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Why Was the October Surprise Surprising?

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Courtesy of andersonmobileestate.com

Courtesy of andersonmobileestate.com

Courtesy of andersonmobileestate.com

Rachel Vigil, Editor-in-Chief

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By Rachel Vigil

On the 7th of October, a recording of Donald Trump making lewd comments about women in 2005 was released by The Washington Post.

Almost immediately, the support of the Republican party for their nominee disappeared. It was replaced with widespread condemnation of his actions. While I, an unabashed Hillary supporter, was thrilled at the way Trump’s candidacy seemed to fall apart, it was honestly surprising.

When I listened to the audio from that fateful bus ride with Billy Bush, I was definitely disgusted. However, I did not think it would amount to the amount of support he would lose. Sure it was offensive to women everywhere, but hadn’t Trump already made horrible and degrading statements about every group before this point? It seemed odd to me that so many people needed this recording to completely convince them to speak out against Trump. This is a man who had already called for a ban on all Muslim immigrants, announced his campaign with a speech where he called Mexicans rapists, and said countless things degrading women on their looks, jobs, and attitudes toward him.

Not only did it take several high party officials far too long to denounce Trump, they also all had to qualify their disgust. “As the grandfather of two precious girls,” was how Jeb Bush began his rebuke of Trump’s remarks. Many of those who revoked their support for him had similar clauses in their statements about the incident. They made it seem that you had to be related to a woman, which everyone already biologically is, in order to find Trump’s statements disgusting. Shouldn’t they be disgusting to any human being? Is it impossible to have compassion for people and respect for groups that you aren’t closely related to?

Overall, such statements somehow made their chastisement Trump seem weaker. Those who have waited this long to rebuke him seemed to have no problem supporting him when he said that Megyn Kelly had, “Blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her wherever,” after the first Republican debate. He also retained his support when he called Carly Fiorina too ugly to be elected. He’s obviously disrespected women before, so why did it take this long for his supporters to fall away?

It’s a question that probably won’t be completely answerable. I do genuinely believe that those who abandoned him recently have disagreed with his statements for much longer than this and are not all overtly sexist or racist. Many of them may have felt obligated to vote for him simply because they are Republicans, or because they don’t want Hillary to come into office. Therein lies the problem. If we’ve reached the point in our political system where people feel obligated to vote for their nominee despite their complete disagreements over policy and personality, then we have to re-evaluate our entire process.

The point of our elections is to nominate who we think the best possible leaders for our country are, not to simply cast our vote out of a misplaced sense of obligation to parties that often have failed the country. I’m happy that so many people have stepped off the Trump bandwagon, but I’m not happy that they may not have if it wasn’t for one video that just reaffirmed what the entire nation already knew to be true about Trump.

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Why Was the October Surprise Surprising?