Debate #2: The One Who Didn’t Show Up

My stats were down yesterday on the self-declared “no political posts” hiatus. So apparently we’re all mentally in the thick of the campaign, no breather needed. Here goes.

Trump pulled what I saw as a reality TV stunt just before the debate, inviting three women who alleged they had sex with Bill Clinton in Arkansas, and one who was a 12 year old rape victim in a case where Hillary was assigned as the rapist’s public defender. In my view Trump exploited all four, who clearly still feel aggrieved and were eager to have a new moment in the national limelight. Their appearance reminded me of shows that pop up on TV in the gyms where I’ve worked out, with hosts like Montel Williams getting women to gush eagerly about how they felt when their boyfriends slept with their mothers.

The point with reality TV — or the Trump stunt — is that the moment the speakers are no longer useful, they are out the door. That’s the exploitative part. Trump hasn’t the slightest interest in the four women, other than their momentary political utility to his campaign.

What struck me is the one who wasn’t there: Monica Lewinsky. You know they tried to get her. You know the campaign had someone out shopping for a blue dress for her to wear. And she didn’t bite, chose not to allow herself to be used.

I don’t know what’s happened to Monica Lewinsky. But good for her. She didn’t allow herself to be a prop for the Trump campaign, and her absence in that sad panel speaks volumes.

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