Pussycat, Pussycat, you’re delicious And if my wishes Can all come true I’ll soon be kissing your sweet little pussycat lips! – Donald Trump (kind of) What’s new, Pussycat? (Yuk.) Whoa, whoa! Really! Whoa! Stop this debauchery train! Delete that video! Make us forget! Shelter our kids from the degradation! Let us go back in time to a happier, purer place. Whoa, pussycat – can’t we just make all this debasement of our national election stop? Sadly, I suspect once this pussycat is out of the bottle there’s no putting pussycats, or their grubby analogs, back in. There’s a whole new pantheon of debasement, ripened up and rancid for discourse in a now ever-more-degraded America. Odd, (or not so much anymore), that the now infamous Trump “pussycat tape” would have gotten just about any American Fortune 500 CEO summarily fired, had such been disclosed. And odd, or not so much anymore, that the Republican candidate for the land’s highest office gets to skate on this and so much more – with even more to come. So what have we become? For Trump, all this “pussycat” talk is easily explained away like some guilty high schooler as “locker room talk.” Most visitors to LA Fitness or our TPC will tell you that’s not common talk around these parts. I can hardly imagine Steve Knight speaking such a thing. Down the drain Steve would go, should such ever leak out to our press. But not so with huckster showman Trump. That we tolerate a WWF promoter, a beauty contest mogul (that all makes sense now, doesn’t it?), a four-time bankrupt businessman, an admitted 20-year-on income tax dodger, a well-demonstrated bigot, and now casual sexual-assault promoter and a debaser of nearly all that is good – all that indicates how we, ourselves, have become simple and debased. Oh, how we have fallen from admiring such better men as McCain and Romney. These two real men must be puking with indignation at the sight – while 39 percent of the country remains blithely and adoringly blind. Nothing will divert those increasingly whipped-up and manipulated from their adoration. No loathsome, offensive behavior will restrain their enthusiasm for the Deplorable One. Trump has proven himself correct when he declared, “I could shoot someone in Times Square and I wouldn’t lose a vote.” What is this, this unconditional commitment of voters to Trump? This is both key and proof to a downward spiral of democracy in America. Years back in the early 1970s, the San Fernando Valley was transitional with huge undercurrents below a broad post-war working-class Mecca. Sherman Way was a long drag going for miles from east to west, from poor to rich. Mid-way in what was becoming a seedier part of Reseda popped up the XXX Pussycat Theatre. Long before DVDs, even before VHS tapes, the Pussycat Theatre got dropped on our previously nominally innocent Mecca, and the boulevard would never be quite the same. Amidst stoic mom-and-pop shops was injected a seedy storefront movie house where the trench coat set snuck in and out, 24/7, searching for self-gratification, despite the public disdain of a strong majority. The Pussycat Theatre was uninvited, base, degrading to local values, a blight, and posed an embarrassment to the broader community. With its salacious and blaring marquees, the Pussycat threw rawness into the unwitting eyeballs of all passersby, young and old. Signs flashing and words so blaring there was no ignoring the Pussycat on Sherman Way. Now, decades later, that area of Reseda still struggles to recover from the mess and collateral damage of the admittance of this and other negative influences. America, we’ve got ourselves a toxic pussycat candidate, right in the mold of the Pussycat Theatre of old. Trump is the blight-on-public-discourse candidate. He’s that guy whose fallout will remain, stained upon our national community, long after he’s closed up his XXX candidacy and his blaring, offensive lights have burned out. He’s left filth on our politics and it’s gotten all over us. We can’t un-see what we’ve seen and we can’t unhear the base tripe he’s blared. We’re tainted now, and that will take a long time to clean up. The lower, dingier floor Trump has dug out will for decades become the new lower floor of conduct and discourse in our once somewhat semi-thoughtful national political arena. As to those onetime “family values” of that onetime esteemed national Republican Party? They’ve ditched all that “silly values stuff” and led us on a political parade down the sewer in their grubby struggle for power at any cost. Integrity, virtue, values – all now gone in a devilish deal with their former enemy archetype. The new Pussycat Party’s pussycat leaders are spineless to defend against this bully what was once so valued. For these pussycats, “cower” is the new “resolute.” “What’s new, pussycat?” Apparently, everything. What you thought was up is now down, and bad is now good enough if desired ends are realized. As with that old Pussycat Theatre on Sherman Way, we don’t know how long it will take to clean up our political neighborhood from the mess and influence that was Trump. Gary Horton is a Santa Clarita resident. “Full Speed to Port!” appears Wednesdays in The Signal.