The Washington Post

Why do Trump’s leaked statements shock us that much?

3 mins read
The Washington Post

This week the US is still buzzing with some uncovered tapes in which Donald Trump sexualizes, degrades and dehumanizes women. Okay, what else is new?

Well, now tens of prominent Republicans are withdrawing support from their nominee. This seems like good news, yet I cannot seem to shake an uneasy feeling.

Why now? Yes, the comments on the leaked tapes are some of the worst things he has said, but are they really the worst? How are these disgusting comments direr than the series of racist tweet storms, misogynistic jokes and all too public name-calling that came before them?

There are two major things that are unique this time:

1. Trump did not know he was being recorded

The problem with Trump’s comments is not that he said them. He has publicly humiliated former Miss Universe Alicia Machado in many interviews, and the Hillary Clinton campaign has made sure they every US voter has now heard them. Let’s not even talk about all the other comments about women, persons with disability and ethnic minorities that he has said on and off the campaign trail.

The real problem with these statements is that the presidential hopeful did not know he was being recorded. It is a horrific glimpse to the real Donald Trump that no one can seem to forget.

Something said on stage can be attributed to wanting to create an effect or make a point. However, Trump is not necessarily that guy in reality. Or so do the least extreme of his supporters want to believe. And they could, until now. I do not know if they will be able to forgive him.

2. He used overtly crude language

We, humans, are programmed to filter through most of the news that is being handed to us every day. In that process, so many of Trump’s statements are dismissed because their language is not crude enough to be beeped on television.

The p-word, with the beep silencing it, is so much more effective than anything else for an audience muting most of what it hears. It is like an alarm telling us that something special is happening here. And then we pay attention.

A secret revelation of the ‘real’ Donald Trump being inappropriate enough to not remain uncensored on television is the last draw for many and a perfect excuse for others.

Whether a mild supporter of the presidential nominee or an official of the GOP, wishing that you could turn back time, you are now excused if you wish to pull away from the shadow of Trump.

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