By Frank Salvato
To say that the media is knee-jerk and irresponsible is to make the understatement of the millennium. To say that the American people are gullible to their knee-jerk is to speak a sad truth. On no other subject is this more relevant than the matter of sexual harassment claims.
To be perfectly clear: Sexual harassment does happen and when it does it needs to be crushed with the weight of a thousand suns. Sexual harassment opens the door to not only compromised careers, but to sexual abuse – physical, sexual abuse, that can not only shatter dreams, but ruin lives.
That said, there are those — and many more than we, as a nation, should ever have to put up with — who will level false sexual harassment allegations to both advance their causes and destroy the agendas of those they oppose. This is especially true in politics and entertainment.
The allure of stardom in the entertainment industry often finds people who compromise their own ethics and morals for fame. To feign victimhood to sexual harassment, when one has intellectually bartered their ethics and morality for fame, is to deny that they have whored themselves for vanity.
In politics, the nefarious actors are even more despicable because they seek to destroy people for politics and ideology; for power, wealth and influence. These nefarious actors are, literally, the scum of the Earth.
As John Adams so famously said, “We are a nation of laws, not of men.” By that Adams meant that the law and judicial process must reign supreme over emotion, rumor, accusation and especially politics. If our rule of law — and our Constitution — are to mean anything, we need to be a nation of laws and not of emotionally or opportunistically charged men.
We have a judicial process in the United States that mandates a person is innocent until proven guilty. Because of this, we have due process, which means charges are brought against an individual, the evidence is presented, and arguments are made so that the matter can be adjudicated. Without that adjudication — whether guilty or innocent — the allegations made hold the same weight as rumors of gossip. In the United States, everyone is entitled to their day in court to respond and defend themselves against charges and accusations of criminal misdeeds.
But, today, we are not a nation of laws. We are a nation of knee-jerk reactions, fueled by a “gotta-break-it-first” 24/7/365 infomercial media that presents accusations as convictions, rumors, and claims as fact. Because of that, our country is more interested in someone’s sexual peccadilloes and claims of sexual impropriety than in inequitable taxation, national security and the fact that government has grossly overstepped its authority to encroach on all of our lives.
Because the media is disingenuous and the rule of law is hobbled, we elect idiots to elected office who prey on the emotions of the politically illiterate. It is for this reason, exclusively, that our political arena is tantamount to a mediocre three-ring circus and the United States stands on the path to the same inevitability seen by Cicero in the fall of the Roman Empire.
False claims of sexual harassment and the publics’ need to see these claims as convictions instead of non-adjudicated claims are simply symptoms of a much more serious illness in our Republic. Honor and honesty are dead in our society. We have become a barbaric “win-at-all-cost” Progressive (ironic that the ideology branded itself with such a polar opposite description) society where equality of opportunity is dying, and oligarchic political preference is metastasizing like an ideological cancer.
As William Shakespeare wrote in Julius Caesar, “The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves.” How fitting for a country that is going the way of the Romans.