The Second Presidential Debate has come and gone and, surprisingly, that’s not what everyone is talking about. The biggest thing about this week is The Trump Tape. The tape, which was first reported on by David Farenthold of the Washington Post, depicts Republican Candidate Donald Trump talking about women in a lewd manor, and let me tell you, it’s an understatement to say that people are upset. The full tape is below, but be warned, it’s pretty graphic.
Pretty bad, right? The real question is, however, does it matter? It certainly seemed so in the second debate. At the very beginning of the debate, both Democratic Nominee Hillary Clinton and moderator Anderson Cooper attacked Trump over his comments on the tape, calling them sexual assault, and plenty of other outlets agree. I’m going to lay it out plain and simple. It’s not sexual assault. Everybody is blowing this way out of proportion. Sexual assault is the act of sexually engaging with someone that does not consent with the act. That not what the tape said. If you listen closely, Trump clearly says, “…when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything.” At the very least, that consent is perceived. Trump himself downplayed the audio as ‘locker room talk,’ though many would disagree. While it may not have been what you would talk about in a locker room, hyperbolic conversations like this do happen. It was a measure of manhood. He was bragging that he was so popular that women just threw themselves at him and would allow him to do anything. “Look at me, I’m so manly that women can keep themselves off of me.” The simple truth is that people want to demonize Trump and they will twist any story they can to fit their narrative that Trump is the devil. There are plenty of bad this to say about Trump, but this story just isn’t one of them.