Pleading Guiltily

Or how we’re being begged and bullied into shirking moral responsibility this weekend

I’ve been incredibly disappointed this weekend with the way things have been handled in light of the Access Hollywood bombshell. #Gropegate has been mishandled in many ways thus far.

The media led the charge in not going far enough, skewing the narrative to be about ‘lewd comments’ rather than confessed criminal behavior. Then again, we live in the age of #Brock, don’t we? Maybe it’s not too much of a surprise after all.

After big-bad-Media’s dropping the ball on Trump’s jaw-dropping conversation—or ‘locker room talk’ as some would have us believe—the deluge of cheap-trick memes, justifications, and non sequitur rhetoric came flooding in.

With all of that in mind, here’s my attempt to help those having difficulty processing what has happened this weekend with their candidate of choice. Specifically, an attempt to shoo away the baseless responses for what they are.

  1. Equivocation. News flash for everyone: moral equivocating is—can you guess?—fallacious and immoral. Two wrongs don’t make a right. This is something we try to teach our children at a young age, is it not? Can we not hold to the same 3rd grade standard ourselves when our own hero falls? Hillary’s emails are fine topics of discussion. Bill’s histories aren’t in anyway things we can simply glaze over. But these things are not up for discussion when one tries to discuss the issue at hand.
  2. Gaslighting. This is a form of psychological abuse in which the one at fault makes the victim feel as if they’re the crazy one who is out of line. Trump has done this countless times throughout his campaign. His followers have learned well as they’re now attempting to do the same to those who would dare take a stand, even those within their own party. Abusive rhetoric tends to flow from abusers. This fact is extra prickly while Trump and crew attempt to distance themselves from the abusive nature of the footage.
  3. Accuracy. Get the problem straight here, please. Saying ‘pussy’ isn’t wrong. It’s a word. Pussy cat. Pusillanimous. Sour puss. Making certain sounds with our faces is not inherently evil. No one cares that Trump said ‘pussy’ 10 years ago. They care that he said he grabbed pussy without permission. Please see the difference and own up to the gravitas of it.
  4. Red herrings. Don’t say this is a distraction from the election. It’s not. Especially don’t say that this is a distraction while distracting us from dealing with it by posting lame memes about 50 Shades of Grey to make light of what a real person really claimed to do (which runs counter to the consenting character in the book exploring S&M—not sexual assault).

Further still, please stop doing all the things above as you 1) make light of what Trump claimed he did by focusing on a few words instead of the complete sentences (accuracy), 2) attempt to make the rest of us seem crazy for worrying about a clip from 10 years ago (gaslighting) by posting irrelevant memes with faulty arguments (red herrings) while 3) you attempt to equivocate his claimed actions with not the other candidate’s actions, but rather her husband’s actions 20–30 years ago (equivocation), all the while demonizing those actions that you just used to create a new, low-bar standard for your own political expediency (bonus round: special pleading [i.e. double standard]).

Oh, and one more thing. Please stop saying that HRC is evil because she stood behind her man when he was accused of things and further went on to demean and belittle the accusers on his behalf while you do the very same thing for your man. While Bill certainly has more than the proverbial speck lodged quite deeply, the current plank in your own eye needs some attention before we move forward with his needed operation.

If you can be intellectually honest here and admit Trump has acted in an evil fashion then by all means take the pins out and hurl your grenades at Hillary, she’s not undeserving. But please please please stop creating a context ripe for moral monstrosities purely for the sake of winning. That’s the sort of behavior that has gotten us to this point to begin with and it absolutely has to stop lest we find ourselves in the sewers again this time four years from now.

If we can’t anchor ourselves to some decency, rationality, and honesty then we shouldn’t be surprised to continually find ourselves lost at sea.


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