Election 2020

Will Trump Be Forgiven for His 2005 'Locker Room' Comments?

Donald Trump greets supporters outside Trump Tower in New York on Oct. 8, 2016. (AP Photo/Ezra Kaplan)

I’m going to go ahead and predict that due to a deep societal motivation in the collective consciousnesses of enough people, Donald Trump will be forgiven for his remarks in 2005.

I’m not saying he’ll win, but that this race will end up a dead heat. The narrative is set to turn, yet again.

First, can we stop with analyses of the Trump phenomenon in the context of elites versus the forgotten men and women of the working and middle classes? It’s an irrefutable analysis, true, but I’ve been reading variations on this theme since I read Julius Krein’s “Traitor to His Class” in the September 17, 2015 issue of The Weekly Standard.

People were already figuring it out, but the issue devoted to Trump at WS was the moment I understood that Trump was more than just a reality show break in the dour procession of post-millennial politics. He was perceived as a threat to an elite class that right-wing nationalists (for whom Patrick Buchanan is the patron saint) have condemned as promulgating a sovereignty-busting uni-party system in America, and a New World Order.

Every pundit and commentator from every conceivable angle and political affiliation has riffed on the heartland rage against the elitist machine — the faceless, globalist, ruling class that seeks to consign quaint notions about borders and nationality to history’s dustbin. I’ve seen the Trump-as-avenger column enough already. I’ve written several myself.

The disenfranchised big middle of American society has awakened in numbers surpassing the tea party movement. Thanks to an unrelenting drumbeat provided by Rush Limbaugh and other influential conservative voices, they understand about the academics, Hollywood, the bi-coastals, the flyover crowd. Nobody of any political affiliation in working America is surprised by the left-wing media’s 2016 game plan: saturate the primaries with Trump while strategizing to annihilate him in the general.

Trump being Trump definitely provides an entertainment value lacking in the personas of most professional campaigners, but other aspects of this grueling election are rooted in political reality: The heartland is hurting. The borders are porous, and immigration laws are only being sporadically enforced. Elite disdain for the economically challenged citizenry seems baked into the future. Meanwhile, the plus-and-minus columns of Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton haven’t quite added up to a clear victory for either candidate.

The left’s mock outrage over the underwhelming video in question is as callow as Trump’s garden-variety male insensitivity. The other side (whatever that means now, or if the phrase even has any meaning anymore) has done far worse than engage in juvenile, off-color banter in a private setting. They wrote the book on salaciousness, and everybody knows it.

But that is only part of why Trump will survive, and remain a symbolic political force even if, perish the thought, Hillary Clinton wins the presidency. The narrative now turns to the giant Oprah Winfrey moment, when Trump is forgiven by enough people to keep the race tight down to the wire. I predict it’s already happening.

Thanks to thousands of segments and columns, millions of words, the reasons why Trump rose to the precipice of power are now generally understood by the very masses imperiled by the forces he has identified, forces not acting in the best interests of the United States.

Come home, Donald, all—including the stuff they have against you and are saving for strategic release in the weeks to come—is forgiven.