Local political figures continue to express themselves on the roiled political situation stemming from accusations of lewd and improper sexual behavior toward women by Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump.
In an interview with WATN, Channel 24, that was recorded Thursday for broadcast Sunday, 9th District congressman Steve Cohen, a Democrat, expressed concern about possible fallout from the situation
affecting both the Democratic presidential nominee, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and the public at large.
“I can see violence,” said Cohen. “I can see violence directed at Secretary Clinton…After the election, I expect to see him [Trump], with Breitbart [News] and Roger Ailes put together a right-wing reactionary, sexist network like you’ve ever seen in the country and try to make bucks off of it.”
Ailes, the former head of Fox News, was recently deposed from that position after enduring his own storm of accusations of predatory behavior toward women. But Cohen said much of the public continues to act on right-wing propaganda disseminated on Ailes’ former network. “Some people never get away from Fox,” he said. “That’s where they get all their information from.”
Cohen took note of Republican Governor Bill Haslam’s action in publicly dissociating himself from Trump but was skeptical about the Governor’s motives. “Haslam has an agenda,” he said. “He wants to be President or Vice President or Senator. He’s looking beyond this election. He sees Trump being looked at as a figure of derision, and he wants to be on the right side of history.,,,,He has his purposes.”
State Senator Mark Norris, a Republican who is his party’s majority leader in the Senate, looked for parallels to Trump’s attitude among Democrats but was clearly troubled by the accusations against Trump and their possible effect on Republican political fortunes.
"I am reminded of another President, with impeccable Christian credentials, some 40 years ago, being interviewed in a soft-porn magazine, Playboy
, confessing that he had ‘lust in his heart.’ That was Jimmy Carter,” Norris said. “Now, it turns out that Trump has lust on his lips. It's disconcerting and an embarrassment, getting a lot of play, by
rights, and it's getting in the way of all that Wikileaks information that Julian Assange is working so hard to get out that otherwise could be so damaging to Hillary. I continue to support the [GOP] ticket, and that includes Trump. I acknowledge that it's a predicament."
Another Republican, Shelby County Commissioner Terry Roland, who is Trump’s West Tennessee campaign chairman, blamed the media for over-emphasizing the case against Trump but found a silver lining.
As he put it: “I have no problem with the mainstream media reporting Trump, but they’re not doing anything with Hillary. She takes all this money from Saudi Arabia, and they’re worse on women than Trump is. I’m still loyal. His character is nowhere near as bad as her character is, with Benghazi and the emails, for example. Heck, she had to take a hammer to her phones! In the long run, all these one-sided disclosures will expose the mainstream media for what they are, and this will help Trump’s campaign."