Keep partisanship out of sexual assault scandals

(Versione italiana)

by Angelo Persichilli                                                                                                                           The Hill Times  (Nov. 27, 2017)

Two important battles, to defend the environment and to end sexual assault and sexual harassment against women, won’t be resolved quickly, despite international awareness. There are two reasons for this. First, people ignore own responsibility and keep blaming others, and second, everything is boiled down to political ideology.

On the environment, there is a template according to which the right is against doing anything to fight for the environment while the left defends. On paper, this is true, but, in reality, both do nothing. At most, left-leaning governments sign agreements and don’t implement them or leave them in the hands of their successors, while the right-leaning governments scrap them because they’re not implementable.

This typical behaviour of former U.S. vice president Al Gore, who in his eight years at the White House did nothing for the environment, but became the most virulent defender when he became a private citizen. It’s the same with the Hollywood tiger papers who lecture us about the global warming, despite being some of the worst polluters on Earth. Moreover, it is the same with the sexual violence against woman; a heinous crime that should be condemned and fought against without reservation, but, unfortunately, the issue is not immune from political labelling.

I was reading a comment last week in a Toronto paper stating that “sexual assault is a combustible topic these days, a situation long in coming, but ignited by the election of the ignoble Donald Trump to the U.S. presidency.

Really? What about the Kennedy White House or more recently, the Clinton presidency? Trump has rightly been called out on his treatment of women by the same people who tolerated Clinton’s behaviour before and during his presidency; not to mention the support that Hillary Clinton received from the organization and people now in the middle of the political and moral earthquake. Harvey Weinstein was not only a supporter of Hillary Clinton, but contributed millions of dollars to her failed presidential candidacy. It seems that she has promised to give $36,000 back.

Of course again, the Hollywood moralists lecturing those supporting Trump about morals and principles covered up decades of abuse for each other. Many are now accused of raping and assaulting young and defenseless women who were lured and drugged into the artificial life of stardom with fake promises of money and success.

You could hear the screeching brakes of their propaganda machine coming to a loud and abrupt halt. And this is the main point. No, Trump cannot and will not gain from the misery of an issue that has nothing to do with politics.

Women are abused by men, regardless of their political affiliations. Bill Clinton was able to escape the proper punishment for his actions because Republicans tried to make it a political case. Voters didn’t buy it. Democrats tried the same thing with Trump but again, voters didn’t buy their hypocritical and insincere campaign.

Machismo, sexual abuse, and discrimination against the woman are all, unfortunately, everywhere in our society, but we should keep politics out of it.

Angelo Persichilli is a former Stephen Harper Director of Communications, a former GTA-area citizenship judge, a former columnist for Toronto Sun and Toronto Star and a former political editor at Corriere Canadese, Canada’s Italian-language newspaper based in Toronto.

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