Al Franken, Harvey Weinstein, Roy Moore, Kevin Spacey, John Conyers, Charlie Rose, Matt Lauer, Bill O’Reilly, and (gasp!) Garrison Keillor.
What do all of these men have in common?
Yes, we know they are accused gropers, sexual predators, harassers, etc. Well, maybe not so much Garrison Keillor of Lake Wobegon. He apparently made the mistake of putting his hand on the bare back of a woman he had been trying to console, and when she recoiled, he apologized.
But what about the others? What else do they have in common?
Here’s an answer. They are all (or were) powerful men in positions of significant authority.
Each also has an ego larger than Mt. Everest. That ego, along with all that power, somehow convinced them that they have the right and are entitled to “have their way” with any woman (or man, in Spacey’s case) who happens to be within their licentious grasp.
What I find fascinating is the breathless response to all of this by the media and Congress. It’s as if a new disease like Ebola has been discovered.
Folks, this kind of behavior has been going on since men and women lived in caves.
Powerful people (and I include women in this indictment) have always used the less powerful and vulnerable for their pleasure, entertainment, and comfort.
So let’s stop pretending that all this groping, grabbing, and grappling is some new societal pandemic. When you pay men (or women) seven and eight-figure salaries and treat them like they are faultless and unassailable, there are not many who have the moral fiber to prevent that kind of money and power from going to their heads.
Their sense of entitlement becomes a raison d’etre, and they go about their lives like American Pashas. The only thing missing are the slaves to tote them on palanquins from place to place. Failing that, they have personal jets so they can avoid rubbing shoulders with the great unwashed—unless, of course, one of the great unwashed happens to be someone they feel they are entitled to grope.
Our society is besotted by highly-paid (or over-paid) celebrities, professional athletes, music stars, radio and television personalities and talking heads. Not to be left out of this rarified preserve, we have our senators and congressmen—many of whom feel they are above our laws merely because they make them.
When we enable predators, as NBC and Hollywood did for years with Matt Lauer and Harvey Weinstein, we are also enabling their boorish behavior.
In Lauer’s case, Variety Magazine reported that he was a sophisticated sexual predator who cowed and embarrassed his female employees with sexually explicit gifts and even had a button installed under his office desk so that he could lock unsuspecting women inside.
Lauer, the magazine alleges, “summoned a female employee to his office, and then dropped his pants, showing her his penis. After the employee declined to do anything, visibly shaken, he reprimanded her for not engaging in a sexual act.”
And what’s worse is that NBC’s brass knew of Lauer’s behavior. It was an open secret among NBC employees and management went out of its way to ignore Lauer’s sexual impropriety.
When behavior like this occurs in the private workplace, it is management’s responsibility to stop it by firing the perpetrators. When it occurs in Congress, state, and local government, it is the responsibility of we voters to turn the reprobates out of office or, in Roy Moore’s case, not to vote for him.
In the cases of Rep. Conyers and Sen. Frankengroper, it may be up to the voters to do the right thing if neither resigns. Conyers says he won’t step down even though Democrat minority leader Nancy Pelosi called him to resign Thursday.
It looks like Sen. Frankengroper will have to be forcibly removed from office. He says he has no intention of resigning. What did I say about that sense of entitlement?
Of course, the reigning Rajah of sexual harassers is the former Groper-in-Chief, Bill Clinton. He, along with his faithful sidekick, Hillary, made sexual harassment at the highest levels of government “acceptable” because, after all, as Democrat apologists once argued: “It’s his personal life.”
Really? Even if it’s in the Oval Office with a 22-year-old intern named Monica?
How things have changed. Even Democrats, who once rallied around Clinton and terrorized the women who he assaulted, groped, and in one case, raped, are now saying what they did was wrong.
New York Democrat Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, a long-time Clinton supporter, now says Clinton should have resigned following sexual harassment allegations back in the 1990s. Too bad she wasn’t saying that 20 years ago.
But things have changed today. Suddenly, behavior that has been tolerated and often protected for eons is no longer acceptable.
Is this the human race suddenly acknowledging an age-old problem?
Or is it just a quick fix designed to quarantine Groper’s Disease?
Time will tell, if hundreds, if not thousands of women, don’t.