As much as I did not want to comment on the current political climate, when a candidate takes aim at the opponent who is female and degrades her, and in fact, degrades women in general, then I must speak. Actually, I have to refrain from shouting, raging and turning into the Hulk. Throughout the debates between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, we have witnessed some clearly pathological behavior. The first debate we saw him engage in “Man-splaining” in which he would break into explaining this at a third grade level, oversimplifying his words and explanations, yet not making sense, and did much tall telling. In the second debate he was notorious for “man-terrupting,” in which he spoke over Secretary Clinton, interrupting her, cutting her off, and not allowing her to finishing a thought. The third debate, Trump’s nonverbal behavior of lurking, stalking, and trying to overtake Clinton was called traumatizing to woman by many in the press, as it resembled the behavior of a predator (be it human or animal). He also interrupted Clinton to call her a “nasty woman.” That was the last straw for me.

I had avoided watching the first debate, as watching any speech or clip of Trump made my blood boil. I was greatly turned off by his racism, misogyny, trash talking, rudeness, and arrogance. I am certain that the psychology 101 textbooks of the near future will have his photo next to the diagnosis of narcissistic personality disorder. To avoid having my blood pressure rise and feel angry for the next several hours, I chose not to watch the debate in its entirety, but watched clips and highlights of it the following day when I was in a better space to digest wat was going to inevitable make me feel sick anyway. The second debate I watched and found myself yelling at the TV but tried to control my volume and anger as to not disturb others in the household. The third debate I watched with the rest of America, and found Trump’s arguments to be weak, his plans to be recycled from the Reagan administration (in which they did not work and destroyed the American economy), and his behavior disturbing.

I have viewed Trump for a long time as having the emotional maturity of a toddler: self-absorbed, self-serving, pouty, and self-aggrandizing. He makes Gaston, the villain of Disney’s “Beauty and the beast” look like a puppy in comparison. I typically show a clip of the Gaston song from the movie to my psychology 101 class to demonstrate narcissism, but now I can show any number of clips of a real life character being a bragging, overbearing jerk. His comments on different groups of people have been beyond offensive, from Latin Americans to Muslims, immigrants and women. He is playing of fears and irrational beliefs (prejudices are irrational) to win over voters, promoting discrimination, violence, and even fascism. He has brought out the worst in America.

Much of the prejudice that was under the surface has now been brought to the surface, and is spilling out onto the floor. We can fully see the ugly face of American ignorance and intolerance. This is something that at least in some parts of the U.S. was covert, but now has become overt and even celebrated. Discrimination has been an old tradition in the United States, going back to genocide of the indigenous people and the trans-Atlantic slave trade. Even though those were things that occurred several hundred years ago, prejudice has not taken a break. Despite the leaps we have made in civil rights, GLBT rights, women’s rights, rights, rights for people with disabilities, and numerous groups of people of color, still Trump, who has bashed multiple minorities, is still receiving votes. He is still being taken seriously, stands as a candidate, and though he has incited violence at his rallies, asked Russia to hack the Democratic Party’s servers, asked his fans to murder his opposing candidate, has a history of scandals, failed marriages and lawsuits (that include cheating his workers), and is soon to go to court on charges of child rape, he is still a potential presidential candidate. I am appalled for myself and the American people that this is even an option for us. I am mortified in front of the rest of the world that such an unqualified, blatantly rude and discriminating individual can even be considered for one of the most important and sensitive positions of power in the world.

As someone who has counseling both men and women as part of their healing process from rape, sexual assault and abuse, watching and listening to the terrible rhetoric of Trump is incredibly maddening and painful. The fact that others take him seriously is absolutely vile to me, and I am breaking out in hives even as I write this. Someone who has a history of discrimination, assault and rape, poor and illegal business practices, and inciting violence and being so grossly unqualified should be quickly removed from anything related to power, politics, and resources which he can abuse, misuse, and ultimately destroy.  I doubt very much that the founding fathers of this country wanted someone who was so wholly undemocratic and creepy. He represents the worst expression of patriarchal culture. I have seen commentary and commercials of many lifetime Republicans turned off by the banter of the Donald, women being the most vocal on that note. Although there are things that I find unsettling about Hillary Clinton, she is a far more qualified and competent candidate than her opponent. All I can say is, may the best woman win.