Monday, 10 October 2016
I was shocked to hear a female taxi driver interviewed on BBC World Service excusing Donald Trump’s deplorable comments about women on the basis that “everybody does it”. Her argument was that everybody has conversations about the opposite sex in private that they would not have in their presence or in public. This is a depressing observation from one who, as a driver, is often disregarded by those in her vehicle and therefore is in a better position than most to comment on “hidden” behaviours.
Trumps comments weren’t just indiscreet, they suggested a disturbingly predatory and exploitative attitude to women. In my experience, this is not something “everybody” does – my friends and colleagues certainly don’t – but I have no doubt that it happens. The point is, we should expect our leaders to display the best attitudes and behaviours that exist in society, not the worst. Just because something is commonplace does not make it right, and the definition of integrity is doing the right thing when nobody is looking. We need leaders to behave with integrity, and Trump’s leaked conversation betrays a total lack of that quality.