Sociopolitical eruption started when the political pressure to prevent victims from coming forward was removed.
Earlier this week, I reviewed that cases of California politicians who were charged with sexual harassment by numerous women who work with the state Assembly and Senate in Sacramento.
I must admit, I was a little surprised that some comments seemed to indicate we were facing a new millennium version of the Salem Witch Trials. Therefore, I would like to offer another analogy.
Looking at the spate of news, including the the recent firings of of Matt Lauer and Garrison Keilor can be likened to a sociopolitical stratovolcanic explosion (e.g., Mt. Agung in Bali).
First, there is the climactic eruption build-up. This occurred in the wake of President Bill Clinton’s impeachment, when the press and politicians essentially gave him a pass on his predatory behavior. As the Clinton’s remained in power, women in politics and media clearly got the message that they would be re-victimized if they tried to fight the new behavioral norms.
Then, there are smaller, pressure-release eruptions. The first of those was President Trump’s upset victory over Hillary Clinton and his willingness to fight both the media and the traditional political structure. This meant the Clintons no longer had the cachet or power they once possessed, and respect for the press was substantially diminished.
Next, Trump’s fighting attitude carried over to the Alabama senate race, when Judge Roy Moore decided to battle the allegations against him. However, as the allegations were described in the media, there was now a contingent of women (many of them who are progressive and desiring of the “victim” status), who wanted their “voices” to be heard.
The second pressure-release eruption occurred when the media and the Democratic leadership decided they did not want Hillary Clinton to run again, the were happy to publicize the gross behavior of her media connection and money-Harvey Weinstein (who is now facing charges of sex trafficking).
In a volcanic eruption, once the containing pressure is removed, the next phase is the climactic eruption. This is when the magma chamber empties, with the materials being blasted into the sky. The ash, pumice, and hot gas-infused materials rain down on earth and the magma chamber collapses.
This is the phase that we are in now. The past month, we have seen the firings of Charlie Rose, Glenn Thrush, Mark Halperin,and Kevin Spacey, and Amazon Studios head Roy Price. Other men who have faced harassment charges include Ben Affleck, Hollywood director James Toback, former President George H. W. Bush, Nickelodeon animation creator Chris Sevino, he dreadful Senator Al Franken, and the odious Congressman John Conyers.
As the dust settles, what will the new landscape be?
Because the eruption extended across the country, it hit Democrat Assemblyman Raul Bocanegra and state Senator Tony Mendoza directly. My California compatriot, Katy Grimes, went to a special hearing to review the cases. Her assessment of the real consequences to these men is grim:
Raul Bocanegra will not suffer. He will not be jobless and on unemployment. He will not have to reinvent himself. He will not take a blue collar job. What will the Quid Pro Quo be? He has already been promised a soft landing, in a safe six-figure labor union job, or on one of California’s worthless commissions. Sen. Tony Mendoza will also not suffer any real fate. Democrats will circle the wagons, protect their elected members in exchange for future favors, and guarantee soft landings.
Yes, it does appear that the politicians are not experiencing the same level of justice for their behavior than those in entertainment and journalism.
In her must-read piece (in which she details her own challenges while working in Sacramento), Katy goes on to note how the politicians have created special rules, commissions, and “ethics investigations” to avoid experiencing the same consequences as everyone else in the country.
If this political eruption is to have true value, then our elected representatives have to be compelled by their voters to live under the same set of rules. Those politicians who refuse to leave and escape punishment beyond losing committee assignments need to be booted by their respective parties at the next election cycle, if not sooner. Otherwise, primary and general election challengers to these ethically challenged incumbents need to highlight who the real culprits in the #WarOnWomen.
Then, Americans everywhere need to demand transparency as to who is responsible for the accusations that led to payouts from the congressional “Sex Scandal Slush Fund”. So far, Congress has paid out more than $17.2 million over the last 20 years to cover 268 settlements on Capitol Hill.
Once this particular phase of the news-eruption-cycle is over, I do not believe that there will be a continuing rain of false allegations against men, à la the Salem Witch Trails. There will always be such incidents, but I do not think hordes of innocent men are going to be burnt at the political stake.
A review of the information and reports on everyone listed above prove that in all likelihood, the victims of the accused were too afraid to bring charges, until the political pressure to prevent them was removed.DONATE
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