By John Eppich
It seems every time I turn on the news, there is a new sex scandal coming straight out of the Capital. What started with Roy Moore being accused of sexually assaulting multiple women — and even a 14-year-old child — has exploded to multiple people being accused of sexual violence or deviance. It is sad to see that people with power use it to overpower innocent people for such a selfish gain. When it comes down to it, any sexual violence should always be taken seriously. This is especially true when it comes to elected officials regardless of political leanings.
Currently, there are two major sexual misconduct allegations being discussed on news outlets. The first one is Republican senatorial candidate, Roy Moore. Moore, the former State Judge of Alabama, recently won the nomination to run for Senate. Since his rise to achievement, many women had come to speak about times where Moore had sexually assaulted or harassed them when they were underage teenagers. Moore obviously denies any allegations towards him calling it fake news. However, many people on the Republican side have been saying they would like to see Moore step down from the race. This includes Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Sen. Marco Rubio and Sen. John McCain.
Al Franken is the Democratic Senator of Minnesota. Franken was also recently accused of sexual misconduct as a photo of him surfaced where he is groping a woman. This— in the light of the previous Moore incident — fueled the fire for the news media to bring the photo to light. In stark contrast to Moore’s reaction, however, Franken went on television to publicly apologize for his rude and crude behavior and for taking advantage of women like that. He said he would learn from his mistakes and called for an ethics investigation to be held for his previous behavior. McConnell agreed and called for an investigation as did many other Republican senators.
When it comes down to it, anyone who is rightfully accused of sexual violence, no matter left or right leaning, should face serious consequences. Using power to force people into hideous acts and taking advantage of anyone is morally disgusting. The sad part is that people still vote for people like this.
I could never vote for anyone with allegations like these attached to them. Sexual violence is a serious charge to be held by a person wanting to become even more powerful. Although these are just allegations, they can be eventually proven true and cause a huge problem in the Capital and the country as a whole. We have to be very careful when it comes to sexual misconduct and do all we can to investigate these people. It would be horrible if someone who has been found guilty of sexual violence were to be the head of a county, the senate or even head of the nation. To me, that shows people that others who do terrible and disgusting things deserve to hold powerful positions. This in no way is morally right in my eyes.
Some may say that these are just allegations and the people have not been officially convicted of anything. To them, I say yes, they have yet to be convicted of anything. I am a firm believer in due processing and innocence until proven guilty. However, when it comes to people of power, who are supposed to run our nation and hold important positions in our society, I would like to see them suspended or for there to be some sort of freeze on their campaign until the trials have concluded and shown there was no sexual misconduct beyond a reasonable doubt. If there was a sexual assault that took place, I would expect our judicial system to throw them in prison just like anyone else on the street. The reason I want to see a possible suspension of their duties is that it is better to err on the side of caution especially with an issue as sensitive as this.
Truly, I do not know what the outcome will be of the investigations. I am not a lawyer, nor do I know the full story. Only the people involved truly know what has happened to them. I’m beyond disgusted, regardless. If these allegations are found truthful, there is a lot of grime and muck that needs to be cleaned out of our governmental system and in this country. As the investigation into both of these people and many others continue, I hope that justice prevails, and we can move forward from all these horrific acts.