Will Trump really ban pornography if he becomes president?
Posted August 4, 2016
Updated August 5, 2016
Sure, Donald Trump sort of kicked a baby out of a recent rally in Virginia. But that doesn’t mean the real estate mogul isn’t watching out for families.
As The Huffington Post reported this week, the GOP presidential nominee recently signed an anti-pornography pledge that looks to help parents and policymakers crack down on online pornographic material.
The pledge, created by Enough is Enough, is called The Children’s Internet Safety Presidential Pledge. Trump’s signature requires him to speak out against child pornography and sex trafficking and “give serious consideration to appointing a presidential commission to examine the harmful public health impact of internet pornography on youth, families and the American culture,” as the group was quoted by HuffPost.
Donna Rice Hughes, CEO and president of Enough is Enough, said in a statement that she feels Trump’s decision fits his overall campaign message.
“Making the internet safer for children and families is a critical step in making America safe again,” she said, according to the statement.
Trump’s presidential opponent, Hillary Clinton, didn’t sign the pledge, since she doesn’t sign pledges of any sort. But, according to a statement released by Enough is Enough, Clinton’s campaign still supports the group’s goals to end pornography. Meanwhile, Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson’s team hasn’t responded.
“The Clinton campaign's support of the Pledge's goals is also a step in the right direction. This is a bipartisan unifying issue in which we can all check our differences at the door for the sake of the children,” said Hughes in a statement. “I remain optimistic that Secretary Clinton will reconsider signing this important pledge and that Gov. Johnson will do the same."
Still, Trump’s decision to sign an anti-pornography pledge seems a little odd for some supporters, who say they don't know why Trump and the GOP are focusing so much on pornography. Another supporter recently spoke about sexual harassment, saying that those who are sexually harassed at work should feel free to quit their jobs.
At the same time, Trump’s sexual history doesn’t support this recent decision, either. As Huffington Post reported, Trump said in a 2004 issue of Playboy, “I’ve always said, ‘If you need Viagra, you’re probably with the wrong girl.'” That edition of Playboy magazine remains prominently displayed on one of Trump’s walls.
Some have even blamed Trump’s rise to power on pornography and his acceptance of explicit material.
In addition, there have been some recent stories about Trump and pornographic material, which show this recent pledge may not fit his typical behavior. The New York Post recently posted a topless picture of his wife Melania Trump and another that showed her in an intimate pose with another woman, according to The Daily Beast. Some argue that these photos would violate an anti-porn policy that Trump would create, should he take office.
It’s for these reasons anti-pornography groups aren’t in full support of Trump’s recent pledge, either, since he embraces indecent online material, according to U.S. News and World Report.
Even those still in the pornography business don’t see Trump following through on his words.
Steven Hirsch, founder and co-chairman of Vivid Entertainment, a large pornography company, told U.S. News that he doesn’t expect Trump to keep to his promise.
"I'm not too worried that the ultimate misogynist Donald Trump would enforce the obscenity laws, as I'm quite sure he has no idea what they are," he said. "One would think Mr. Trump's time would be spent on building fake walls and deporting immigrants.”
Regardless of what Trump does or doesn’t do about sexually explicit material, it doesn’t change that pornography has become something of a public health crisis in recent years, according to The American Spectator. It can negatively impact children and the way American society views sexual culture.
Several groups have started programs to combat these problems. For example, Focus on the Family created the “Pure Intimacy” program, which looks to encourage couples to avoid sexual addiction. Meanwhile, New Life Ministries created the “Every Man’s Battle” workshop, which runs three days and helps men who struggle with pornography.
Herb Scribner is a writer for Deseret Digital Media.