We are in the midst of the possibility of voting into office one of the most blatantly emotionally-abusive candidates who has ever run for President of the United States—Donald Trump. Many people embracing this candidate do not describe his behavior as abusive and most likely don’t recognize it as abuse. Instead, they describe his words as refreshingly honest and tout him for speaking his mind rather than being politically correct.
Somehow, being abusive is being mistaken for being honest. Somehow, belittling people, calling them names and saying you want to punch someone in the face is being seen as “refreshing.” And somehow, blatant disrespect for the humanity of people is being cheered.
Recognizing verbal and emotional abuse can be difficult for many people—especially when it’s wrapped up with sweeping promises and a charismatic delivery. Below are several “non-politically correct,” “honest” statements made by Donald Trump to various people, under varying circumstances. Regardless of your political party of choice, it’s important that we all learn to recognize the difference between sidestepping politically correctness versus being abusive. If we can’t recognize abuse in our leaders—and stop encouraging them to continue the abuse — we certainly will struggle to recognize it in our own homes.
• “You know, it doesn’t really matter what [the media] write as long as you’ve got a young and beautiful piece of ass.” ~ from a 1991 interview with Esquire.
• “While @BetteMidler is an extremely unattractive woman, I refuse to say that because I always insist on being politically correct.”
• “Cher is an average talent who’s out of touch with reality,” he said in a 2012 Fox News interview. “Cher is somewhat of a loser. She’s lonely. She’s unhappy. She’s very miserable.” ~ http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/18-real-things-donald-trump-has-said-about-women_us_55d356a8e4b07addcb442023
• “Honestly, I hate to see that. Here’s a guy throwing punches, nasty as hell, screaming and everything else when we’re talking. I’d like to punch him in the face, I’ll tell ya.”
• “If I were running ‘The View,’ I’d fire Rosie [O’Donnell]. I mean, I’d look her right in that fat, ugly face of hers, I’d say, ‘Rosie, you’re fired.'”
• “We’re all a little chubby, but Rosie is just worse than most of us. But it’s not the chubbiness — Rosie is a very unattractive person.”
• “Arianna Huffington is unattractive both inside and out. I fully understand why her former husband left her for a man. He made a good decision.”
• “@mstanish53: @realDonaldTrump @megynkelly “The bimbo’s back in town. I hope not for long.” ~Twitter
One of the most difficult parts of abusive relationships is recognizing abuse when it’s at your doorstep. Too often victims say, “Oh, he’s a nice guy, he just gets mad at times—he’s under a lot of stress. And I shouldn’t have said what I did.” They end up rationalizing the abuse. This is happening with Trump as well — “Oh he’s just being entertaining. It’s refreshing to finally hear a politician be honest for a change. People shouldn’t be so sensitive.” Many people in our country today are confusing abuse with being “honest.” I can honestly believe my brother is fat, however calling him a fat cow is emotionally abusive—not “honest.”
The second difficult hurdle in abusive relationships and domestic violence is recognizing the abuse as a character problem of the abuser’s rather than the result of the victim’s actions. It appears that our country is caught up in this same dilemma. Some people are believing that mean, hurtful behavior is not only okay, but, in fact, warranted, when someone behaves in a way they don’t like. This type of thinking is why countless domestic violence victims stay with their abusers and are constantly trying to “do better,” hoping the abuser won’t abuse again. This hope is an impossible feat; verbal or physical abuse is not about the victim. It’s about the twisted internal workings of the abuser. As anyone who has crossed Trump’s path can testify, his thinking becomes warped the moment anyone challenges him. And from that moment on that person has a target on their back no matter what they do.
If you cannot recognize abuse when it is right in front of you, you will not be able to protect yourself from it. Until now, you may have thought domestic violence was in someone else’s home and was someone else’s issue and cross to bear. But abuse is now in our country’s home and far too many of us are not only failing to recognize it, we are fueling it, enticing it and cheering it on. Be careful. To those of you who are doing the cheering, the truth is, it’s only a matter of time before the bully turns on you—even if you’re the one who voted for him. There are several other Republican candidates to choose from who are not abusive. Although no candidate on either side may be the perfect one, let’s at least learn to recognize abuse when we see it, call it like it is and be bold enough to refuse to allow abuse to run our homes or our country.
Challenge: Take the time to step outside the “party” issue, the showmanship aspect of the election and even your hatred for another candidate. Listen to what’s being said with a wise ear. Will other world leaders tolerate a president who calls them an idiot? Will female world leaders stand for a man who condescendingly tells them they “have blood coming out of their whatever,” when they challenge him? This election is about voting for the LEADER of our country, not some old homie you could hang out and trash people with. Recognize abuse when you see it. Don’t cheer it on and don’t ever invite it into your home—our home.