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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 12/16/17

Opposition mounts to sexual harassment witch-hunt

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Message Joseph Kishore

Edsall cites the comments of several individuals who have raised concerns over the implications of the sexual harassment campaign. Emily Yoffe in Politico worries whether the "amazing moment" could "go off track if all accusations are taken on faith, if due process is seen as an impediment rather than a requirement and an underpinning of justice." Paul Rosenberg warns in Salon of a "Democratic rush to judgment, casting due process to the wind, in order to strike a virtue-signaling pose that almost surely will look increasingly dark in years to come." Elizabeth Bartholet, a professor at the Harvard Law School, writes of the campaign as "another moment we may look back on as a moment characterized by madness and sexual panic."

Edsall concludes, however, that such considerations will have no impact on the political operation underlying the #MeToo campaign in the run-up to the 2020 elections.

The strategy of the Democratic Party toward the Trump administration is bound up with a protracted political and social process. The past 40 years have seen an extreme concentration of wealth. This has involved not only the amassing of vast fortunes by America's billionaires -- three of whom now own more than half of the population -- but also a growing chasm between the top five or 10 percent of the population, the upper-middle class, and the bottom 90 percent. The interests and concerns of this layer are distinct from and hostile to the interests of the working class.

Politically, the Democratic Party has severed its previous association with social reform. It is a party of Wall Street, the military/intelligence apparatus and the upper-middle class, based on identity politics. This culminated in the Clinton campaign, which sought to divert mass opposition to social inequality and war through the promotion of such issues as the law-and-order demand for harsher sentencing surrounding the case of Stanford University student Brock Turner. This was coupled with the slander that workers who did not support the Democratic Party campaign were expressing white and male "privilege." The reactionary strategy of that campaign is now being resurrected in the context of the Trump administration.

The campaign over alleged sexual misconduct is unfolding against the backdrop of mounting war threats that could unleash a nuclear catastrophe. A growing proportion of workers and young people confront staggering levels of poverty without any prospect for a decent job, even as Congress moves to ram through a massive tax cut for the rich. Every day, 115 workers die as a result of work-related accidents and illnesses. The ruling class is moving to abolish democratic rights and free speech online, as underscored by the decision of the Trump administration to end net neutrality.

All of this is being ignored in the campaign over sexual harassment. Class divisions are covered up beneath the claim that all women, regardless of their income, share the same "experience" of being oppressed by men, who, particularly if they are white, enjoy the benefits of the "privileged."

The sexual harassment campaign is right-wing, anti-democratic and politically reactionary. It has nothing to do with the interests of the workers, men or women.

The opposition to the Trump administration and the entire political establishment must be developed as an independent movement of the working class directed consciously against capitalism and all the horrors this system brings.

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Joe Kishore is the current National Secretary for the U.S. of the Socialist Equality Party (SEP)   which is a Trotskyist political party, one of several Socialist Equality Parties around the world affiliated to the (more...)

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