Trump’s unwise words likely to sink his ship

DONALD Trump has offered a deeply flawed defence of what most world leaders and even his party colleagues have variously called loathsome, disgusting and reprehensible comments about women.

The remarks from 11 years ago are not rare for him.

The Republican nominee for US president is a repeat offender who is unsuitable for the most important job in the world.

Mr Trump has disrespected so many American voters and shown such a slipshod understanding of sexual assault that he should relinquish his candidacy.

Mr Trump says his comments were "just words".

He added that the actions of former president Bill Clinton, the husband of Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, were far worse.

"Never has there been anyone in history of politics in this nation who's been so abusive to women," Mr Trump argued in the presidential debate on Monday.

But Mr Trump's attack on Mr Clinton falls short because it relies heavily on moral equivalence – that one's misdeed is diminished or justifiable because someone else's is similar or worse.

The Republican claims Hillary Clinton "attacked" her husband's accusers "viciously" and laughed at them. If that is true, then Mrs Clinton deserves strong admonition – as does Mr Trump for describing the same women in 1998 as "just a really unattractive group. I'm not just talking about physical".

When asked whether he regarded his comment in the 2005 video as describing sexual assault, he would say only that he had apologised and "I have not ever done those things".

Nonetheless Mr Trump is likely to fight on, barring a backlash against him in the post-debate opinion polls and the possible withdrawal of his vice-presidential running mate Mike Pence, who pointedly said he could not defend Mr Trump's videotaped comments.

Dozens of senior Republicans have already deserted Mr Trump.

But the party has no mechanism to strip the nomination from a live or able-bodied candidate bar a risky national committee vote to institute new rules. The fact that ballot papers are already printed and some Americans have started voting adds to the complexity.

Mr Trump’s lack of judgment is likely to deliver the presidency to the Democrats.