Michael J. Salamon

Power, Rape and the Race for President

Powerful men have powerful appetites. This is not a new observation. Rock stars have their Mediterranean and Caribbean villas and their groupies. Presidents and prime ministers, along with their commanding influence and control, have their mistresses. And 2,000 years ago Xerxes I of Persia, more commonly known as Ahasuerus, of Megilat Esther fame, worked his way into royalty and made sure to throw unprecedented parties filled with gluttonous feasting and sexual depravity to proclaim his position of dominance and supremacy. More recently, President’s Kennedy and Clinton had their, by now, famous trysts and sexual peccadilloes. Benjamin Franklin did as well.
Pick a powerful individual, dig deep enough, and you will find a weakness that their power allows them to indulge, from collecting fast cars (or in the case of King Solomon horses and wives) to using others to get their way, to being orgiastic in their tastes.

It comes with the territory not unlike the fact that being a powerful person often means that you are also a bit of a narcissist, and narcissists feel the drive to get what they want much more so than someone who is not so self-indulgent. Powerful individuals and their debauchery has forever been part of human nature and reveling in it has always been a topic of stories, myths and even the biblical narrative. It is far easier for those less powerful to indulge in reveling albeit indirectly. And as a result, it is usually overlooked, joked about, morally instructed to avoid or more simply laughed about.
So why, just a few days before the US election, is Donald Trump’s sexual appetites and lack of respect for women suddenly a major issue? Is his behavior that far removed from that of other powerful men?

Trump’s behavior is different for one reason, and one reason only.

First a look at some of the women who chase powerful men.
There are some women who are attracted to power, fame and fortune. Think of the classic rock star groupie. Her desire, put simply, is to get close to the stardom that being with a rocker offers along with the slim hope that a rock anthem that has her name in it will be written by their idol. Being a radical fan to a rocker may be a position that is ultimately submissive but is personally construed as glorious, thus the desire to chase it. This is also true psychologically for mistresses to diplomats and powerful businessmen. These women also seek contact with and nearness to power. It is said that being a kept woman by a powerful person has its perquisites. Vicarious power is a drug that many are attracted to. For women who seek out these subservient relationships there are many powerful men willing to indulge both their own egotistical selves and use these dependent thrill seeking women. Such women make the choice to pursue these men. The women may have a pathology that allows them to believe that they are benefiting from dependence but regardless of the motivator the lifestyle works for them.

This is not the case for women who are abused by powerful men. They did not make the choice. Donald Trump, in his own words, stated that he has abused women. He grabbed their genitals and forced himself on them. What he did is called rape. In cases where other powerful men did this to women the men were subjected to criminal investigation. Trump believes he is above that. That is also the definition of being an abuser.

So are the reports of the 11 Trump accusers accurate? Is he a rapist and an abuser? It certainly sounds like he may be. Should that sort of individual be the leader of the United States?

None of this should be construed as an endorsement of either candidate for the position of president of the United States. After all, powerful women have their peccadilloes as well. In the case of Hillary Clinton, it seems to be money and the pursuit of power, along with her indulgence in lying to obtain both. Neither candidate is free of sin. It seems that those who will be voting have the unfortunate task of having to choose between two not so differing evils.

The most often heard joke on social media today:
Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are on a sinking boat. Who gets saved?


About the Author
Dr. Michael Salamon ,a fellow of the American Psychological Association, is an APA Presidential Citation Awardee for his 'transformative work in raising awareness of the prevention and treatment of childhood sexual abuse". He is the founder and director of ADC Psychological Services in New York and Netanya, the author of numerous articles, several psychological tests and books including "The Shidduch Crisis: Causes and Cures" (Urim Publications), "Every Pot Has a Cover" (University Press of America) and "Abuse in the Jewish Community: Religious and Communal Factors that Undermine the Apprehension of Offenders and the Treatment of Victims."
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