Americans, especially when sorted into groups, always have good cause for outrage. In Trump’s America, nearly everything seems outrageous. And I’m getting tired. I have outrage burnout. And sometimes I think outrage is his secret weapon. I mean beyond the obvious hate and divisive politics of nationality, education, social class and race. I am happy that the stories of women who experience sexual harassment and assault have weight and those stories are believed. I am glad that the perpetrators are facing consequences.
I am left wondering if we’ll have anyone left standing when the megaphones go quiet.
I think we have to blame the culture and work to change that for people (usually men) who behave inappropriately when that behavior has since been corrected and when that behavior didn’t reach beyond inappropriateness. I guess that means offenses involving children, coercion, assault or rape. People who are currently acting inappropriately need to be admonished and face public censure. And, we all need to support one another and say something both when we experience something or see someone else experiencing it.
I hate the analogy, but I think we have to apply a standard similar to the standard we apply to children growing up. As they get older, they are expected to learn from their mistakes, to be held to higher standards and to accept personal responsibility. No behavior is okay just because everybody else is doing it, but that does make it harder for immersed individuals to know its wrong.
Sadly, Republicans (and the wealthy) seem to have no conscience and their punishment will be superficial for the most part. They certainly won’t resign from office or leave careers voluntarily. Meanwhile, champions of progressive causes (including Democrats) will be held to higher standards. They will hold themselves to higher standards. In fact, they have probably realized they acted badly and reset their own standards. They are acting better because they know better.
Some things like dating girls underage girls as a man grown (no matter how long ago), getting caught at current activities or lying and blaming should have serious repercussions. Otherwise, we need to hold them and ourselves to higher standards and work to create the American culture we want.