By Emma Campbell

Elm Staff Writer

On a Southwest flight from Houston to New Mexico on Oct. 21, a man was accused of groping a woman who was seated in front of him. When the man was arrested on sexual assault charges in Albuquerque he told authorities that, “the president of the United States says it’s OK to grab women by their private parts,” as reported by Time.

The unidentified woman says she was in front of the man when he reached around the back of her seat to touch her breast. She said when he touched her a second time she stood up and told him to stop. She then asked flight attendants to move her to a different seat.

Although the man had originally used the rhetoric of President Trump to defend his behavior, he later insisted that he had no recollection of assaulting the woman and he had been asleep for much of the flight. His preliminary hearing took place on Oct. 29.

For those who are blissfully unaware, in 2005 President Trump was filmed talking to Billy Bush of “Access Hollywood” on the set of “Days of Our Lives,” on which Trump was scheduled to make a cameo appearance.

During the five-minute exchange, Bush and Trump voiced an impressive amount of offensive slurs and vulgar commentary. In addition to riffing about “big phony tits” and trying to have sex with married women, Trump told Bush that as a “star…you can do anything,” including “[grabbing] ‘em by the pussy.” The transcript of the conversation was published by The New York Times.

Before Donald Trump became the president, he was a businessman and the subject of a mildly entertaining reality show. People laughed at his comical appearance and other-worldly lifestyle, which was extravagant to the point of absurdity. Trump’s ludicrous appearance hasn’t changed, but it goes without saying that his image has altered tremendously.

To those who insist that a world leader should be judged on the policies they produce rather than basic human decency: you are incorrect. One who governs over the people should be expected to understand the good in people, for it is this goodness that they are relied upon to amplify.

It is tremendously disconcerting that a sexual predator is using President Trump’s language to excuse the most reprehensible of behaviors.

It is important to acknowledge that, sometimes, bad people idolize good people. Trump supporters may argue that in this instance, this is the case. But more often than not, bad people idolize bad people.

A man who assaults a woman from behind in an environment that she is helpless to escape from is not to be pitied. Similarly, a man who speaks about using their self-proclaimed star power to grab women by their genitals is not to be granted reprieve.

The Elm

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