Back in the simpler world of 2015, many believed that sexual misconduct allegations against Donald Trump would prevent the reality-star-turned-demagogue from being elected president.
Obviously, that turned out not to be the case, and the current climate in the United States is about what one would expect from a country that's presided over by an accused rapist.
As a longtime denizen of the New York literary scene who once cohabited with Hunter S. Thompson, journalist and author E. Jean Carroll is certainly no stranger to bad behavior from powerful men.
She details several traumatic encounters with toxic male behavior in an excerpt from her upcoming memoir that was published on Friday on New York Magazine's website.
One account has attracted far more attention than the other, as the alleged assailant went on to become the President of the United States.
Carroll says she met Trump while shopping at Manhattan's Bergdorf Goodman department store in "the fall of 1995 or the spring of 1996."
Both she and Trump were in their fifties at the time, and he was married to his second wife, Marla Maples.
Carroll writes that Trump told her he was shopping for a present "for a girl" and asked for her help.
He suggested lingerie and convinced her to try it on for him.
Once she was in the dressing room, Carroll claims, Trump assaulted her.
"The next moment, still wearing correct business attire, shirt, tie, suit jacket, overcoat, he opens the overcoat, unzips his pants, and, forcing his fingers around my private area, thrusts his penis halfway — or completely, I'm not certain — inside me," Carroll writes.
"It turns into a colossal struggle."
Obviously, there's nothing funny about this horrific allegation.
But Carroll deserves credit for hitting Trump where it hurts and understanding that he's more likely to be upset by the suggestion that he might be sporting a half-wang than by yet another allegation of sexual assault.
After all, she is now the sixteenth woman to accuse the president of some form of sexual misconduct, and thus far, Trump hasn't even come close to suffering any sort of repercussions.
No criminal investigation, no impeachment, not even a formal censure.
It's always an act of bravery to come forward against a sexual predator, but when said predator is the most powerful man in the world and has been getting away with this sort of thing his entire life, calling him out publicly requires unfathomable courage.
We applaud Carroll for coming forward and encourage anyone who might be in her position to do the same.
After all, it's becoming increasingly evident that our future relies on fearless individuals willing to defend the ideals and values that were once protected by law and order.