A popular refrain among the left is that Donald Trump admitted that he sexually assaulted women. Hillary Clinton regularly refers to the President’s conversation with Billy Bush, when he was heard boasting about his sexual exploits with women, as the proof that Trump assaulted women. Mrs. Clinton casually makes these remarks in interviews, and in talks that she gives in her never ending attempt to stay relevant on the national stage after her stunning defeat at the hands of Donald Trump during the last Presidential election. Media outlets and personalities have also frequently discussed the President’s supposed admission of sexual assault. Recently, Al Franken in his resignation statement mentioned the irony of his departure from the Senate, while the President; a man who admitted to committing sexual assault, was voted into the highest office in the land, and continues to enjoy wide support among his supporters.
It is vital to state that this piece is not a defense of President Trump’s statement in the infamous recording of the conversation between himself and Billy Bush. This is simply addressing whether or not what he said was a confession of sexual assault. No doubt haters of the President will tell you that no further discussion is needed on the issue. The recording says it all! It is his voice that everyone heard on the recording, he apologized for his statements, and that makes him culpable of sexual assault. On the other end of the spectrum, the President’s supporters will say that he was simply engaging in the lewd kind of braggadocio and boorishness that men have always engaged in since the beginning of time. He was joking the same way that satirical articles, and comedians say outrageous things to get a laugh. Listen to the tape they say, no one can seriously listen to it and say that he was admitting that he sexually assaulted women. When an image of the conservative commentator S. E. Cupp was portrayed performing the act of fellatio on the pages of hustler magazine, though offensive, and despicable; it was considered to be fair game. Hustle Magazine could not be accused of slander neither could they be sued. The Supreme Court has ruled that a lot of what people say has to be taken in the context of how, and under what circumstances it is said in order for it to fall outside of the bounds of free speech.
After the “October surprise,” involving Trump and the recording of his conversation with Billy Bush, women have come out, and accused the President of inappropriate behavior. The President has vehemently denied all of the accusations, so those accusations are essentially “he said, she said”. The question remains though, did the President admit to sexually assaulting women? For those who contend that this was just male boorishness, which though unfit for civil discourse, and polite conversation, is typical in certain other environments, there is nothing more to add. For those who say that the President did admit to sexually assaulting women, let us take a look at the substance of what he said in the now infamous “Access Hollywood Tapes.” Without going into a verbatim recount of what the candidate did say, here is the gist of it. He talked about sexually grabbing women, he talked of the role that celebrity played in his actions, and he said that the women let him do it. If he was not joking, surely his actions can be classified as sexual assault, right? Again, this piece is not to defend Trump’s behavior or what he said, it is simply to determine if he admitted to sexual assault. Here are some questions to consider. In the world of consenting adults, is there such a thing as implied consent? Does every sexual encounter between men and women only occur after the man asks if he may touch or otherwise engage the woman sexually? If we agree that there is such a thing as implied consent, does it only occur between boyfriend and girlfriend, or within the marriage covenant? Does the age old process, and the act of sexual seduction ever occur between consenting adults without one person being a victim? On the issue of celebrity, we know that fame and fortune has an alluring attraction for many in our culture. For some people who otherwise would never get to rub shoulders with the rich and famous, sex is their gateway into these circles. Groupies have written books that give graphic details of their sexual exploits with celebrities, and they give an insider’s view into their world. In the world of celebrities and their groupies so much more than what candidate Trump said in the recording occurs between the participants. Finally candidate Trump also said that the women let him do anything because of his celebrity. So if they did indeed let him do it, that part of what he said has to be taken in the context of the entire statement which essentially said that he grabs the women and they let him do it because of his celebrity. People have to ask how difficult it is to imagine that this behavior takes place among likeminded people in a promiscuous world where sex has been relegated in many circles to a purely animalistic act of pleasure devoid of any emotional attachment.
In the end, Trump did say what everyone heard him say. There is no denying that, but people have to be honest about whether or not what he said was an admission of sexual assault, a crude joke or simply boasting about what happens between consenting adults in certain situations where implied consent is given. There is nothing in the statement itself that is worth defending, but addressing the contention that the President confessed to sexually assaulting women is worth an honest discussion.