In the viciously cynical American political environment where we now live, it no longer is about quality and competence, skills and ability. It is about destruction of the opponent: destroy them, their character, their children, their family. Just destroy them. For example, let’s show pictures of a girl crying at the southern border when her mother puts her down for a moment — and then let’s tweet that we hope that the President’s child gets kidnapped and sexually abused. Let’s destroy that kid.
Let’s destroy Melania. She never hurt anyone. Seems a really decent person. Many women that famous, that rich — frankly that above-average in appearance — would reek of arrogance and self-importance. And yet she is so modest. She dresses modestly. She speaks softly and with humility.
Y’know what? Let’s destroy her anyway!
So you get a racist bigot like Chelsea Handler mocking Melania’s accent. A fair-minded person would think: “For a woman born in Slovenia near the border of Croatia, who basically does not even have to speak to make millions of dollars in modeling, she speaks English fabulously.” But Chelsea instead mocked Melania’s accent, something Handler never would dare do to someone hailing from south of our country. But it’s Melania — so let’s destroy her!
(And, no, I haven’t seen Chelsea lately. Last I remember on the Chelsea front, she swore that she would leave America, move to Spain, and never come back if Donald Trump were elected President. He got elected; she stayed. So she not only is a bigot and racist, but also a brazen liar. Trifecta. She also promised that, if he were elected, she would “blow her head up.” On that she gets a pass.)
“Let’s destroy.” Let’s check into their histories, do “oppo research.” There must be something. Nothing the past ten years? OK, look back another ten years. Nothing? Go back another ten. What was he doing in grad school? How about college? How about half a century ago in high school?
And so, it turned out in 2012 that 65-year-old Mitt Romney, when he was in high school — fifty years earlier — pulled pranks. Drugs? No. Sex? No. Even then, the guy was a good kid, a Mormon. Not a drinker. Not a smoker. Maybe, despite the Mormon ban on coffee, maybe once sneaked a sip of frappucino without inhaling? He was a teenager. “Well, if that’s all we got… let’s destroy him with that!”
And what was Clinton doing as a teenager? Or Kennedy — any and all of them? Or Jesse Jackson? Or Elizabeth Warren? Or Kamala Harris? (Kamala does not actually generate her interesting story until she starts consorting publicly with another woman’s husband whose powerful standing in California politics raises her station overnight.)
And now the Seedier Media are going after Rep. Jim Jordan. They think maybe they got something on him from thirty years ago. Maybe he was not johnny-on-the-spot to know that a pervert doctor at the college wrestling team in Ohio was doing perverted stuff. Not that he did anything wrong. But that — thirty years ago — he did not know or believe or say.
This is so vicious, so base, the endless character assassination — leveled by hypocrites and phonies who, in front of their own very eyes, see the evil and villainy of the Keith Ellisons and Hillary Clintons, the Bill Clintons and Maxine Waterses who should be ostracized and vomited out of the body politic. Keith Ellison is a Jew-hater who hobnobbed with Farrakhan and whose anti-Jewish snide remarks have been caught on tape. Hillary is a felon. Her husband is the sequel to Raging Bull: Raping Bill. And Maxine: at this moment in American history, suddenly that name will never be the same.
But all those crooks and knaves are fine for the Democrat liberals smelling blood in the water near Jim Jordan. So let us consider a bit more deeply — in a case where an underling knows about abuse, which Jordan did not — what it means to speak out against abuse at the workplace. What it means in real life to be employed as a grunt at a place where the boss, or someone a bit less high up, is abusive — sexually abusive, physically abusive, emotionally abusive. Many inevitably encounter something like this at some job, but we prefer not to discuss it. Well, may as well discuss it:
I have been an attorney at three of America’s most prominent and distinguished law firms. I had serious responsibilities when practicing law, handling multi-million-dollar complex civil litigation cases. The way it works at the large firms is that the partners and senior associates call on you or on others among your peers when they need staffing — for legal research in preparation for bringing motions, for drafting complaints or some discovery requests. Lots of research and drafting. You often become part of a team that may include two associates of different experience levels, all working under a partner’s or senior associate’s direction. Over a period of time, you eventually get to work with most of the partners in your practice section. And you want that. You want them to get to know you and your work, as you begin inching up the ladder.
