By Donna Brazile,
A CNN contributor and a Democratic strategist, is vice chairwoman for civic engagement and voter participation at the Democratic National Committee. A nationally syndicated columnist, she is an adjunct professor at Georgetown University and author of “Cooking with Grease: Stirring the Pots in America.” The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.
(CNN)-Donald Trump has a problem with women, and I don’t mean just his obvious and well-earned problem attracting women voters. He appears to have a problem treating any and all women with even a modicum of respect. This reality stands out even when talking about a man who routinely shows no respect for racial, ethnic or religious minorities, the handicapped, veterans or virtually any other group you want to name.
But while Trump manages to offend just about every group, his comments about women are particularly virulent and revealing.
On the Monday evening before Christmas, Trump referred to Hillary Clinton using a crudity that I won’t repeat. I could — it wasn’t one of the classic four-letter words. But it’s demeaning to even have to refer to it. (If you don’t know and you’re curious, just Google “Donald Trump” and “degrading.”) The use of the term wasn’t degrading just to Clinton, or even just to all women. It’s degrading to anyone who is compelled to repeat it in order to report the story. In the act of degrading women, Trump has degraded all of political discourse.
Perhaps even more bizarrely, Trump also went on a rant about Clinton returning a few moments late from a break at the Democratic debate, saying “I know where she went, it’s disgusting, I don’t want to talk about it. No, it’s too disgusting.” I don’t wonder at all about what Clinton was doing, but I truly do wonder what is going on in Trump’s head.
His history of offensive statements about women forms a long list. He famously mocked the physical appearance of Carly Fiorina, the only woman in the GOP race. Fiorina managed to score points at a debate when asked about Trump’s comments. She just said, “I think women all over this country heard very clearly what Mr. Trump said.”
At an earlier debate, Trump had a dust-up with Fox News’ Megyn Kelly. After the debate, he made disparaging comments implying that Kelly’s aggressive questioning was attributable to hormones. And it’s not a coincidence that the question that upset Trump was Kelly asking him about his calling women “fat pigs, dogs, slobs and disgusting animals.”