American President’s get elected with a history of sexual assault
Joe Biden was sworn into office as the President of the United States last week. With him, he brings different party policies, values and plans than his predecessor, but he does have one thing in common with Donald Trump: both men have been accused of sexual assault and misconduct.
Regardless of your political affiliation, people should care that our past two Commanders in Chief have also come with the title of ‘accused rapist.’ This isn’t about Democrat or Republican, this is about discussing how sexual predators have found their ways into the highest office in our country with the knowledge that they’re sexual predators being readily available.
Although I wish I didn’t have to say this, it should immediately be assumed that the women who have accused both of these men are being truthful. The New York Times found that the actual statistic for false allegations of rape, factoring in the roughly 90 percent of rapes that go unreported, is only 0.5 percent.
I must mention this because, despite the MeToo movement and a growing social consensus that sexual abusers should be held accountable, many people still feel obligated to defend these men against allegations and delegitimize the accusations made against them. Whether it’s cognitive dissonance or just plain old denial, people seem to think their idols and politicians are incapable of fault.
However, the fault has been well documented. Both Trump and Biden have entire Wikipedia pages devoted to the sexual misconduct allegations made against them.
Beginning with Trump, Business Insider reported that he has been accused by at least 25 women since the 1970s of either rape, assault or harassment. If these numerous allegations weren’t believable enough, Trump’s reputation still managed to stay intact with those who supported him despite his admittance to this type of behavior.
Most remember the recording released by the Washington Post where Trump bragged about being able to do anything to women, about being able to kiss them, or, as he put so delicately, “grab ‘em by the pussy.”
It would be a wonder if Trump managed to keep his job as a mid-level manager at a small company after saying this, let alone still be elected as President after his objectification of women was so widely shared.
But this was hardly all. Huffington Post found that Trump had been accused of going into the dressing rooms at the Miss USA and Miss Teen USA pageants in 1997, 2000, 2001 and 2006 to watch the contestants undress. And in an interview with Howard Stern in 2005 he admitted he could get away with things like this because he owned the beauty pageants.
We’re not just talking about a sexual predator, but a vocal and arrogant predator who feels secure enough in his power that he has confidence his misconduct will go unchecked.
In the 2019 book “All the President’s Women: Donald Trump and the Making of a Predator,” another 43 additional allegations of sexual misconduct were made against Trump. If you’re wondering how so many women could make allegations and none of them have resulted in legal action, well several of them did, but for the most part, there is such an unequal balance of power as to make coming forward an impossible battle.
Trump has stated his impenetrability, and in some ways, he’s not wrong. Any woman who wants to take Trump to court has to have serious financial resources at hand. Not to mention an unbelievably strong character, as those who have accused Trump have had their lives threatened or ruined because they had the courage to name their attacker.
Again, I don’t want to focus too much on whether or not these women were attacked, because they were. More, I just think we should all marvel at the fact that a rapist whose wrongdoings have been so publicly documented can still get to be President because that isn’t a dealbreaker for the American people.
For proof, look no further than our current President. The Washington Post reported that Joe Biden was accused by Tara Reade, a former staff member of Biden’s, of sexually assaulting her in Washington D.C. in 1993.
During Biden’s presidential campaign several other women came forward to say that Biden had touched them or acted toward them in a way they considered inappropriate or that made them uncomfortable. Unlike Trump, Biden did not refute the claims of being close with these women, merely he said he would try to give people more space in the future.
Anyone who has grown up in this country has been raised to respect the title of the presidency. We know that the president is meant to be a symbol of democracy, freedom and liberty. However, the act of taking away another person’s bodily autonomy is the antithesis of freedom.
When we elect men with histories of hurting, abusing and harassing women, we tell women and girls all over the country that their voices and rights aren’t as worthwhile. Not to mention what we tell to survivors about what their pain is worth.
It would be bad enough if we just elected these men, but we don’t. We make heroes out of them, we tell our children to model and look up to them, we idolize them to the point of making them God-like.
In this past election, the American voters were really given the choice between two sexual predators. Sure, there were third-party candidates, but we all know better than to expect them to be elected. This means survivors of sexual assault weren’t given the choice not to elect someone who had hurt women in the way they had been hurt.
In the future, we have to make sure the weight of sexual assault is fully felt, especially in who we choose to run this country. There are other candidates, individuals who aren’t sexual predators, and we have to consider why they are not the ones getting elected. If a President is meant to reflect the American people, what does it say about America when our president is an accused rapist?