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Bad apples: everybody’s got them

July 13, 2017

HARRINGTON

 

Before I left for college, I was given three very important pieces of advice: have fun, study hard and most importantly, don’t become a liberal.

 

Unfortunately, I’ve come to realize all of those things are easier said than done these days.

 

Like most kids who were raised in a church-going, Bible-oriented family, I had been deemed a member of the Republican Party before I even exited the womb. From pro-life marches and election night prayer circles to anti-welfare bills and pro-military movements, all I had ever known was right wing ideology. It was the classic, “Republican: good, Democrat: bad” mindset.

 

While I very much appreciate my conservative upbringing and still hold steadfast to many of its teachings, I feel recently it has become increasingly more difficult to label myself a Republican while still claiming I respect myself and other women. This is attributed to the simple fact that time and time again, many of those affiliated with the Republican Party makes excuses for its male members’ sexual misconduct as political figures.

 

Take, for example, Donald Trump and Bill O’Reilly — both staples of the Republican Party.

 

While the report on Trump’s infamous line, “Grab them by the p*ssy” is old news, I was then, and am now, insulted by how quickly the comments were excused and swept under the rug by my fellow Republicans and female friends. “He said it in a locker room,” they would tell me, as if it is acceptable for men, who supposedly represent our beliefs, to speak so vulgarly if no woman is around to hear. 

 

While I didn’t expect Trump to be crucified for a “single” comment as he is human and sins as the rest of us, I felt it was curious how quickly the majority of the Republican Party downplayed the comments and shifted the blame away from him. Since when is it wrong to hold a person accountable for their actions against another?

 

But, Trump’s comments hardly hold a candle to O’Reilly’s many, many recent sexual harassment allegations. According to a New York Times investigation, O’Reilly was found to have spent about $13 million (from his own pocket) in settlements to female employees who have accused him of lewd or otherwise abusive behavior toward them.

 

Since then, O’Reilly’s show was cancelled and he has been dropped by Fox. So, why then, are many Republicans still holding him completely unaccountable? Can this question be answered without calling these women liars, or is the answer only found in the word “allegations?”

 

Don’t get me wrong, I’m fully aware the Democratic Party has had its fair share of misconduct — easily more than the Republican Party has. I also recognize that every party has bad apples and to call out all Republicans would be an assumption and overstatement. But as a young woman and a Republican, I just want to know: when will respect for women become part of our ideology?

 

Amber Harrington is a junior communications major from Arlington who serves as a news editor for The Tech Talk.

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