To ask the question why liberals have been such hypocrites about their treatment of women and about women’s rights is not to say that conservatives haven’t been. They have. And some of their actions have been pretty bad. But by comparison, GOP hypocrisy in this area has been quite literally dwarfed by the Democrats.
Ted Kennedy and Bill Clinton are the most recent spiritual fathers of this atrocious behavior. Both extreme sexual predators — Teddy to the extent of walking away from the corpse of Mary Jo Kopechne and other improprieties, Bill for, well, practically everything from rape to cigars — they were revered as American heroes for decades by their party with but glancing and forced (in Clinton’s case) attention to their abhorrent, often illegal, personal behavior and complete disrespect for and objectification of women.
It’s only during the recent deluge of revelations precipitated by the Harvey Weinstein unmasking with seemingly half of Hollywood (almost all of whom are liberals) being accused of myriad forms of sexual assault, gay and straight, not to mention an escalating number of politicians (Franken) and media personalities (Charlie Rose, Glenn Thrush, etc.) under fire, with undoubtedly more to come. that some Democrats are finally facing reality after twenty-five years of near complete prevarication.
What accounts for these decades of liberals and progressives systemically ignoring an epidemic of closet misogyny, ironically often abetted by their female “gal travelers,” including, of course, Hillary and her Girl Friday-Saturday-Sunday-and-Monday Huma Abedin (talk about enablers)?
The answer may be simply this. Liberalism does not exist. Not in a real way, anyway. There’s no there there anymore. Or not much of a there. All that is left is identity politics.
And the greatest identity group of all is, of course, women.
But since women are defined as a group — not individual human beings subject to assaults from rape to groping — they only have to be addressed as a group. All that need to be made are “fervent” proclamations in favor of women’s rights. Then you — Ted Kennedy, Charlie Rose, etc. — can do what you wish privately. You are entitled.
In essence, liberalism is a charade. Only the surface counts. The reality is immaterial. You are what you say you are, not what you do. Even if that reality turns out to be the reverse of what you said it would be, or even causes a catastrophe, personal or political, it doesn’t matter. You already said the “right thing.” You’re one of the good guys.
Consequently, liberalism — as practiced in this country, not in the classical sense — is little more than a power grab. And that power grab has a subtle, and extremely dark, relationship to sexual assault. In almost all cases, what we’re seeing in this current round of revelations are not expressions of love but assertions of power. (Al Franken puts his hand on a woman’s buttocks in front of her husband. Kevin Spacey gropes Richard Dreyfuss’ son when Richard isn’t looking.) That this activity predominates in politics, Hollywood, and the media makes unfortunate sense.
Further, that concept of saying you’re for women’s rights, even if it’s not reflected in your actions, is a form of self-hypnosis. It does strange things to the mind at the same time as it’s a lie to the public. The self becomes corrupted. You are unable to cope with criticism because those critiques are seen as an attack on who you are, on your very makeup. This psychopathology is reflected in the apologia posted today by Charlie Rose on Twitter immediately after the newsman’s outing as a predator by eight women. (As many of you know by now, CBS and PBS then immediately suspended and dropped Rose. Any bets on how long those networks actually knew about his proclivities? Years, I’d wager.) Anyway, read the apology, if you already haven’t.
My statement in full. pic.twitter.com/3kvFrqF2dT
— Charlie Rose (@charlierose) November 20, 2017
The egotistical entitlement inherent in the statement “I always thought that I was pursuing shared feelings…” is astonishing. (All eight women? See what I mean about self-hypnosis?) The last paragraph, in which he includes all of us in his problem (“All of us, including me, are coming to a newer and deeper recognition of pain caused by conduct in the past…”), is an attempt to fob off the blame for what he did on the rest of us.
What moral narcissism! Only a couple of weeks ago Rose was inveighing against the other newl -unmasked sexual predators, as was Al Franken. There’s a lesson in that. Beware most of all those who pompously tell us how to live. It’s usually a dead giveaway. Call it the Jimmy Swaggart-Elmer Gantry syndrome. Something’s up behind the scenes. Rose and Franken are guilty of that, in the secular sense, as is and was, to be honest, Judge Moore, in the religious sense. For that reason, among others, I have to say I suspect Moore’s accusers are truthful as well. I wish Trump had cut him loose.
But most of all, I wish I were still writing my book on moral narcissism. What’s happening now is the material of a lifetime.
Roger L. Simon is an award-winning novelist, Academy Award-nominated screenwriter and co-founder of PJ Media. His latest book is I Know Best: How Moral Narcissism Is Destroying Our Republic, If It Hasn’t Already.