Tag Archives: Me Too

This just in: Oprah won’t run in 2020

This “scoop” comes from a member of my family: “You don’t need to worry about Oprah running for president; she isn’t going to do it.”

There you have it. Why? Because Oprah Winfrey isn’t going to give up being the world’s most powerful and revered woman. She isn’t going to expose herself to the denigration that would await her if she were to run against Donald John “Stable Genius” Trump Sr.

She won’t “lower herself” to Trump’s level, my family member said.

So, is that what will happen? I’m inclined to believe the assessment I have received.

I am no expert. I am no soothsayer. I cannot predict what celebrities will do. I once said publicly that former first lady Hillary Clinton wouldn’t run for the U.S. Senate in 2000. Wrong!

Winfrey brought ’em to their feet at the Golden Globes show this past weekend. She roared that “a new day is on the horizon!” Women no longer will be intimidated, shamed, abused, assaulted by men, she said. Hmm. Did she have anyone in mind? Oh, wait! Maybe it’s the president of the United States!

But … my family member believes Oprah won’t enter the 2020 presidential contest.

“She’ll go to her grave with her incredible wealth and reputation intact,” she said.

I’m good with that.

Get a clue, Ivanka

First, I will stipulate that I do not subscribe to the statement attributed to former White House strategist Stephen Bannon in the “Fire and Fury” book that Ivanka Trump is “dumb as a brick.”

The first daughter, though, seems to be tone deaf. Politically, that is.

Oprah Winfrey got the Golden Globes crowd all worked up Sunday night with that speech in which she declared to women around the nation that a “new day is on the horizon!”

Ivanka then weighed in with a tweet that endorsed Winfrey’s “empowering and inspiring” speech.

Uhh, oops!

The speech was seen by many as a first shot in the 2020 presidential campaign. Oprah might be considering a run for president against, um, Ivanka’s father, Donald Trump Sr., the president of the United States.

Here is where I’ll note that Ivanka stood by Dad when those women came forward to accuse him of sexual abuse, assault, harassment. She has said in public that the president is women’s most powerful ally; Ivanka has drawn scorn for saying that, too.

Now she endorses Oprah’s speech and the “Me Too” movement, while standing by her father?

Ivanka isn’t “dumb as a brick.” She does need re-calibrate her political antennae.

Oprah in 2020? Umm, no thank you

Oprah Winfrey has just elevated herself into the discussion of possible presidential candidates for 2020.

I want to douse this notion with a tanker full of cold water.

Do not do this, Oprah!

The talk-show queen/billionaire businesswoman/partisan activist brought the house down Sunday night at the Golden Globe award ceremony. No more “me too!” she bellowed. Men who abuse women no longer will be tolerated, she exclaimed. Their time is up, she said.

Some pundits suggest that was the start of her campaign for president. I am presuming she would run as a Democrat.

Pleeeaase! No!

The United States of America already has elected someone with zero political experience. Donald Trump parlayed a successful real estate career into a successful reality TV show, when then led to his successful presidential campaign in 2016. He has spent his entire professional life for one purpose only: personal enrichment. He has succeeded. Trump then managed to persuade enough voters in battleground states that he was the man for the job.

Trump has demonstrated what we’ve all thought, which is that “anyone can be elected president.” I do not want just anyone to hold the nation’s highest, most exalted public office.

I am kind of old-fashioned in this regard. I want my president to take office with at least some semblance of government/public service experience. Trump had none of it. His lack of government experience — let alone knowledge of government– has been shown repeatedly during his first year in office.

What in the world does Oprah Winfrey bring to this discussion? Nothing of substance. Not a single thing.

She is an iconic figure to millions of Americans. Winfrey didn’t inherit any of her parents’ money to get started. She worked her way to uber-wealthy status on her own. She was abused as a girl. She came from poverty. Winfrey is a commendable celebrity.

However, she is a celebrity. Winfrey stands on a platform from which she can bring change. She is no more qualified than Donald J. Trump to become commander in chief, the head of state, head of government and leader of the Free World.

One more time: Don’t run for president, Oprah.

Boys Ranch story still causing pain

Now it’s Bill Sarpalius coming forward to tell us about his experiences at Boys Ranch.

The former Democratic U.S. representative grew up at the ranch. He tells the world that older students sexually abused him. And, yes, he was disciplined severely by staff members.

