Our Memories Are Long, Our Resolve Unshakable
Reprinted with permission from Creators.
It was only a matter of time.
So many of us women, so many men who love us — we knew this was coming.
We knew it when Donald Trump praised Dr. Christine Blasey Ford as “a very fine woman … very fine woman.” We knew it when he called her Senate testimony “very compelling.” She had described how his Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh, once sexually assaulted her.
We knew the shaky pretense of Trump’s praise could not hold.
And there he was, strutting onstage at Tuesday’s campaign rally in Southaven, Mississippi, mere hours after The New York Times blasted out the results of its mammoth investigation:
“The president has long sold himself as a self-made billionaire, but … he received at least $413 million in today’s dollars from his father’s real estate empire, much of it through tax dodges in the 1990s.”
Somebody would pay for this. He was full of rage, again, and women are one of his favorite targets. Even those women who stand behind him when he’s onstage and wave their signs as evidence of their fealty — they mean nothing to him.
So he set his sights on Dr. Christine Blasey Ford.
“Thirty-six years ago this happened,” he brayed, his face flushed and smug as he mocked her, offering a Trumpified version of her testimony, her voice.
“‘I had one beer,'” he said, jabbing his finger into the air. “Right? ‘I had one beer.’
“Well, do you think it was—
“‘Nope. It was one beer.’
“Oh, good. How did you get home? ‘I don’t remember.’ How’d you get there? ‘I don’t remember.’ Where is the place? ‘I don’t remember.’ How many years ago was it? ‘I don’t know.’ ‘I don’t know.’ ‘I don’t know.’ ‘I don’t know.'”
The men and women behind him cackled — quite the visual, that — and the crowd roared as he continued mocking this woman who is alleging sexual assault.
“What neighborhood was it in? ‘I don’t know.’ Where’s the house? ‘I don’t know.’ Upstairs, downstairs, where was it? ‘I don’t know.'”
“‘But I had one beer,'” Trump bellowed. “‘That’s the only thing I remember.'”
The crowd howled with laughter.
Last week’s exchange between Sen. Patrick Leahy and Dr. Ford at the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing:
Leahy: “What is the strongest memory you have, the strongest memory of the incident, something that you cannot forget?”
Ford: “Indelible in the hippocampus is the laughter.” Her voice trembled. “The uproarious laughter between the two (Kavanaugh and his friend) and their having fun at my expense.”
Leahy: “You’ve never forgotten that laughter. You’ve never forgotten them laughing at you.”
Ford: “They were laughing with each other.”
Leahy: “And you were the object of the laughter?”
Ford: “I was underneath one of them while the two laughed — two friends having a really good time with one another.”
On Tuesday night, the crowd cackled and guffawed as the president of the United States — a man with more than a dozen female accusers claiming various forms of unwanted sexual advances — mocked her.
“A vicious, vile and soulless attack on Dr. Christine Blasey Ford,” her lawyer, Michael Bromwich, tweeted. “Is it any wonder that she was terrified to come forward, and that other sexual assault survivors are as well? She is a remarkable profile in courage. He is a profile in cowardice.”
Oh, wait. We are experiencing “a wave of unbridled anger and anxiety from many Republican men,” The Washington Post reports, “who say they are in danger of being swept up by false accusers who are biased against them.”
This, after Kavanaugh followed Ford’s measured testimony by erupting into a 45-minute partisan screed fueled by hostility, paranoia and rage.
Millions of women are not fooled. These men screeching like neutered roosters, they think they are unique in their animosity and privilege, in their worn-out pride. We have known men like this all our lives. They are as common as mud after a hard rain.
Our memories are long, our resolve unshakable.
We will endure.
We will prevail.
And we will vote.
Connie Schultz is a Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist and professional in residence at Kent State University’s school of journalism. She is the author of two books, including “…and His Lovely Wife,” which chronicled the successful race of her husband, Sherrod Brown, for the U.S. Senate. To find out more about Connie Schultz (firstname.lastname@example.org) and read her past columns, please visit the Creators Syndicate webpage at www.creators.com.