Mark this day. Anyone who reads this should make note of the picture, since it may be the only time I post one like this. This is a picture of me and my son. It is a couple of years old, but my son looks pretty much the same. I am one of those people who HATES to have her picture taken. My son wanted a picture of us together at the Old Dover Days Festival – this was that picture. As pictures of me go, it’s not too bad.
From this picture you can see why I say I am fighting the weight war. And losing, in my opinion. However, that doesn’t mean I am giving up. I watch my diet. I exercise. I intend to continue. I figure at the very least it may keep my health from deteriorating as I continue to age. I’m currently 64 and want to continue for quite a while to come. Beats the alternative.
Speaking of alternatives, it is six weeks until I formally retire from my position with the State. I am already in the process of transitioning. Fall is a season of transition during which I am trying to transition physically and definitely transitioning professionally.
Politically, if you are walking around in this world and haven’t heard of the various accusations of sexual misconduct being brought up lately, you’re just pretending that you’re breathing. I think it started with Harvey Weinstein. Suddenly, every female who has ever been on the proverbial “casting couch” comes forward to accuse Weinstein of all types of sexual harassment. This leads to others coming forward to accuse all types of other men of all types of sexual harassment.
I have mixed feelings about all this. Do I think sexual harassment has been going on between men in power and their victims for a long time? Certainly. Do I believe those who have victimized others sexually should be held accountable through our justice system, be it criminal or civil? Absolutely. Is this what is happening? No.
Aye, there’s the rub.
Although it was a little before my time, I am old enough that I am familiar with the era of “McCarthyism” in the US. For those who have not learned about it, a US Senator named McCarthy went on a witch hunt to ferret out “Communists” from the US government, and other US industries, including the entertainment industry. This was during the height of the Cold War. It actually began in the late 40s and extended to 1954. The problem with McCarthy and those working with him was that all it took was an accusation, or an association with someone who was accused, to be a victim of what was known as the Un-American Activities Committee. Some were jailed, but many others were blackballed from their professions without any kind of due process. Lives were ruined based on accusations with no solid proof.
Make no mistake, I do not equate sexual harassment with taking a political stand. However, I do see a disturbing trend in the current tidal wave of accusations. All it takes is an accusation to have endorsement deals cancelled, TV appearances cancelled, movies literally remade, and premiers scrubbed. All it takes is accusations to make people shout that a political candidate should drop out of a race (I can’t stand Moore, but this does apply to him), or resign from an office to which he has already been elected.
The way this matter is being handled, and the way people are reacting, smacks of McCarthyism. Part of the problem may be time. Many of these accusations involve things that happened years ago. It may be too late to use the justice system since there are things like statutes of limitation. However, if that is the case, part of the blame rests on the victims that did not come forward sooner. I know – they were scared, wanted to be able to work, etc. I understand that, but that does not change the time factor. So, those who want to get revenge for these acts of harassment see a chance to do so simply through accusation – just like in the 50s.
The question is, how many of these accusations are accurate; how many are inaccurate or being made for other reasons; how many are being made by someone seeking their “15 minutes of fame”? Right now it doesn’t matter. All that has to happen is an accusation by someone against someone else. The accused is guilty, regardless, just like in the 50s.
The other thing that makes this interesting is the reaction of SCROTUS. He has roundly criticized anyone who has been accused and happens to not agree with him politically. For example, he wants an investigation of Senator Al Franken. However, SCROTUS has not mentioned his own indiscretions. The Electoral College knowingly appointed an admitted sexual predator to the White House, and no one is calling for an investigation of his transgressions?? Disgusting, but we already knew that.
Until next week…