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Wednesday, December 20, 2017

WHY ARE STANDARDS OF SEXUAL PREDATION SO DIFFERENT?

In My Fair Lady, Rex Harrison recites, Why Can't a Woman Be More Like a Man?  Likewise today, why can't a  Republican be more like a Democrat?  Affiliation with the former today seems almost un-American.

Almost a decade ago I wrote in The Huffington Post:
     Why Do Republicans Like Fossil Fuels and Not Care That Much for the Environment?

A few Republican friends were irritated, but I indicated to them that they were among the exceptions in their party.

That same year there was a Gallup poll on evolution:

Ten years later, nothing much really changed regarding what should obviously intelligent and right:


Worse, the advent of the Trump Administration has exacerbated these gaps, now adding morality and sexual predation into the pot of contrasts.

To at least a degree, sexual decency depends on your upbringing, culture, religion, whatever.  But how do politics affect behavior, and why are Republicans so different from Democrats?
  • In Canada, the headlines bemoan Tory MP James Bezan accused of making sexual comments. Comments, mind you.  Also from the country to our north, Sportsbet analyst Gregg Zaun was fired because of allegations regarding inappropriate comments.  Again, comments.
  • In the USA, Democratic congresspeople are resigning for doing a bit more than mere talk.  Wrong, and maybe even stupid, but nothing terribly illegal.  However, Republicans are hanging-in for rather serious offenses against underage victims:  12 and 13 for Donald Trump and 14 for Roy Moore.  
    • Moore almost got away with his indiscretions, and got oh so close to being elected the U.S. Senator from Alabama.  Yet, consider that his immorality did not reach the stage of any forced sexual contact.
    • Donald Trump, however, has been accused of rape and attempted rape three times, once involving an alleged victim who was 13 years old.  There was also a 12-year old in the mix.  To quote:
In 1994, Trump went to a party with Jeffrey Epstein, a billionaire who was a notorious registered sex offender, and raped a 13-year-old girl that night in what was a "savage sexual attack," according to a lawsuit filed in June 2016 by "Jane Doe." The account was corroborated by a witness in the suit, who claimed to have watched as the child performed various sexual acts on Trump and Epstein even after the two were advised she was a minor.
"Immediately following this rape Defendant Trump threatened me that, were I ever to reveal any of the details of Defendant Trump’s sexual and physical abuse of me, my family and I would be physically harmed if not killed," Jane Doe wrote in the lawsuit, filed in New York.
The lawsuit was dropped in November 2016, just four days before the election, with Jane Doe's attorneys citing "numerous threats" against her.
There are 19 more sexual misconduct incidents involving Donald Trump.

While sexual predation has been with society since the beginning of time, it reached a kind peak in the USA a decade ago with:
  • President Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky.
  • future President Donald Trump, mentioned above.
  • Bill Cosby, and you ask, why isn't he in jail?
  • Reverand John Geoghan and other pedophile priests of the Roman Catholic Church.  Three years ago the Vatican reported that 848 men of the cloth had been defrocked since 2004, with another 2,572 receiving other penalties.  No religion is immune to this problem.
  • Bill O'Reilly (yes, it started that long ago when he first got his show).
  • Jerry Sandusky at Penn State
  • Woody Allen, leading to his marriage to Soon-Yi Previn in 1997.  That is Soon-Yi to the right.
  • Captain Derrick Robertson and 11 other drill instructors at the Army Aberdeen Proving Ground.
  • Harvey Weinstein with Mira Sorvino and Asia Argento.
While the encounters of Weinstein with those two actress were a decade ago, his grand fall in October opened the sexual accusation floodgates.  The Weinstein Effect is now a term as prominent as Watergate, leading to the downfall of more than a hundred men.  Well, a month ago there was a list of 47 firings and resignation, but when you add those who were not particularly prominent, who knows how many more suffered this new fate, probably many thousands, with millions to come.  Maybe this is unfair, but standards change with time.  

Sure, there have been a few women caught in this "effect," but the offenses were mild:
So back to the USA versus Canada difference.  I guess Canadians have higher standards of sexual harassment.  I once thought Canada was a more sensible country and just did things better, but after my recent stay there, I am now not so sure.  But on morality related to sex, sure.

About Republican versus Democrat attitudes:
  • A Marist poll in September indicated that 53% of Democrats said workplace sexual harassment was a problem, compared to 31% of Republicans.
  • 24% of Republicans said sexual harrassment was not an issue, whereas only 6% of Democrats felt the same.
  • A HuffPost - YouGov survey taken last month found that:
    • 76% of Republicans think Democrats have a very or somewhat serious problem with sexual harrassment
    • But only 40% of Republicans think sexual harassment is a problem in their party.
    • Conversely, while 60% of Democrats feel that their party has a sexual harassment problem, 75% think that Republicans also have this problem.
One thing is clear.  Republicans actually think they don't have much of a problem.  Perhaps their view is that Donald Trump is not a true Republican.  It seems to me that Senator Al Franken accepted his scapegoat status as insurance to nail Donald Trump.  If Franken had to resign because of groping women without actually touching flesh, Donald Trump is obviously being set up for impeachment if the Mueller investigation goes nowhere.  Franken apologized.  Trump threatened to sue his accusers, if not worse.  Mind you, after all the politics play out, Franken can still change his mind, even though his replacement is the Democratic Lieutenant Governor from Minnesota, Tina Smith (left).  I might also add that there could be as many as 30-50 other members of Congress soon to be added to the accusation list when the currently sealed names are unsealed, an almost certainty by the summer.

So what do current betters think of Donald Trump's future?  Today:

Donald Trump is going to be the President of the United States. But if oddsmakers are right, there’s a 50-50 chance that he won’t hold the office for that long. At 4 p.m. Eastern on January 11, the British gambling company Ladbrokes said odds are even that Trump will be impeached or resign before his first term ends. 

I find this inconceivable, but if British bookmakers have any kind of predictive influence, Donald Trump's presence as PUS (President of the United States) #45 has improved since becoming President.  But Democrats got to be careful not to overplay this card, for he is their ticket to winning both houses of Congress this coming Fall.  If anything, Republicans would like nothing better than to live with Pence at the top.  

But Trump for 2020?  Making America Even Greater? Possible.

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