Graves Registry: Does anyone have a match?

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"You take a look, look at her, look at her words, you tell me. I don't think so." – Donald Trump's version of innocence

You will have to excuse the Republican presidential nominee for a while. He is busy arranging sticks and twigs around a stake in preparation for his forthcoming immolation as the sacrificial lamb of a rigged election. Evidently the phrase "go up in flames" has really resonated with him.

Money generated by the "Throw the First Match" contest will be donated to the Trump Foundation so Donald, Jr. can commission a self-portrait "just as big as my Dad's." There has been an extraordinary interest among the high echelon of the Republican Party to contribute to the cause.

You have to hand it to the Republican nominee, he sure can weave a colorful tapestry out of some pretty gritty fabric. Facing the biggest loss of his career looming in November, it naturally follows that he won't simply concede the fact that he didn't receive as many electoral votes as his opponent. There has to be some darker force at work. When you are the sun in your own universe, all the little planets are supposed to revolve around you.

His losing certainly doesn't have anything to do with the fact that he has waged a campaign that would inspire begrudging admiration from someone writing a textbook on inciting lynch mobs in the Old West.

It doesn't have anything to do with the fact that he has cruelly exploited desperate people whose livelihoods have been impacted by advancements in science and technology. Despite assurances to the contrary from the paid flacks of a pair of the most notorious serial polluters in history, the United States is finally waking up to the potential catastrophic ramifications to the planet of continuing to use fossil fuels as primary sources of energy.

The Republican nominee jets to economically devastated areas in Ohio and Pennsylvania to assure these hurting folks that, should he be elected, mines that have been shuttered will once again be belching out coal and everything will be just as great as it was 50 years ago. It's a calculated and particularly merciless lie, of course, but drowning people grasp at any bit of debris floating by.

It doesn't have anything to do with the fact that, if you listen closely to what the Republican nominee said during his two disastrous attempts at participating in a debate, he doesn't demonstrate a fifth grader's level of understanding about how the government actually works. He constantly berated Hillary Clinton for the fact that she has been in government for 30 years and has never managed to affect any of the changes she talks so passionately about. Is it possible that the Republican nominee isn't aware that, in a democracy, one person cannot determine the ultimate course of the nation, or is it simply the fact that he actually believes he could?

It doesn't have anything to do with the realization that his attitude towards more than half of the potential voters in America would embarrass a drunken frat boy. The Republican nominee probably thought he would travel the Clarence Thomas route if his physical assaults on women ever became a factor in the campaign. (Donald, Jr. claims that women who object to being groped shouldn't be in business at all, reinforcing the old adage about the nut and its relation to the tree.)

As of this writing, no fewer than 16 women have come forth to accuse the Republican nominee of behavior that ranges from grossly inappropriate to the kind of predatory assault that would land most men on a sexual offenders list. It is some indication of the nominee's staggering lack of judgment that he hadn't considered that there was a possibility that this might happen if he decided to run for president, but he could always insulate himself in the same delusionary fog that has protected him from admitting his lousy record as a businessman.

He offers up his accusers' looks as proof that he would never attempt to sexually assault them, as if to say a woman has to qualify for eligibility to be inducted into his sordid sorority. It is too bad that none of these women came forth with accusations at the time he humiliated or molested them. It might have spared the country a great deal of anguish.

The nominee's enablers, like Mr. Thomas' (and Mr. Cosby's) defenders, seem to think that the passage of time minimizes any culpability. When Rep. Renee Ellmers (Rep-N.C.) called the accusations just more instances of "he said, she said," Jake Tapper reminded her that it is more accurately a "he said, she said, she said, she said, she said" situation.

Ms. Ellmers didn't want to debate the question of who was telling the truth. The truth, after all, is the last thing the Republicans want to face about their nominee.

— Alden Graves is a regular Banner columnist.

The opinions expressed by columnists do not necessarily reflect the views of the Bennington Banner.


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