Barbara Ellen: Trump's grubby boasts redefine how low one can go

It gets to the point with Donald Trump where you think: why am I even shocked any more? The non-payment of taxes, the Mexican wall, the endless lies, the relentless sexist and racist torrent ... And yet, the latest revelation of his boorishness is shocking, maybe more so, because it isn't just hearsay or "he said/she said". It's a recording, more than a decade old, but a recording nonetheless. Trump is with Billy Bush, a television host (Bush laughing along, it should be noted). As well as talking about a married woman he tried to seduce and commenting on a TV actress' appearance, Trump talks about how women allow "stars" (like him) to do anything they want. "Grab them by the pussy," says Trump. "You can do anything."

Now Trump is claiming it was locker-room talk, the tape is a decade old and (his clincher) Bill Clinton has said far worse to him on the golf course. It's the same old squirm/weasel/distract Trump routine, but this time it seems that even Republicans have had enough and who could blame them? "Grab them by the pussy" - how could that guy become president of the United States?

There was a time when I felt slightly conflicted by Trump. I used to watch his US version of The Apprentice and it was notable how much respect he had for a female executive who helped him, and also for his daughter Ivanka.

The fact that Trump had daughters also tapped into my notion that, for some men, daughters can be enlightening, an "education" if you will - fast-tracking insights into the female experience. This could also happen via other females, but there's just something about daughters that men have raised and nurtured.

While a father can love a boy just as fiercely and completely, with girls, there may be the added sting of knowing what's in store for them out there in the "man's world". How many men have said to grown daughters: "I know how men think", when what they're really saying is: "I know how I used to think - and I want you to be spared that"?

However, even if Trump had this education, he failed the test - flunked it, big time. Donald is a classic compartmentaliser of women, someone for whom the age-old Madonna/whore routine is in full swing. A textbook case of: "Women I love, like, respect or am related to, up here; the rest of you, down there And, If I want to, I'll grab your pussy."

As if this male entitlement weren't grotty enough, Trump stirs star-power into the mix. It's telling and chilling, especially in these post-Savile times, how hyper-aware Trump is of how celebrity gives him levels of leeway, opportunity and access he wouldn't otherwise enjoy.

Trump doesn't even bother pretending that he can take these liberties because he's so personable and charismatic. In his mind, his celebrity gives him a free pass to opportunism, lechery and boorishness and he's going to use it.

All this considered, it's farcical how Trump tries to get himself out of his self-dug hole by dragging Bill Clinton into it. Whatever people think of Clinton's behaviour, there's a big difference between a "shagger" (even a lying, cheating, manipulative one) and the near-reptilian, calculated and, above all, dehumanising contempt for women that Trump exhibits on that recording.

Even if you think that Bill was just as bad (on the golf course with Trump, and everywhere else), let's not forget that it's Hillary, not Bill, who's running for the presidency now.

The fact Trump still doesn't seem to comprehend that, to the point of bringing up Clinton's husband at every opportunity he can, even to create a diversion for his own grubby behaviour, is all anyone needs to know about the deep-rooted misogyny of Republican presidential candidate, Donald John Trump.

- Observer

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