AP NEWS

Ron Jackson: Politics trumps sexual misconduct

September 30, 2018

How do you avoid the biggest, nauseating, political, televised sideshow in three decades? No cellphone and no television combined with the prolonged humming of a lawn mower works. While much of the nation was gripped with the tough decision to determine who was our latest national liar, my challenge was deciding if cutting grass or cleaning the garage was the most important issue of the day. The lawn won.

However, by most Facebook accounts, America lost.

When the deciding factor that could plunge us into our next civil war is whether we believe the word of a woman who said she was sexually assaulted three decades ago by a drunken teenager or the word of a man who was a teenager who drank beer, we are doomed. And the end result of the whole senatorial circus disguised as a judicial confirmation hearing won’t make a hill of beans difference in our daily lives. However, it did shed a big light on something very ugly about our national consciousness.

In the words of a local social media pundit, “Sexual misconduct just isn’t that important in America. It is great grist for rumors and the court of public relations, but we decided two decades ago we will turn a blind eye to men preying on females when it comes to public office.”

While I agree with this point, it has been a lot longer than two decades that we have allowed our male elected stewards to have their sexually offensive waywardness overlooked.

We have even ignored the legal establishment of a taxpayer-funded source to help make sexual offense issues involving bipartisan federal representatives go away quickly, privately and permanently. We, the people, condone what we claim we do not approve.

The confirming process of the current nominee to become the next justice of the Supreme Court is not about political ideologies.

It is a publicized charade that inadvertently exposed our antiquated acceptance that men in positions of power wield certain inalienable privilege.

To thwart a man’s chance at reaching the pinnacle of power with an accusation of a culturally accepted conduct exposes the hypocrisy in all of us.

Sexual abuse of women is wrong, but it is often overlooked or protected. To paraphrase a former professional football coach, this confirmation hearing shows America is who we thought we were.

We are a collective that will accept a token gesture of a conviction and short prison sentence for an old, rich celebrity for sexual crimes against one woman as a victory.

We are a population that is majority women. However, our federal legislature is 80 percent male.

We want people to represent our best interest, yet, we elect those who do not always do that. We are fickle.

In the big scheme of things, it matters not if the current nominee is confirmed. Regardless who holds the nine positions, no high court ruling will ever be made that will take away our right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. No ruling from the highest court will ever be made that men must stop sexually abusing women. No ruling is going to take away our guns.

Just as no public congressional hearing is going to decide who is telling the truth about a 30-year old accusation, no court is going to overturn a 40-year old decision that gave a woman a right to make up her mind.

The next step to choose our newest member of the Supreme Court of the United States might be made today. The vote to choose the next direction of our country is just more than 30 days away.

A point of note, during Thursday morning’s senate hearing, calls to the National Sexual Assault Hotline increased more than 147 percent of the daily average. That is more than double the percentage that turned out to vote in the last election.

We cannot fault Congress for its choice when it is a reflection of our choice.

AP RADIO
Update hourly