Here are a few disclaimers right off the top: First of all, grabbing anyone’s ass outside of a consensual relationship is not okay. Albeit, an ass is a rather funny protruding mass of fat that contributes little to overall personal aesthetics, but (pun intended) it is, after all, one’s own and of a personal nature. Grabbing it is sexual even if playful.
Secondly, I have endorsed a candidate for governor and it wasn’t Nate Boulton and so I have no investment in his candidacy.
And thirdly, I am not defending Nate Boulton, or Al Franken for that matter, or anyone for misconduct. Unwanted advances and physical contact to any body part is a violation of privacy at the very least and in most cases of decency. And when it is as predatory as a Cosby or a Weinstein it is criminal in the most sinister understanding of the word.
Now, I’d like to get down to what this article is really about. With regard to the accusations against Nate Boulton, an important question has been shoved under the shag carpeting: Why now?
Why did these accusations surface now and not earlier? Boulton has obviously run for office before and so why has his past deviancy not been brought up before? An easy answer is that these women were afraid and only now had the courage to come forward, but let’s be real here. Boulton, while successful, did not lord power to where they could not come forward for fear of retribution.
There is something disingenuous about the timing. If this was a serious concern about women’s safety or his policy toward women why didn’t it come out sooner? Why, after people invested money in his campaign, and he invested time and energy at great sacrifice did this come out now?
The reason these accusations came out now is because this is the reality of politics. Another campaign found these indictments against an opponent and sat on them until they would tank his candidacy at a time when he could not recover.
This is politics 101. When a campaign brings in a little bit of money, it spends a lot of it and a lot of time looking for trash on an opponent. Remember these are Democrats running against Democrats in the primary; this dirt didn’t come from Kim Reynolds camp. Another candidate “found” something potentially damning toward Boulton and waited until they found more in order to make it appear as overwhelming evidence as opposed to an indiscretion that could conceivably be (or at least a case could be made) a misinterpretation of a moment.
The campaign puts that worm on a hook and eventually gets another bite. A witness corroborating the most recent story lends credence to the hunch that work was put into solidifying the damning story.
Time for another disclaimer: I’m not saying that anyone is lying. I don’t think anyone is. And I repeat my opening statement- what Boulton has been accused of is not okay. But….we are losing the opportunity to do something better than what is accomplished by knocking a candidate out of a race; we are missing the opportunity to make better men who could then do some good.
If a woman told me that my son (this is a hypothetical only) behaved inappropriately toward her, made an unwanted advance or made contact in any untoward fashion, I would not be happy. He would receive a scolding that could only be described as “scathing.” But, I’m not going to thereafter dismiss my son as incapable of ever being a better man. No, I am going to give him the opportunity to be contrite, to learn, and to be a better and more understanding man.
Yes, I hear you (whoever you are hating my point of view here)- Nate Boulton was not a teenager 3 years ago during the alleged ass grab, but he is a man capable of improvement, and I’ll bet that his own contrition could have made him a more viable candidate even for women’s rights. Al Franken should have been given that chance to be a more enlightened man and representative. He was transparent and contrite and his stewardship of justice would have benefitted from his lesson.
Yes! They were WRONG, but correction is what can make a person right. There is behavior that can be corrected and there is behavior that should be incarcerated. We have to distinguish between these to do service to victims of violence and dangerous predators like Cosby and Weinstein and too many others.
#metoo is a good thing. Women have been taken advantage of for too long and the Weinstein revelation tore open centuries of pent up frustration and fear, and the new consciousness is a societal awakening. But if that change is to be real and to last, then we have to also take responsibility for every result. Careers (and families) are also being destroyed in a brush fire of sexual reckoning, and not all of them should be, at least not to that extreme. When we make everything the same, then nothing can be different, and that puts us in a conundrum where there is no authentic change.
Are we taking genuine responsibility, or is this just more….politics 101?