|Roy Moore (NBC News)|
It's beyond creepy. Allegations of sexual harassment and assault have been flooding the news cycle non-stop for the past few weeks. They may add to the ongoing cynicism felt by many people, as many react by asking, "Why now?". I've heard people insinuate that these accusers are just publicity seekers conspiring to get a fat monetary settlement and fifteen minutes of fame taking down celebrities we thought we knew from Hollywood to Washington to Alabama. "Why did they stay quiet so long?" That was asked in the Catholic church child molestation scandals while the cover-ups were sanctioned or ignored from the highest positions of power. What's the real difference between these scandals and the abuse and cover-up at Connecticut's major mental institution just now coming to light?
Power is the operative word here. The abusers usually had it while the victims were among the most vulnerable. What did these accusers have to gain in a society where bragging about sexual assault is viewed by many enablers of this twisted behavior as "just locker room talk?" The saying, "You can't fight City Hall" could be expanded to virtually every part of our society when it comes to sexual assault and harassment. First, it must be intimidating as all Hell to come forward with these allegations against wealthy and powerful people who can threaten to litigate most complaints into oblivion. Second, society has not historically been very sympathetic to people who seek redress in one form or another for incidents that may have taken place decades ago. In the end, they often bring up this traumatic experience when they can no longer stomach the arrogance and hypocrisy of people who may have done them wrong. It usually takes one brave person to get other victims to summon the courage to face people with every motive to keep it all under wraps.
Roy Moore is hoping the people of Alabama will cast their lot with his Senate campaign, casting himself as their defender against outside forces in the Republican establishment, the media and even folks who don't live up to his intolerant concept of Christian values. Extremist demagogues in Alabama and elsewhere throughout history have tried clinging to power stoking their base painting others as "invaders". That approach ultimately fails. We hear nothing from the President. His own dismal and shocking record is keeping him quiet as a moral authority. I hope Democrats will be more out front in investigating Senator Franken than Republicans have been in holding President Trump accountable for boasting about groping women.