One thing about the trickster god or archetype. The mythical creature shows no political preferences. Take the case of the Alabama candidate for Senate in the upcoming election next Tuesday. The guy should be toast. Nine women (or more since this was written) have come forward with accusations that he pursued them as teens when he was in his thirties. One of them was only 14. Another, who was 17, remembered being called out of her trigonometry class to take a call from Moore, who asked her out on a date. At the time, Moore was an assistant district attorney. Beyond that he was supposedly banned from a mall because of his propensity to go after young girls. There’s another accusation that he was told to stay away from a YMCA for the same reason.
The man, by now, should’ve gotten out of the race, you would think. These are not good attributes for a senator. But Moore resides in Alabama, possibly the most Republican state in the country. Twice Moore was removed from his position as chief justice for refusing to follow federal court orders to remove the Ten Commandments from the court house in the state capital. He was removed because he put his religious beliefs above the constitution. That didn’t bother Alabama voters. They live in the Bible Belt and don’t like being told what to do by Washington lawyers. Moore, who has an array of radical right wing ideas, went on to beat Luther Strange, who is acting senator —filling in for Jeff Session—until the election.
For Democrats, it seemed like a win-win situation, and maybe it still is. If Judge Moore wins, the Senate Republicans will have a probable pedophile in their midst. It’s highly doubtful that all those women were making up their stories. If Moore falls to the Democratic candidate, Doug Jones, then the Republicans lose a seat in the Senate and will hold a frail one-vote majority. That would come into play just as Trump and the Republicans in Congress are trying to push through a partisan tax bill that, by most estimates, will offer little or nothing to the middle class while enriching the wealthy and corporations, who are already holding billions of dollars out of the economy.
But back to the trickster. Along came the allegations about Senate Democrat Al Franken, which even included a photo of him appearing to grope the breasts of a sleeping woman. Looks bad. Who wants a jerk like that in Congress, the trickster seems to ask.
However, at the time, in 2006, Franken was still a comedian and the photo was clearly a prank. The woman, Leeann Tweeden, was wearing a military flak jacket that blocks both bullets and Al Franken’s hands. Tweeden was not working for Franken so it wasn’t a boss harassing a subordinate. She and Franken were on a military entertainment tour in the Mideast and doing skits together. Tweeden took offense at Franken’s behavior and joined the chorus of complainants who are bringing to light the issue of sexual harassment, especially in the workplace.
Other charges of butt grabbing, while a senator, followed against Franken and the Democrats had to deal with sexual harassment involving one of their own. So much for their superior moral position, the trickster shouted.
However, clearly there is a significant difference between the Moore case and Franken’s issues. It’s a prankster with stupid but (so far) fairly innocuous behavior vs a man dealing with pedophile issues in his background.
And another thing: Franken has admitted his guilt and apologized profusely multiple times. Moore just says it never happened and all the women are lying. That, of course, is what Trump said when more than a dozen women complained about him groping them over the years against their wills. “They’re all lying,” he has said repeatedly, usually adding: “Besides, I was elected president.” As if that negates his actions.
How will it all end for Moore, for Franken, for Trump? It’s hard to say at this point. But one thing that is certain: the trickster will win the day, and hopefully politicians and others in powerful positions will learn the foibles of their barbarous and lecherous deeds.
At this writing, Dec. 6, it looks as Roy Moore will be elected next Tuesday and become a Republican senator. Meanwhile, it appears Al Franken will resign this Thursday. That follows the resignation of John Conyers, who resigned yesterday related to sexual harassment.