In a post-Weinstein era, where do we go from here?

It was said almost immediately in early October, when dual articles in the New York Times and the New Yorker exposed an alarming pattern of inappropriate and abusive sexual behavior by film mogul Harvey Weinstein, that this was a watershed moment.

But it’s hard to tell if something truly is a watershed moment while it is happening. It’s the events and reactions that occur after that determine that.

Three months later, there’s no doubt it was a watershed moment, indeed.

Women have been racking their memories of all the times they have inappropriately harassed and kept their silence, the victims of an existing punitive culture that deterred women from speaking out against powerful men.

Men, conversely, have reflected on all the times that their behavior towards women may have crossed the line and if they, too, are guilty of sexual impropriety.

What’s different now is we’ve finally entered a new age where we, as a society at large, are ready to listen to women and accept their stories.

And my how the floodgates have opened. Kevin Spacey. Louis CK. Charlie Rose. Matt Lauer. The list goes on of men who have been publicly accused and subsequently lost their jobs, or faced punishment and public shaming.

My worry is that people will get lost in this cloud of constant accusations. I worry that the discussions will devolve to “Who’s next?” followed by, “Will he lose their job?”

Because if that is the case, then we lose the question that truly matters: Where do we go from here?

Moving forward, will we now live and work in an environment where men, knowing that they will be held accountable for their actions, will think twice before they act? Will we begin educating youths of the improper nature of sexual misconduct, even before they know what sex is – like we do with drugs?

What’s happening now will not matter if we don’t learn anything moving forward, and that is where conversations need to be directed.

Exposing people for their past behavior is a good start, but more important is making sure that this behavior doesn’t persist.

As far as how to deal with the accused, well, that’s another discussion. What we’ve obviously learned is that this issue is not black and white. When hearing about alleged misconduct, we need to decipher if the accused has exhibited a lifelong pattern of pervasive sexual misconduct, or if they made a mistake.

Will they vehemently deny the allegations and demean their accusers, or will they accept responsibility and strive to become a better person? Those are the questions we need to ask ourselves, and judge accordingly.

There’s a lot of ugliness being reported now. I’m sure there will be more accusations coming. But often, the brightest times emerge after the darkest storms.

Let’s hope there is brightness ahead.

It’s time we start calling Trump supporters what they really are

Early on in this campaign season, people were treading carefully when it came to Donald Trump. And in hindsight, given what we know now, it was too carefully.

Donald Trump is a virus. And instead of fighting it, we let it grow. And now it’s taken over and there’s nothing we could do about it.

We were also too soft on all those who were voting for him. We accepted the “outsider” excuse, wrote it off that people were infatuated with his brashness and his celebrity, and that in the end, cooler heads would prevail.

But now it’s not funny anymore. It’s March, Trump is tallying up delegate after delegate, and the prospect that he may be our president is becoming more real by the day.

I hate to say this, but we severely overestimated the American people.

Trump fans

Donald Trump is using bigoted discourse, he’s bullying anyone who stands in his way, and he’s race-baiting. And people are biting.

And it’s well past time that we acknowledge that the people who are supporting Trump are among our nation’s most prejudiced, and now they finally have an outlet in which to express it.

Now before anyone gets angry, allow me to clarify that I’m not pegging all Trump supporters as racist (although Saturday Night Live recently went as far as doing so), but it cannot be denied at this point that they are more susceptible to intolerant rhetoric than the average person.

Trump has said countless divisive and offensive things over the last several months. Even if you haven’t heard it straight from his mouth, then you’ve undoubtedly read about it in the media, where his antics have been well-documented. And if you still don’t care, after this long, then you’ve officially crossed the line from ignorance into complicity.

At the end of the day, Trump really is tapping into the worst all of us.

And it saddens me because I really think these people are better than that. It’s easy to just say “screw it” and fill in the box next to Trump’s name. It feels almost like a rebellious act.

But it’s not. It’s a dangerous act because Trump does not care about you. He doesn’t care about America. He cares about himself.

He’s seemed to have cast some type of spell on many Republican voters. He’s the devil on your shoulder whispering for you to take the negative path.

Still, though he may be the instigator in this equation, it takes two to tango.

If you don’t want to listen to me, maybe listen to Louis C.K. As a comedian, he’s the Louis CKfurthest thing from politically correct, and yet, he still understands the peril of electing Donald Trump as president, as he expressed in a rather large postscript in an email to his fans, which was published by Vanity Fair.

“Don’t vote for Trump. He is not one of you. He is one of him. Everything you have heard him say that you liked, if you look hard enough you will see that he one day said the exact opposite. He is playing you.

“… Trump is a messed up guy with a hole in his heart that he tries to fill with money and attention. He can never ever have enough of either and he’ll never stop trying. He’s sick. Which makes him really really interesting. And he pulls you towards him which somehow feels good or fascinatingly bad. He’s not a monster. He’s a sad man. But all this makes him horribly dangerous if he becomes president. Give him another TV show. Let him pay to put his name on buildings. But please stop voting for him.”

And of course, as soon as I finish writing this, I turn on the news to see Trump just won Michigan and Louisiana.

We are screwed.