The lesson for those with honor

If you’re honest and sorry and accept blame for what you’ve done, you will do the honorable thing and resign.

If you refuse to admit you’ve been wrong, blame your enemies, and behave in an amoral way, you get to keep your job and may even get elected to prominent positions.

This is the contradictory lesson our leaders are sending us.

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Al Franken resigns for inappropriate touching, almost all of which was in public with witnesses while pictures are being taken, while on the GOP side, people who have committed the kind of creepy crimes that would normally place one on sexual offenders’ lists are promoted by the party.

I’m getting tired of playing by the rules and doing the right thing while political opponents are playing by different rules.

They’re like the bullies laughing at us do-gooders while they destroy us behind the scenes. You can’t win the game if they’re playing hardball while we’re playing softball. I’m just tired of having the sand kicked in our face and replying by turning the other cheek. All it does is make them kick us harder next time.

While I think Franken should have been censured and perhaps removed of a few important committee assignments, I can also understand his dilemma:  Had he stayed on, there would have been an investigation and the Republicans would have milked this for everything they could in order to destroy him and the Democrats (while completely ignoring their own more serious transgressions because, of course, they are all flaming hypocrites).

So perhaps leaving and setting an example was the best thing he could do, because, if nothing else, it allows the Democrats to be the party of morals and “family values” for the 2018 election.

Sexual Assaults are about power

These sexual assaults accusations aren’t new. They’ve always been happening. I don’t think there are more of them happening these days. I just think Trump’s election was the point where women finally said “We’re not going to take it any more.”

Do not discount how angry women are that a proud molester is in the White House.

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illustration by Matt Bors

The bottom line though is that this isn’t really about sex — it’s about power.

No woman is impressed when you send her an unsolicited dick pick, or grab her without her consent, or perform a sex act in front of her. That’s not how you start a relationship. That’s how you show your power over her.

In a sense, it’s like rape, which is an act of violence more than an act of sex. It’s when the abuser treats the victim as less than human, less than deserving of respect. Yes, the abuser may be getting his (or her) jollies off, but the fact that some people get excited over abusing another against their will doesn’t make it just about sex.

The other problem is that for many generations, this was just the way things were, and few people questioned it.  TV shows and movies had bosses chasing secretaries around the desk and it was played for laughs. And men grew up thinking that was just the way things worked.

But society has changed. It was never right but now people know that.  And the men who refuse to acknowledge that change are the ones who are getting caught and are surprised.

But that’s no excuse. It’s like when people say, “You have to excuse grandpa’s racism, because he grew up in a separate era.” No, grandpa’s inability to change with society’s norms is inexcusable. Plenty of other people his age were able to adjust just fine.

And many men are surprised at these new revelations, because they have apparently never spoken to a woman before; every woman I know can give examples of where this has happened to them.

“But there’s so many!” they say. “We can’t just fire every man who has abused his power in a sexual manner!”

To which the rest of us reply, “Why not?”

 

 

Freedom from ads!

I’ve been running this blog for five years or so now, using WordPress. In exchange for giving me a free page, they’d run ads everywhere.cache

But they never showed me the ads. I’d just get a message saying, “Some of your readers may see an ad here.”

I recently looked at this page on my phone and then again from a computer where I was not logged into WordPress automatically and was surprised at how often these ads popped up.

So I finally gave in and paid the extra yearly fee so you won’t have to see any ads.

You can thank me by maybe buying one of my books — they make good holiday presents, too.

Wait, was that an ad?

This cliched Presidency

If you saw this in a movie, you’d think “This is so unbelievable and so cliched.”

President wins by a loophole after being supported by our cliched Russian enemy using underhanded and illegal means. The President is a reality show host who has a history of being a terrible landlord who has been married many times, mistreats and abuses woman while bragging about it, lies constantly, and has the maturity of a kindergarten child.trump evil

He then appoints the man most responsible for the foreclosure crisis to be in charge of the economy; appoints a woman who wants to destroy public education as Secretary of Education; appoints people who don’t believe in science in charge of science, appoints lawyers who have no experience in law to be judges; and gives the rest of his appointments to his family despite laws against nepotism.

He then channels government funds in a way to profit his personal businesses, which he refuses to place into a blind trust, and refuses to release his taxes despite promising to do so.

He tries to cut a popular health care program for no reason, wants to raise taxes on the poor and reduce them on the rich while letting his billionaire friends write off expenses like personal jets and yachts.

He has a propaganda machine concentrated in one network in particular and supported by many smaller stations and newspapers which repeat lies enough that eventually people believe them.

And to top this all off, he is supported by KKK members and literal nazis.

In a movie, this would be rejected as being too blatantly obvious. “These bad guys are just too evil — no one would believe it!”

All we’re missing is a maniacal laugh.