The Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) seems to think they have dodged a bullet by disinviting Milo Yiannopoulos following the revelation that he publicly advocated for the statutory rape of young boys, but the conference still features a prominent speaker with a history of sexualizing children: Donald Trump.
Many people on social media have observed, with horror, that the organizers of the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) have set the lowest bar possible for harmful speech by uninviting speaker Milo Yiannopoulos over his comments endorsing adult sexual relations with children.
As it turns out, though, their highest-profile speaker does not entirely clear that bar, either.
Donald Trump's treatment of adult women was loudly and painfully litigated during the election, and obviously, his enthusiasm for sexual assault had little effect on Republicans' attitudes toward him. But now that the line is being drawn at children, it is important to remind those conservatives of Trump's history of sexualizing children.
During the presidential campaign, video surfaced of Trump speaking to a little girl who was getting on an escalator, and this is where his mind went:
TRUMP: Thursday night. Are you going up the escalator?
YOUNG GIRL: Yeah.
TRUMP: I am going to be dating her in 10 years. Can you believe it?
That girl was reportedly 10 years old, and it was not the first time Trump made this kind of joke. That same year, Trump came across some 14 year-olds in a youth choir, and his thoughts naturally turned to his sexual prospects:
Donald Trump turned up Monday for a carol sing by a youth choir outside Manhattan's Plaza Hotel. He asked two of the girls how old they were. After they replied they were 14, Trump said, "Wow! Just think - in a couple of years I'll be dating you."
And in a stomach-turning clip, Trump once commented on the body of his own infant daughter, Tiffany:
LEACH: Donald, what does Tiffany have of yours and what does Tiffany have of Marla's?
TRUMP: Well, I think that she's got a lot of Marla, and she's a really beautiful baby. She's got Marla's legs. We don't know whether or not she's got this part yet [gestures to indicate breasts], but time will tell.
During the presidential campaign, it was revealed that Trump walked in on underage Miss Teen USA contestants while they were changing clothes — some as young as 15 years old. And later in the campaign, a woman refiled a lawsuit against Trump accusing him of raping her when she was 13 years old, then withdrew the suit citing threats on her life.
Trump managed to get elected despite all of this, and despite his history of misogyny and admitted sexual assault — a sobering indication that conservatism is hopelessly morally lost.