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Column: Sexual assault has continued comfortably in government for far too long


Upon seeing the first allegations against Donald Trump, and major Hollywood name Harvey Weinstein, I was nauseated to think these people were getting away with such heinous crimes for an abundant amount of time. But these aren’t outliers in our society, ever since the first sexual assault allegations against Trump came out during the 2016 presidential campaign, the scandalous accounts of powerful people abusing their positions seem to keep rolling in.

Scrolling through the news feed and seeing the already lengthy list of sexual assault cases grow has become somewhat of a normality in December of 2017. Even the sickening accusations made against Today show host Matt Lauer did not seem to shock me, considering that each week another famous persona is being taken down.

With all of these celebrities lives being turned upside down due to allegations, the question that is begging to be answered is if celebrities such as Weinstein and Lauer are losing their jobs, how is Donald Trump still our president?

Throughout Trump’s campaign and first year of his presidency, there’s been at least 15 women to come forward and accuse the President of sexual harassment. Unalarmed by these claims, Trump seemed to further his preposterous attack against the media and claimed the allegations were fabricated, saying it is all just “fake news.”

It is hard to hear him toss these accusations aside after hearing the disturbing recording of his infamous conversation with former Access Hollywood host Billy Bush. Which come to think of it, resulted in Bush’s termination immediately following the release of the vulgar tapes, which exposed a crass conversation between him and Trump pre-interview in 2005. What did Trump receive as punishment? Winning of the 45th presidential race.

Trent Franks, Wes Goodman, John Conyers, and Al Franken. Just a few of the representatives to step down from their position in government recently because of sexual misconduct.

This problem in no way is intertwined with political party affiliations. Each person accused of sexual harassment should, and needs to receive the same sanction. Franken, a democrat, spoke after the allegations of his sexual misconduct came to light, he even said “all women deserve to be heard and their experiences taken seriously. I think that [stepping down] was the right thing to do.”

No matter the party affiliation, sexual misconduct is intolerable and consequences are always necessary. It is sickening to me that we as a country have let this slide for far too long. We failed to see the seriousness of Trump’s sexual assault allegations, and voters seemed to overlook the recorded discussion with Bush where he admits to grabbing women “by the pussy.”

The recent movement in which women are rising up and declaring “Me Too” has made too much ground for us to ever look back. People can say what they want but as proven these past couple of months, sexual assault is serious. Allegations should not be misconstrued just because of power, no matter how powerful the person may be. Even if he is the president of the United States, there must be repercussion for their actions.

In the future, I hope to not see any more horrific allegations while scrolling through my news feed, or hear about other accusations being made on TV. The only thing I can hope is that every person who has committed this crime, receives a penalty. Even Mr. President of the United States. Donald Trump.

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About the Contributor
Katie Athey, RT+ executive producer
Katie Athey is a senior at Middletown High School. This is her fourth year in journalism and she plans to pursue broadcast media in college. Katie is also the Lieutenant Governor of Division 7A for the Capital District of Key Club International. She is also a captain of the Varsity Soccer team, and has run Varsity track and field all throughout high school. Her main position on the soccer field is preferably a center defender. In track she runs mid distance to long distance events. Katie enjoys listening to music of all kinds, and having country dance sessions with her friends. She hopes to further her academic career by attending a four year university, and studying broadcast journalism. Katie enjoys spending time with friends, families, and loves to live life always laughing and with a smile on her face.

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Column: Sexual assault has continued comfortably in government for far too long