Kumbuka the gorilla may have been recaptured – but Donald Trump is still on the loose

It works in Trump’s favour that the Presidential debate is now focussing – not on real issues – but on whether he routinely grabbed women and imposed himself on them without their consent

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The Independent Online

A 29-stone male mammal caused mayhem this week when he tried to escape his “home” – armed police and the emergency services had to be called to restore order. The angry silverback was eventually cornered, tranquillised with a dart before being returned to his family, later rewarded with “treats”, including chocolate cake.

Sadly, the silverback known as Donald Trump remains at large, free to roam from state to state across the USA, angrily denouncing allegations that he sexually assaulted dozens of women over many decades as “pure fiction and outright lies”. We lock up gorillas in zoos, claiming it will help to protect their species – entombing them in unnatural environments so we can gaze enthralled at their mood swings and tantrums, safely protected by reinforced glass. There can be no justification for keeping poor Kumbuka in captivity at the London Zoo, other than to make use of his sperm to reproduce.

His two offspring are now suffering the same fate as their dad, making a cute “family” for tourists to gawp at inside their purpose built Gorilla Kingdom, a name which shamelessly describes what’s on offer – the Disney-fication of noble wild animals. I’d free Kumbuka in an instant if I could and let him live in a safe zone somewhere in the wild, but there’s every argument for placing retro-mammals like Donald Trump behind reinforced glass, because he represents a species that is increasingly rare.

It would be good to be reminded of how men used to be, back in the 1950s, when women wore aprons to put supper on the table (my own dad insisted on this) every night promptly at 6pm. Donald Trump could learn a thing or two from Kumbuka, who is on a strict diet to maintain a healthy weight and who doesn’t have the chance to grope anything other than his mate and a bunch of bananas.

It works in Donald Trump’s favour that the Presidential debate is now focussing – not on real issues like health care, unemployment, the price of food or taxation – but on whether he routinely grabbed women and imposed himself on them without their consent. He can continue to talk platitudes, faux-mission statements that fit on placards but have no content. There are thousands of female Trump supporters who continue to stand by their man, unfazed by the news that the human octopus with funny hair and a horribly red face has a long track record of looking at women as potential shags and nothing more. These women – mostly elderly – who maybe feel ignored and side lined socially, reckon that Trump is “authentic”. Yes, I agree – he is authentic – he really believes that there is nothing wrong with his behaviour, that it’s just part of how life is conducted if you are in the public eye. If you are a businessman or a male politician or famous actor, you will have a power to dominate the people around you. (Famous women do it too: who can dispute that Madonna and co routinely pick men with less money and power to have sex with). Bill Clinton did it and now Donald Trump can’t understand why we are disgusted by it.

The world has moved on – but there are plenty of these silverbacks still roaming free.

Donald Trump Jr: If women can't handle basic workplace harassment teach kindergarten

In my job on television, I encounter them – the famous men you’ve never met before, who want to give you a big hug or a kiss on camera to show the people at home what good pals you are. It makes me very uncomfortable. I don’t like this contact with people I don’t regard as close friends, yet to refuse is seen as churlish. I think it is manipulative, and if that makes me a f***ed-up misery, I couldn’t care less. Women are worth more – we deserve total respect.

Michele Obama sounded close to tears when she spoke at a rally for Hillary earlier this week. Referring to Trump’s careless comment that his fame “allowed him to do anything to women”, she said she was “shaken to the core” and that his words were “shocking and demeaning”.

Hillary Clinton stood by while her husband reportedly imposed himself on plenty of women – and if those allegations are true, she chose to ignore equally repugnant behaviour.

Voters in the USA have a grim choice ahead, and the best candidate they could have had – Michelle Obama – is not running. Let’s hope she steps up to the challenge next time around. 

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