A Letter to Molester Excusers

I see some of my Facebook friends writing posts like this:

Facebook is at least good for laughs. Funny how everything 10 years ago matters, but how selective people are to remember what happened 20 years ago. The lack of outrage then has me questioning the validity of the outrage now.

It is so vague because I think the author knows deep down he should be ashamed by it. Let’s unpack this.

Given the recent outrage of Donald Trump’s bragging on tape about molesting women, it seems safe to assume when he refers to “the outrage now” the author is talking about the outrage that a presidential candidate is bragging about molesting women.

The author also has a vague statement about “the lack of outrage” about something that “happened 20 years ago”. Again, it is intentionally vague. In this case it is safe to assume that in this context he is talking about the Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky scandal. He also implies that people have selective memories about this scandal, as if to say that we don’t remember it even happened.

So given the two assumptions, we can fill in the rewrite the vague quote with something that I can address. It seems to be something like this:

Facebook is at least good for laughs. Funny how [a tape recording of a presidential candidate] from 10 years ago matters, but how selective people are to remember [the Monica Lewinsky scandal] from 20 years ago. The lack of outrage [about an extra-marital affair during the Bill Clinton presidency] has me questioning the validity of the outrage [that a presidential candidate is bragging about molesting women] now.

First, to claim that there was no outrage over the Lewinsky scandal is obviously wrong. For those of us that don’t have selective memories we will remember that Bill Clinton was tried for impeachment after that scandal broke.

Second, to claim that we have selective memories and have somehow forgotten this scandal is laughable. Who doesn’t recall that scandal? I do not think I am exaggerating when I say that there has not been a month that has gone by in those twenty years that I do not hear at least one Clinton/cigar/Lewinsky joke in casual conversations. I want to make it clear — I am NOT defending Bill Clinton’s affair. It was shameful and embarrassing for the country, and impeachment may have been justified (I am not a lawyer, so I won’t claim to know one way or another).

Finally, what bugs me most about this post is that it essentially excuses Trump for bragging about molesting women. The argument sounds like this “Just relax. There is nothing to be outraged about. Remember this other scandal from 20 years ago? What really matters is this other 20 year old scandal… Don’t criticize my candidate for a scandal that just broke this week for admitting to molesting women”. That is disgusting.

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