Other men have come forward to tell about actual abuse heaped on them by students and by staff members. They spoke to The Guardian newspaper and local media have picked up the story.

Let’s just say the “Me Too” movement has come to the Texas Panhandle.

I’m now believing that Boys Ranch officials need to provide explicit and clearly stated measures on how they are preventing this kind of behavior on the campus about 30 miles northwest of Amarillo.

To his credit, Boys Ranch CEO and president Dan Adams has issued a highly public apology and has acknowledged that what the men have alleged did occur — years ago! He said the ranch has taken measures to assure they don’t happen now. I happen to believe Adams’s assurances.

That might not be enough to satisfy everyone with a keen interest in this iconic institution, founded in 1939 by one of the Panhandle’s legendary figures, Cal Farley.

Sarpalius tells riveting story

I don’t know Sarpalius. He left office the week of my arrival in early 1995 to become editorial page editor of the Amarillo Globe-News. But he tells a remarkable tale of abuse at the ranch. Yet he continues to express support for the longtime superintendent, Lamar Waldrip, who was identified in The Guardian article as one of the main culprits in the stories of abuse.

Still, the ranch’s reputation has been soiled. The folks who run the place now would do well to come squeaky clean with detailed assurances on how they are preventing this kind of activity from recurring.

I believe the great Cal Farley would want that, too.

Expecting more from our elected officials

I’m hearing the first hint of grumbling over the “Me Too” movement and fallout.

It comes from those who are wondering whether we’re expecting too much of our elected officials who’ve been caught abusing women sexually. Are we asking that only prudes can qualify for public service?

I’m as liberated a male as there is, but I remain fairly old-fashioned on some matters. I don’t believe in knowing the sex of unborn children; I hate the designated hitter rule in baseball … just for example.

Moreover, I expect my elected officials to represent the very best of the people they represent. They are our ambassadors. They are supposed to appeal to the very best of in all of us.

The accusations of sexual misbehavior and misconduct are troubling in the extreme to yours truly.

Yeah, yeah … I understand that no one is perfect. I don’t demand perfection, however. I merely want the individuals we elect to public office to know how to treat other human beings. Threatening them with the loss of job if they don’t “perform” is not part of the routine I want them to follow.

Let’s understand that they work for us. We are the bosses, not them. If they don’t behave the way we want or expect them to behave, they need to prepare to get the boot from those of us who expect more of them.

They have initiated a change in our culture

Time Magazine has done it!

The publication has hit a grand slam home run with its selection of its 2017 Person of the Year — and, no, Donald J. “Grandstander in Chief” Trump, it ain’t you!

It selected the Silence Breakers, the women who came forward to found a movement called “Me Too” to sound the alarm against sexual predators.

The magazine’s cover features several women who have been at the forefront of this movement. In reality, they symbolize a much larger segment of a population that has been terrorized by powerful men.

And the movement has inflicted plenty of casualties in this fight against sexual harassment, abuse and predation. Good … for … them!

Media stars have tumbled off their pedestals. Politicians have fallen, too. Movie and music executives stand accused. Careers have been trashed — and deservedly so!

Read about the Silence Breakers here.

The Person of the Year goes to individuals or groups of individuals who have made a profound impact on our world. It has gone to some notorious and downright evil monsters: Josef Stalin, Adolf Hitler and the Ayatollah Khomeini come to mind immediately.

This year? The Silence Breakers symbolize maximum courage and grit in the face of a culture that for too long looked the other way as men preyed on their victims.

Great call, Time.

Franken deserves to be censured … at minimum

Al Franken has acquitted himself surprisingly well in the U.S. Senate.

Until now.

The Minnesota Democrat has been snagged in a growing scandal involving members of Congress who have misbehaved badly in the presence of women. A television news anchor has come forth with an accusation that in 2006 Franken, before he was a senator, grabbed her and kissed her without her permission.

Franken has apologized for his conduct. He also says he remembers the incident — which occurred when the then-comedian was on a USO tour of the Middle East — differently from what the woman has alleged.

That is not good enough, senator.

The only aspect of this case that differs from the hideous accusations against Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore — who’s been accused of sexual misconduct with underage girls — is that the accuser was an adult when the incident occurred.

That doesn’t make it acceptable in any form or fashion.

