Over the past few weeks, an extremely dangerous precedent has been set in America by not only Republican and Democratic voters alike, but by our own public servants as well. That precedent is the notion that politicians in America are granted a pass on acts of moral and ethical injustice so long as they align with our perspective on political issues.
Earlier this week, President Donald Trump all but endorsed Republican Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore who had allegedly sexually assaulted three women whose ages ranged between 14 and 28. After those allegations surfaced, several other women emerged, claiming that Moore pursued romantic intimacy with them when they were as young as 16 and Moore was in his 30s.
If these allegations happen to be true, which they appear to be, Roy Moore is a disgusting human being who should be denounced by every American, including all of our public servants.
However, after staying silent on the issue for quite some time, President Trump issued Moore a pass on his past behavior, stating on Tuesday, “I do have to say, 40 years is a long time. He has run eight races, and this has never come up.” Trump later added that “We [America] don’t need a liberal person in there, a Democrat.”
This perverse method of thinking paints America as a holistically immoral society, where even our leader cannot sum up the intellectual honesty to condemn an alleged sexual predator running for public office.
Unfortunately, President Trump is not the only Republican to possess this mindset when it comes to Roy Moore. A new poll, released by Raycom News Network found that Roy Moore is leading his Democratic challenger Doug Jones in Alabama by two percentage points, 47% to 45%.
Quite frankly, the reality that Roy Moore, a perverted, immoral candidate is still leading his challenger is disturbing, let alone the fact that Moore is receiving 47% of the vote in Alabama. The combination of President Trump and voters in Alabama pardoning Roy Moore simply because he happens to agree with them politically shows a complete lack of decency and character among the American people.
That being said, Republicans are not the only ones at fault when it comes to condoning sexual misconduct by our politicians.
Just this past week, Senator Al Franken (D-MN), was accused on multiple fronts of sexual wrongdoing. On November 16, Leeann Tweeden accused Franken of forcibly kissing her without her consent during a rehearsal for a USO skit. According to her blog post, Franken placed his hand on the back of Tweeden’s head, mashed his lips against hers, and aggressively stuck his tongue in her mouth.
A photo also surfaced which showed Franken groping Tweeden’s breasts while she was asleep and seated on an airplane. Since Tweeden depicted her experiences with Franken, three more have come forward accusing the Minnesota senator of inappropriate behavior, including groping and other forms of sexual misconduct.
Like Roy Moore, Senator Franken sounds like a class act. And, like President Trump, a Democratic representative shrugged off what Franken had done to Leann Tweeden and various other women.
While on CNN, Representative Jackie Speier (D-CA), was asked whether or not she would be calling for the resignation of Senator Franken at the current time:
Rep. Speier responded, stating “I may be calling for his resignation at some point.” Shortly thereafter, Speier then acknowledged the fact that she was “not there yet” regarding a push for the resignation of Franken.
Why is it that Rep. Speier was unable to call for the resignation of Senator Franken at that time? The numerous allegations of sexual misconduct on Franken’s behalf had already been released during the time of the interview?
Unfortunately, the answer to the aforementioned question is a much broader and immoral answer than we would like to believe: Americans’ moral standards of politicians differ based on that politician’s placement on the political spectrum.
In an already extremely polarized political climate, sexual assault and misconduct have even become a partisan issue, and that is disgusting. Politicians like Roy Moore and Al Franken should be condemned by members on all sides of the political aisle, not just select ideological allies.
If, as a society, we are going to adjust our moral compass based solely on the letter at the end of a politician’s name, Americans are just proving my point that our country has no moral compass altogether.