In the face of the borderline lewd comments made in the back and forth of the presidential debates, we should not aim to censor what the candidates can potentially say, as we then accept these unacceptable comments as the new norm. Donald Trump is unlike most, or any, Presidential candidates that have come before him. He holds no political experience, is a larger-than-life celebrity and will employ unconventional tactics to win. We see the following in his business pursuits: various bankruptcies, unpaid work and the hypocritical amount of outsourcing. Donald Trump has also proven himself to be an aggressive candidate that will attack others on anything he sees fit in the political arena. Trump completely disregards others in his various endeavors. This disregard for others manifests itself in different ways, but is most often found in the characterization of others in a rude, and often untrue, manner. He then applies this characterization fiercely to opponents, and others of whom he disapproves. Whether calling reporter Megyn Kelly various sexist names throughout the primary campaign, stereotyping and demeaning a former Miss Universe winner or spinning an odd tale about fellow candidate Ted Cruz’s father, Donald Trump uses his platform and fame to promote these often sexist and racist remarks. It would be untrue to his form to somehow conceal or disregard these behaviors in the public arena.
We hear these vocal attacks across many social media platforms. A couple of days cannot pass without seeing Trump’s name on the Internet. Although voters know his behavior patterns, we expect them to cease as the election nears. This naive sentiment stems from the overall disbelief that we still have in Donald Trump. We did not expect him to get nearly as far as he has gotten. Now that he is the Republican candidate for president, we expect him to abandon the tactics that he has won by so far. Censoring Trump to give him the appearance of a normal candidate would be a farce, and those committed to removing his behaviors and ideals from public view should display and then refute them in their entirety. Trump’s ideals of “making America great again” include exclusion and hate speech against those he views as “others.” While we might not want our children to be exposed to such hate speech, we need to explain to them why such language is wrong and how we can respectfully speak to one another.
Donald Trump’s recently released conversation between himself and newscaster Billy Bush discussing Trump’s pursuits of women before the debate escalated these damaging tactics to new heights. Trump’s descriptions of his behaviors towards women described sexual assault. When initially questioned by the moderators on the comments he made and whether he was aware of the concept of consent, he completely dismissed them, preferring to talk about ISIS and securing America’s borders. The questions posed to Trump by the moderators were legitimate and appropriate, although mature in nature. We should not cover up his behavior by not discussing it in an attempt to make a typically formal program more family-friendly. If we take such measures, we give Donald Trump the power to do as he pleases, and his behaviors may never be discussed openly in such an important forum. We also entertain the idea that this behavior is commonplace and expected, and that we should take measures to suppress it. However, this behavior should not be commonplace and we should fight it in its true form until it is eradicated. Hiding speech is simply not fighting it. Covering Trump on-screen doesn’t deal with those who support his ideals.
Trump’s actions can be used as a teaching tool for young viewers. They are probably confused about what the tape meant as well as the initial questions towards Trump at the beginning of the debate. Parents and other figures should explain the tape’s message is about disrespecting women and their bodies, and that women should not be discussed in this way. Using Trump’s failures, we should teach our children to do the opposite. Concealing this aspect of the Presidential Debate is concealing a very important part of this election. Donald Trump could easily be called a sexist and the fact that his opponent is a strong woman is no coincidence. Sexism is going to be a part of the election, along with the fact that Clinton is the first female candidate of a major party. Simply teaching our children that a woman can have the same opportunities as a man and that remarks made towards Hillary Clinton are sexist is denying children the important lesson of some of the bigger, more complex issues that we are trying to combat.