You see, Franken is one of those lawmakers who likes to speak glowingly of his wife, their children and grandchildren. He presents himself as a devoted family man.

What should the Senate do? I think a censure is clearly in order. There ought to be a strong statement condemning one of the body’s colleagues — who until this week was actually discussed as a possible presidential candidate in 2020.

For those of us out here in Flyover Country who have admired the work he has done ever since he joined the Senate, Al Franken has just become a huge disappointment.

GOP Senate candidate turns toxic

They’re now starting to cut ties with one of their own.

Republican U.S. senators who once backed the candidacy of Alabama GOP nominee Roy Moore are bailing on a guy they once hoped would join their ranks.

Moore is accused of having making improper sexual advances on a 14-year-old girl nearly 40 years ago. Moore was 32 years of age when he allegedly made the advance on Leigh Corfman, who’s now 53 and has come forward with the scathing accusation. Other women have told essentially the same type of story about Moore.

Sens. Mike Lee of Utah and Steve Daines of Montana have rescinded their endorsements of Moore. They haven’t exactly declared him guilty as charged. They are concerned about what they believe are the veracity of the allegations made.

Indeed, they are seeking to cut their own political losses by severing ties with Moore. There well might be more defections as the Alabama special election set for Dec. 12 draws closer.

As for Moore, he is denying it all. He says he doesn’t know Leigh Corfman. He calls it a conspiracy cooked up by Democrats. He calls the allegation the work of the “forces of evil.”

Well, let’s just wait and see how this plays out. Meanwhile, Democratic nominee Doug Jones might be the immediate beneficiary of the troubles that now are threatening to swallow Roy Moore whole.

We have entered an entirely new political environment fueled by he “Me Too” movement that has swelled in the wake of sexual abuse/assault/harassment allegations that have all but destroyed the careers of Hollywood titans.

It isn’t pretty. It is, however, a significant part of a brand new political reality.

Sex enters a key political contest

A Hollywood film mogul has had his career wiped out over allegations of rape. Same for an Academy Award-winning actor. Women are streaming forward to say “Me, too.” The public seems to more or less have accepted the women’s view of what happened with these men.

Many other men in the entertainment industry are facing similar accusations.

OK, then. What about a candidate for the U.S. Senate? A Republican former state supreme court chief justice is facing charges of sexual contact with an underage girl.

Who do we believe here? Roy Moore, the accused candidate, or the woman who was 14 years of age at the time the incident allegedly occurred?

This “Me too” environment has elevated the issue of sexual abuse, sexual assault and sexual harassment to a whole new level of visibility.

I am in no position to assess the value of what the accuser has said Moore supposedly did. Republican leaders are saying that “if it’s true,” Moore has to pull out of his Senate contest against Democratic opponent Doug Jones.

Here is where the matter gets sticky. The election will take place slightly more than a month from now. How does someone prove an allegation of a crime that occurred nearly 40 years ago in such a short span of time? Absent that proof, how do voters respond?

Moore is entitled to the presumption of innocence. Then again, so are the many other men in public life who’ve been accused of sex crimes ranging from making inappropriate remarks to flat-out rape. The public, though, is quick to presume the worst about those others.

Will the voters in Alabama do the same to Roy Moore?

This situation is going to get real sticky … real fast.

Waiting for a ‘Me Too’-themed political campaign

In the bad old days, when President Clinton was being impeached over his relationship with the White House intern, we saw a rash of political campaign themes aimed at extolling candidates’ marital fidelity.

As if someone should actually boast about honoring a sacred oath he took to love his wife “for as long as we both shall live.”

But it happened. I found it disgusting at the time to see these individuals making their devotion to their families a political talking point.

That was then.

This latest incarnation of moral misbehavior has produced a plethora of allegations against politicians and various celebrities from all walks of life. It’s called the “Me Too” campaign, with women coming forward to accuse men in high places of sexual harassment and, in some cases, of sexual assault.

I’m not predicting it will happen, but I won’t be at all surprised to see a new spate of political ads from men running for public office who will say that they know how to behave in the company of women. They well might couch their slogans in ways that seek to ensure that voters understand that they’ve never done anything they would regret as it regards women.

My reaction is likely to mirror how I felt when politicians in the late 1990s sought to capitalize on the president’s misbehavior. It sickened me then.

I don’t look forward to seeing what I fear might occur in this age of “Me Too” politics.