#Metoo more dangerous for Trump than Mueller Probe
The #metoo movement made the cover of Time Magazine, a fitting prominence given that it is bringing about the greatest gender shift since women were granted the vote.
The scales of justice have been readjusted and now men accused by victims are considered guilty unless proven innocent. The high and mighty are losing their careers, including media stars such as Charlie Rose and Bill O’Reilly. Governments are being engulfed by scandals, careers are crashing, and the presidency of Donald Trump is possibly at risk.
What’s interesting is that male predation has been around forever, but today’s social media has lifted the lid on the Pandora’s box. The first casualties were media moguls and political heavyweights, Harvey Weinstein of Hollywood and the late Roger Ailes of Fox TV. Weinstein was a Clinton insider while Ailes was a Republican operative.
Their high-profile cases emboldened victims and opened the floodgates. Both had been serial predators and suddenly the #Metoo hashtag on Twitter encouraged hundreds more accusations.
Some people have raised concerns about reputations being swept away without due process or falsely.
On the other hand, all victims have been denied due process because the system has been stacked against victims who have traditionally been frightened, threatened, sued, shamed, or forced to sign hush-up deals. Today’s burden of proof need only be allegations made by multiple, credible persons who are unrelated to one another.
According to at least one estimate, up to 40 members of the U.S. Congress will be embroiled in scandals before next fall’s mid-term election, or roughly one in ten elected men. More than a dozen have been implicated already, two have resigned and one appears to have committed suicide last week.
Currently, five British Members of Parliament, a dozen members of the European Parliament, and two officials in Canada, a Liberal MP and senior official in the PMO, have been dismissed or are under a cloud. Businesses and the arts are reeling too.
In the past, shenanigans involving the Kennedys, Bill Clinton, Bill Cosby and others have surfaced then disappeared, thanks to sympathetic, possibly other predatory, media big shots and the intimidation of victims.
But the election of 2016 changed the tone and topic. Trump made Bill Clinton’s misdeeds, and Hilary’s complicity, an issue. He even held a press conference with Clinton’s victims before he debated Hilary Clinton. Then one month later, the tables turned when the Hollywood Access tapes of Trump bragging about sexual assaults were released. So far, nearly one dozen accusers have come forward and Trump has threatened to sue, but has not. He apologized for the bragging on the tape, but denied any wrongdoing and has called these women liars.
This week, more than 100 members of Congress demanded an investigation into the Trump allegations, which allege to involve unwanted touching and kissing similar to what cost Senator Al Franken and others their jobs.
In coming months, coverage will continue, raising the possibility of a gigantic Washington electoral upheaval. What happened in Alabama may sweep the nation next fall.
For Trump and Republicans, the #metoo movement may end up being more dangerous than the investigation being led by special counsel Robert Mueller, the former director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, into Russian collusion and obstruction of justice.
This is not far-fetched. A monumental swap in the workplace is already underway. If a superstar can be easily replaced in weeks, with someone just as good if not better, then so can a President, especially one without a moral compass or many friends.
First published Financial Post