all women as objects, and he takes great pride in doing so. He's not a deep guy, he evaluates every woman on the basis of physical attributes/on the dimension of sexuality first and foremost.
If #MeToo really changes American society, then like the saying goes, you have to start at the top. Holding the POTUS, who has over a dozen and a half accusers, accountable is the perfect way to "start at the top."
Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank.net and TheBank.News, which is partnered with News Now. Banks, a former writer for the Washington Times, NBC Chicago.com and Chicago Tribune.com, currently contributes regularly to WGN CLTV and the Tribune corporation blogging community Chicago Now.
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