Mona Charen talks about the Donald Trump character issue: it’s not just the infidelity, it’s the cruelty, she says, pointing to a perhaps widening gender gap Trump faces:
I first became aware of Donald Trump when he chose to make cheating on his first wife front-page news. It was the early ’90s. Donald and Ivana Trump broke up over the course of months. Not that divorce is shocking, mind you; among the glitterati marriage seems more unusual. Nor is infidelity exactly novel. But it requires a particular breed of lowlife to advertise the sexual superiority of one’s mistress over the mother of one’s children. That was Trump’s style.
He leaked stories to the New York tabloids about Ivana’s breast implants — they didn’t feel right. Marla Maples, by contrast, suited him better. She, proving her suitability for the man she was eager to steal from his family, told the papers that her encounters with the mogul were “the best sex I’ve ever had.” It wasn’t just Donald Trump’s betrayal that caught my eye, nor just the tawdriness: It was the cruelty.
That’s the part of the Trump rise that is quite shocking. Most politicians, for as long as I can remember, have been at considerable pains to present themselves as nicer, nobler and more empathetic than they really are. Since many of them (not all) are selfish egotists, this requires some skill. Now comes Trump unblushingly parading his viciousness — by, for example, mocking a handicapped man, toying with white supremacy or encouraging political violence — and still gaining the loyalty of a plurality of Republicans.
But voters are venturing way out on a plank with Trump — and I’m not speaking here of the fact that he is overwhelmingly likely to lose to Hillary Clinton if he’s the Republican nominee. No, I’m referring to the copious evidence that if he won, he could cause catastrophic damage to the country.
Donald Trump is not emotionally healthy. No normal man sits up late at night tweeting dozens of insults about Megyn Kelly, or skips a key debate because he’s nursing a grudge against her for asking perfectly ordinary questions, or continues to obsess about her weeks and months after the fact.
Maggie Gallagher is a senior fellow at the American Principles Project and can be followed on Twitter @MaggieGallaghe.