Accusations. How did I forget to mention accusations?
Accusations from one or two people (mostly women, but not all) that a politician (mostly male, but not all) made an unwanted sexual advance? At some time or another?
Whenever a politician is accused — usually just before an election — of doing something at the least disagreeable and at the worst assaultive, I stop in my mental tracks. Uh-oh, I think. What is going on here?
There’s quite a lot to consider when an accusation hits the media. In a weird and unpleasant way, we voters have been shoved into a jury box, unguided by a judge or rules of procedure or evidence. We’re just scrambling around, trying to figure out what has happened, whether we believe it, and how does it affect our perception of the person being accused.
Thing is, I don’t automatically accept the veracity of accusers, for a number of reasons. In my working and personal lives, I’ve known people whose versions of events were colored by their psyches’ warps which distorted their perceptions. Facts can morph into “Truths.” I don’t trust Truths, especially when they pop up as sudden political smears.
Two blunt generalizations here: most women are more emotionally affected by sexual relationships than are men, who tend (at least at the beginning) to be most affected by the actual sex.
Driven by testosterone, many men are clumsy at seduction, even crude and loutish. But a lack of finesse, a lack of charm does not necessarily make a man a sexual criminal, unfit for public office.
I, for one, need actual evidence before switching my vote to someone else.