The Corner

Politics & Policy

Character Is Destiny

If you’re shocked that Donald Trump was capable of being this much of a pig, you let yourself be deluded. If you’re surprised that the Clinton campaign — or some allied party — found something like this, you willfully chose to live in a fantasyland. If you think there isn’t more of this stuff waiting, you’re doubling down on your delusions and fantasies.

The grab them by the p***y video is the perfect October surprise two days before the debate, when early voting is really coming online, and when Trump’s Achilles’ heel is his poor standing with moderate suburban college-educated women. That is not a coincidence.

I can’t imagine what the Clinton campaign would be unloading if Trump were five points ahead.

Donald Trump is a fundamentally dishonorable and dishonest person — and has been his whole adult life. The evidence has been in front of those willing to see it all along. And there’s more to find. And there’s more in the Clinton stockpile.

Character is destiny. The man in the video is Donald Trump. Sure, it’s bawdy Trump. It’s “locker room Trump.” And I’m no prude about dirty talk in private. But that isn’t all that’s going on. This isn’t just bad language or objectifying women with your buddies. It’s a married man who is bragging about trying to bed a married woman. It’s an insecure, morally ugly man-child who thinks boasting about how he can get away with groping women “because you’re a star” impresses people. He’s a grotesque — as a businessman and a man, full stop.

If you can see that, but still think Hillary Clinton would be worse. Fine. Just be prepared for an endless stream of more embarrassments in your name. And, for my friends in the media and in politics, if you minimize, dismiss, or celebrate his grotesqueness out of partisan zeal, just keep in mind that some people, including your children, might think you mean it. Or, they might know you don’t mean it. Which means they now know you lie for a living.

And if you can’t see what a hot mess Donald Trump is yet, I doubt you ever will and I wonder what fresh Hell will allow the realization to penetrate your consciousness. Either way, this video is not an aberration. It is not a special circumstance. It’s him. There’s no pivot in him. There’s no “presidential” switch to flip. He’s Donald Trump all the way down. And he will humiliate and debase his defenders so long as they feel the need to defend this indefensible man.

Hamilton Lives.

Jonah Goldberg, a senior editor of National Review and the author of Suicide of the West, holds the Asness Chair in Applied Liberty at the American Enterprise Institute.

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