There was a partner at one firm, a real pig. All the associates knew it. We talked about it over lunch. And we knew there was not a thing we could do about it. Go to the managing partner and report the pig? First of all, he probably already knew, too. But without the most hard and irrefutable evidence, you would just get yourself fired. (Yes, yes, it is unlawful to fire a whistle-blower. World-class law firms know how to unload undesirable associates lawfully.) Such a firm is not going to remove a major source of income, a rainmaking partner with a brilliant mind, simply because some associate with pristine principles and archaic notions of spiritual right and wrong has come to town. Interestingly, a few years later — long after my friends and I had moved respectively to other firms — word got back to us that, at a firmwide retreat at that old firm, the pig apparently was sitting at a bar with a female associate, drank a bit too much, touched or said what he should not have — and, to some degree, got punished. But only temporarily before being restored to his former glory.
I worked at another firm. Another pig, a different kind. This one did not bother people sexually, but was the most foul-mouthed viciously abusive curser. He would holler four-letter words up and down the hall. The legal secretaries tried their darnedest not to get assigned to him. Everyone knew his abusive mouth — because he shouted down the hall so loudly. I deftly was able to avoid working with him for more than a year. One day I got cornered: several of my cases recently had settled, my workload was light, and he needed an associate. It was my lucky day. I sat with him in his office and quietly clenched my jaws. He was cold, no personality. With this guy, cold was good. Cold, no personality meant no cursing, no yelling, no insulting. Interestingly, there was one moment of actual unabashed warmth and charm: as he was assigning the project to me, his desk phone rang. It was a client. Suddenly, life, charm, warmth. Even a giggle. The client conversation ended, the phone returned to its rest. And thenceforth back to the day the music died.
That is life in corporate America and in the whole world, from the communists in Ayn Rand’s We the Living to the employees at the National Broadcasting Company. Powerful people who sometimes get into their heads that they can abuse anyone who draws a paycheck from them. I encountered it a third time when I was one of three personal attorneys to a fabulously rich guy. An eccentric billionaire with a “b.” It was the easiest, cushiest job I ever had: a six-figure salary paid in 52 equal high installments, with a relatively super-light workload and an actual requirement to leave the office every day at 5:00 p.m. and a matching job requirement virtually never to bring work home. Beyond cushy. The Caucasian guy maintained an office staff comprised of lots of really pretty, young Asian women. I had my office, and each of the other two attorneys had their offices. There were a few other employees on hand: the boss’s “Girl Friday,” the front desk receptionist, the financial guy.
It soon became clear that the boss was a person whose attitude towards and treatment of women was appalling. One day, his Girl Friday quit, claiming he had overstepped boundaries. Two months later, one of the pretty Asian young ladies came into my office, also tears. The boss saw she now had begun wearing an engagement ring, and he ordered her to take it off: “The women who work here do not wear engagement rings.” She had been showing it off and now was devastated. Why tell me? My yarmulka: “I heard you used to be a rabbi. I needed to cry to someone.” And then a few days later another comes in crying: “The boss wants me to use a different first name at work. He doesn’t like my name, says it sounds too ethnic, and he doesn’t want me using that name at work. He wants me to tell people that my name is ‘Tiffany.’”
It is not easy to walk up to the boss and to call him out. You know you probably are going to get fired… or he will find a way, with someone else’s legal counsel, to create an opportunity to downsize your position at the first possible opportunity. So I went home, and I discussed the matter with the love of my life. In my prior marriage the conversation would have gone one way, but with my second wife I knew we would be on the same page: no amount of money ever will justify avoiding doing the right thing. If I have to give up the job, then I give up the cushy job. G-d will find me another job. We are not going to starve the rest of our lives if we do the right thing. So I took the steps needed to leave the job immediately. On my last day there, I told the lady with the engagement ring that, partly because of her ring, I was quitting my job. And I thanked her. I added that I would not blame her for doing so, too.
