Harvey Weinstein opened the floodgates. Ever since the New York Times reported in early October how Harvey paid off sexual harassment accusers for decades, countless men across political party lines, sexual orientations, and industries have received similar accusations. Some have found themselves directly under the spotlight of intense public outrage, particularly Roy Moore. The former Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court and the founder and president of the Foundation for Moral Law has been accused by eight women, almost all of whom were under 18 at the time, of inappropriate behavior and/or sexual assault. Nevertheless, he continues to campaign as the Republican candidate for the Alabama Senate seat vacated by Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Republicans have been fairly passive in their response, and at this point it appears they plan to let the election run its course. Moore is almost certain to lose to his Democratic challenger.
Unsurprisingly, Democrats have amassed in full force against Moore. They decry his past actions against young girls, as they should. If the allegations are true, Moore should be in a jail cell, not a plush Senate office. However, there is also a stark double standard at play. For example, as the Seattle Times reported, while many Democrats banded together against Moore, they hardly acted when similar accusations were levied against one of their own: former Seattle Mayor Ed Murray. It took a fifth man to come forward, who happened to be Murray’s younger cousin, before Murray agreed to step down from office. With the other four accusations, all of which involved Murray raping or paying underage boys for sex, fellow Democrats stood idly by.
This brings us back to Weinstein. Democrats have accepted his fundraising for years. From the Clintons to Obama, Weinstein has been one of the top Democratic party donors in the entertainment industry. This leads one to wonder: were there never any rumors about the vast nature of his illicit activity? People never spoke in hushed tones about the moral depravity of Harvey Weinstein? More likely than not they did, but when that person is a captain in his industry and writing checks to all of the major political candidates, it is easy for people to look the other way.
Sexual assault and harassment have no political party. When allegations are made, and there have been many of late as noted below, they must be taken seriously and handled with the utmost care. In the end, you do not benefit yourself or your party by ignoring accusations only when they are directed against your candidate. You ultimately hurt the victim(s).
Below is a list of the men, many of whom were previously esteemed in the public eye, that have recently been accused of sexual assault and/or harassment. It is abundantly clear that change is needed when it comes to holding powerful men accountable.
- Roy Moore – Republican Senate Candidate (Alabama)
- Ed Murray – former Seattle Mayor
- Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.)
- Dwayne Duron Marshall – U.S. Rep. Brenda Lawrence’s (D-Southfield) former Chief of Staff who was accused of sexually harassing multiple former staff members
- President George H.W. Bush – accused of touching women inappropriately in recent years, well after leaving office
- Stephen Bittel – Florida Democratic Party Chairman
Entertainment (to name a few):
- Harvey Weinstein
- Kevin Spacey
- Charlie Rose (couldn’t believe this one)
- Mark Halperin – former political director at ABC News
- Louis C.K.
- John Besh – celebrity chef
- Roy Price – former head of Amazon Studios