On Tuesday, GOP front-runner Donald Trump announced that he would not be participating in tonight’s Republican debate, due to his ongoing feud with Fox News moderator Megyn Kelly. Followers of the 2016 Republican presidential carnival may recall Trump’s vendetta against Megyn Kelly started at the first Republican debate in August, during which Kelly asked Trump to answer for “Call[ing] women you don’t like ‘fat pigs,’ ‘dogs,’ ‘slobs,’ and ‘disgusting animals.’” Trump did not appreciate the focus on his sexist language, and the next day implied that Kelly was impaired emotionally during the debate due to menstruation.
Upon learning that Megyn Kelly would moderate the final GOP debate before the Iowa Caucuses, Trump threw a classic Trump Twitter tantrum, and brought back a familiar attack on Kelly, referring to her as a “bimbo.” It seems evident that the particular vitriol Trump has consistently aimed at Kelly has less to do with her journalistic abilities, and more to do with the fact that she is a high profile woman who had the courage to hold him accountable for his sexist remarks.
Donald Trump’s refusal to participate in tonight’s debate due to the presence of Megyn Kelly is indicative of his dislike for women in positions of power, and is consistent with his history of misogynistic remarks. Trump’s main political attack on the one woman running for the Republican nomination consisted of denigrating remarks about her appearance, and his past is full of examples of the sexism he routinely displays against women.
While Trump’s decision to not participate in Thursday’s debate and his history of explicitly sexist remarks is unique among the 2016 GOP contenders, his sexist policy positions are sadly very consistent with much of the GOP field. From being anti-choice and anti-Planned Parenthood to his views of sexual assault in the military as a non-issue, Trump is in line with the rest of the Republican Party’s war on women. Don’t be fooled by the narrative being spun by the Trump Campaign – his decision to run away from tonight’s debate is just another example of the sexist, cowardly behavior that has come to define the Republican Party’s most likely presidential nominee.