I know of a religious congregation. A woman in the congregation sought a pastoral session with the clergyman, and she reported that a married member of the congregation’s Board of Directors had forced a kiss on her. She was crying. The clergyman soon after learned of a second such incident with a second woman. The clergyman knew that, if he spoke out and blew the whistle, he would face a really difficult time with the management of the congregation. The congregants themselves were the most wonderful people, but the Board of Directors were a mix of the best and the least-best. The clergyman, after prayer and consulting with his spouse, reported the matter to an internal committee of the Board and demanded that the violator be removed from the Board and from all congregational honors. The reaction of the Committee was a mix of (i) “we will have to investigate it,” and (ii) “the allegations better be accurate —or else.” They investigated. The allegations were accurate. The violator was stripped of his Board position and all honors. And then, when it all calmed down, his friends on the Board and he began the quiet methodical campaign to implement the “Or Else” component.
That is how it works in real life. It happens to pastors in churches. It happens to attorneys at law firms. It happens to coal miners. It happens to stock traders. It happens in every industry, trade, and profession. It happens in the real world. And then there is Hollywood.
Streep jumped to her feet, applauding Roman Polanski at the Academy Awards ceremony. She did not know he was a convicted child rapist? His very name elicited long and overwhelming standing applause, even from the guy at whose home the rape took place. Everyone stood and cheered — the same sorts who a few years later would stand and cheer Robert De Niro for cursing the duly elected President of the United States. They did not know they were standing and cheering for a child rapist?
Ashley Judd, who enjoys historical significance as the first American whose mind has landed in a planet outside our known galaxy, detoured completely into an alternate zone of reality after President Trump’s election. But, while insanely trying to associate the President with incestual inclinations, never had the courage to tell the women of Hollywood about Harvey Weinstein. And she knew. She could have spoken out years earlier and spared other victims. But she was a coward. And she knew.
Where were all the heroes and moralists and keepers of the public standards when the abusers were right under their well-sculpted-and-reshaped noses at their places of work, and they turned the other way for years and years to preserve their positions, get cast for movie parts, while holding their silence? And now they want to tackle Congressman Jim Jordan on the eve of his subpoenaing Rod Rosenstein or others at the Department of Justice because, thirty years ago, maybe he heard a rumor that he did not report in a different time, a different era? And he did not know.
It all is cynical and dishonest beyond words. Jim Jordan is a good man. He is a very honorable man. If we are going to go back thirty years to start digging up bones and skeletons, looking to destroy people who conducted themselves thoroughly properly for their time and place, though perhaps differently from what today’s standards would expect, let us take John Kennedy’s name off the airport sign at Idlewild because he fooled around with Judith Exner, if not Marilyn Monroe. Let us remove the name “Roosevelt” from the FDR Drive that runs up Manhattan’s east side because the man prevented refugees from Hitler from finding safety in this country, and he actually just-plain hated Jews. Let us revisit Al Sharpton’s role in instigating riots that led to death, and in advocating deathly violence against police, and in expressing so much hate against gays and Asians — so get him out of the public arena. Let us demand Kirsten Gillibrand’s resignation for aiding, abetting, and eagerly associating with the Clintons — long after we all knew that Bill would force himself on one woman, then another.
The campaign to destroy Rep. Jim Jordan is despicable stuff and nonsense. There is a reason that we have statutes of limitation and laws of repose. Otherwise, let us open a new category of litigation and start suing anyone we ever have met for anything that ever has happened. The eighth-grade kid who stole your cookie. The adult who knew it and did not whistleblow. The bus driver who laughed at you when you ran to catch the bus at age 14, and then closed the door just before you got in. The general practice family doctor at whose office you sought to be treated for symptoms of a virus, but who first told you that he wanted to check for an inguinal hernia — even though you insisted that you did not have any iguanas at home but were coughing phlegm and sneezing mucus.
If we had even one television news station dedicated to coverage of Hollywood and Broadway stars who knew of abusers at work but who never reported them, that channel would have enough to cover 24-7. Maybe when TMZ or “Access Hollywood” ratings start to slump.
So stand with Jim Jordan. He is a good man. And let him subpoena the records as Congress delves deeper and deeper into the bowels of the Deep State. And if you must get a daily fix on the politics of destruction and character assassination leveled against good people — now that Admiral Jackson has been defamed viciously, and the Trump Family seems to be enjoying a brief post-Peter-Fonda respite — fear not. The next campaign of personal destruction is about to launch: We now have a fabulous world-class United States Supreme Court justice nominee, with only two months available for the Democrat left and their Seedier Media to destroy a wonderfully dignified human being and perhaps an entire family.