Shouldn’t Sexual Harassment Cross Political Lines?
I need to begin this week’s installment of TRUTH: In 1000 Words or Less by suggesting that it certainly has been a disheartening past few weeks when it comes to the topic of sexual harassment. Seriously, if there is anyone left in Washington, D.C. or Los Angeles that has NOT inappropriately groped, fondled, harassed or solicited sex from minors while in a position of power, would you please have them raise their hand? Yeah, I’m pretty sure the only people left with their hands up at this point are Mike Pence and that kid from the Harry Potter movies.
And if there is one thing we can glean from all of these stories of sexually predatory assholes it is that sexual harassment does not fall along any lines of political affiliation, sexual orientation, or age. Perverts are Republicans and Democrats, gay and straight, old and young. But there are two things that all of these folks have in common: They are all men and they are all creepy. Be it Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey, George H.W. Bush, Ben Affleck, Anthony Weiner, Roy Price, Bill O’Reilly, or Louis C.K., my opinion of them is exactly the same: If the allegations made against them are proven to have merit, they are the scum of the Earth, and they deserve to lose the positions of power they unethically wielded to the detriment of their victims who didn’t deserve to have to put up with that nonsense.
But that’s not the point of this column because if there was one thing I would have liked to have believed we all could agree on it was that sexual harassment is unacceptable behavior from someone in a position of authority, regardless of whether or not their political or cultural perspective agreed with our own. But that’s just the problem. One side of the political aisle seems to have a set standard for acceptable behavior and apply it in equal measure to each and every breach of that reasonable code of conduct. The other side, however, wants to cry foul every time it occurs in the other party but bend over backwards further than a limber pole dancer when it comes to excusing immoral behavior within their own political party. And this is a moral hypocrisy that simply cannot be allowed to stand.
When Harvey Weinstein was exposed as a sexual predator, I did not hear a single Democrat running to his defense. Nor did the gay community come out in support of Kevin Spacey. Quite the opposite, they rightly joined Republicans in denouncing their behavior as immoral and unacceptable. And the fact is, Republicans just loved this news. They gloated that these scandals focused on liberals and used it as highly dubious, hand-picked evidence that somehow liberals were more prone to unscrupulous sexual behavior. After all, Republicans are the party of family values, right?
But then something funny happened: We all found out that Roy Moore, the former Alabama judge who is currently the Republican nominee for the vacated U.S. Senate seat from that state, had been accused by at least five young women of sexual misconduct, alleging that he had solicited sex from them when they were only teenagers. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m no fan of this hillbilly’s politics. Any judge who has to be removed from office because he fails to understand the basic premise of separation of church and state and refuses to remove the ten commandments from his courtroom is hardly high on my political wishlist. But that’s neither here nor there when it comes to the grossly inappropriate behavior this creep has engaged in. The fact is that Moore has hit on more young girls than a Bon Jovi roadie from the 1980’s. That alone should be grounds for removing him from eligibility for any position of power within the United States government.
And yet somehow Republicans’ perspective on the subject has suddenly changed dramatically. Unlike Democrats who held firm on their ethical standards regardless of political affiliation, Republicans recently found themselves wavering in those same family values they wanted to throw in Democrats’ faces before the tables had been turned in their direction. The Alabama state auditor used the Bible to defend Moore’s conduct, suggesting that Joseph married Mary when she was just 14, and thus, you know, the Bible clearly supports that kind of thing. Only problem is that this jerk off has apparently forgotten that Christ was born by immaculate conception because Mary and Joseph had not consummated their relationship. Apparently, Joseph knew it was wrong to have sex with a fourteen year old girl. Meanwhile, Brandon Moseley of ALReporter.com excused Moore’s behavior by suggesting that it was comparable to the petty crime of stealing a lawn mower. Even stranger, Moore’s attorney suggested it was simply a cultural phenomenon and proceeded to verbally attack the victims of these crimes.
Sure, one could just see these comments as unfortunate ignorance coming from a few partisan sources. But the fact is that a number of Republicans continue to support Moore in completely hypocritical contradiction of the values they suppose to purport in other circumstances when Democrats are the culprits instead. Moore’s fundraising actually went up in the days after the scandal broke, and current polls still have him maintaining support from 36% of Alabama voters. Which really begs the question: Just what would Moore have to do to lose their support if groping fourteen year old girls wasn’t going to do it.
But let’s not pretend this Republican hypocrisy started with Moore. It began when Republicans voted for the Sexual Harasser in Chief even after footage arose that showed him bragging about “grabbing women by the pussy”. It continued when they watched Bill O’Reilly even as he settled case after case of sexual harassment while at FOX News. What it shows us is that Republicans are not the party of family values, unless by “family values” you mean the incestuous values of a family from rural West Virginia where the saying goes that if there is grass on the field, “Play Ball!” No, Republicans gave up their moral high ground long ago. Roy Moore just continued their slippery descent into the moral morass of their own making.
Steven Craig is the author of the best-selling novel WAITING FOR TODAY, as well as numerous published poems, short stories, and dramatic works. Read his blog TRUTH: in 1000 Words or Less every THURSDAY at www.waitingfortoday.com