So when I started this blog, I had in my head some “rules”. Among them were don’t be preachy, because God knows I am no expert on ANYTHING, and don’t go political, because, well, yeah.. #obvious.
And yet, here I am, on October 13th, dipping my toe into a topic that might potentially be perceived as violating those rules.
Enter the taped conversation between Donald Trump and Billy Bush on the Access Hollywood bus 11 years ago. And please forgive me, but I have something to say; better said, I have a point I’d like to add to the conversation.
But before I do, I have to state all the necessary disclaimers. This is not a political post. I am an equal opportunity loather of our presidential candidates. I understand there are strong views in support of or against each candidate, but the HOPEspot is not the place for those feelings or opinions. To be clear, the following observations/ thoughts neither endorse nor support any candidate.
Here I go… There has been much discussion for the past six days about the recorded conversation between Donald Trump and Billy Bush on the Access Hollywood bus 11 years ago. Saturday Night Live has rightfully had a field day. So many opinions and feelings have been shared, tweeted, and preached.
I care not to weigh in on Mr. Trump’s comments. Too many other media outlets have that more than well covered. The only thing I might add (because you know I can’t resist) is: what locker room is the Donald referencing? To look at his physique and his hair, I am not at all perceiving him as an “athlete” going to a “locker room” where these conversations could be taking place.
Nevertheless, I am going to admit (sorry, not sorry) I wasn’t “shaken to the core” as Michelle Obama was. As a waitress in a men’s golf grill, I’ve heard stuff. I’m not excusing or endorsing anything. My point is different entirely.
Many people are taking to any form of media they can find to beseech men to abstain from this sort of talk. Everyone with a conscious, anxious to show their moral responsibility on line, are screaming out to young men that “rape talk” has to be stopped. And they are right.
I am the mother of two boys. I want to raise them well. I can tell already their hearts are in the right place. But I want to seize this teachable moment to drive this particular message home: don’t be Billy Bush.
You see, many people will have various opinions of Mr. Trump’s statements, its appropriateness and its relevance. His words will be weighed against Hillary Clinton’s sins and no one will win. It has been hard enough to raise and guide intelligent and observant young boys in this election season and explain all of the vitriol and yet continue to cheer that we live in the best country in the world. This isn’t however, our best hour.
Billy Bush is the interviewer, bringing Mr. Trump to the event where he is so anxious to grope and be inappropriate. If you listen to the tape in its entirety, which I’ve barely had the stomach to do, Mr. Bush doesn’t ACTUALLY say anything profane. He just plays along, doesn’t object, and laughs supportively.
Playing along…. does anyone else remember their mother saying, “if Joe Dokes jumped off a bridge would you?” Or, “trouble finds company, ma’am?”
By playing along, Billy Bush has lost his job and possibly killed his career. He has offended female co workers he called friends and he has probably “disappointed” his wife and daughters, who he just moved to NYC from LA for his promotion with NBC. Mr. Donald Trump still, even with this last scandal, has a good shot to be president, but Billy Bush who “went along with it” is jobless and shamed.
As I said from the beginning, I am not going to comment on Mr. Trump’s statements. Your feelings are up to you. The events on the Access Hollywood bus (holy God has that become the parenting “benchmark”) inspire me to make sure that neither Ryan nor Sean be the “Billy Bush” because he is the biggest loser in this whole fiasco and his position is probably the easiest trap in which one can fall.
And if you readers will let me, I will take this one step further. Here is where we are: Trump was gross. Billy shouldn’t have just went along. I need to teach my sons to not be Billy.
Not being Billy is bigger, however, than the Access Hollywood bus.Going along or not speaking up can be a grievous sin. Not being Billy means inviting nerds to your lunch table. Not being Billy means saying I don’t agree with your viewpoint and I am ok saying that respectfully. Not being Billy means people like nurses standing up to authorities like doctors who are not working in the best needs of the helpless. Not being Billy means looking at your life and saying I can’t do this today, but I still support this cause. Not being Billy means not accepting CRAP just to keep the “bus moving” and having the self confidence and power to say “too far. Too much. Not here. Not with me.”
Not being Billy even goes so far as to reach out to someone depressed or struggling. To say, “I love you” even when it feels awkward.
RIP Billy Bush. You are a sad but necessary casualty in an ongoing opinion war. Thank you for showing us all the danger of going along to get along.