There’s a good reason why Democratic Senator Al Franken should still be considered to be in the wrong but also shouldn’t be considered as criminal as everyone else. It has a lot to do with accountability. Franken is yet another name on the growing list of those that have been accused of sexual misconduct as his case was brought to light by his accuser, TV host and sports broadcaster Leeann Tweeden. She alleged that Franken groped and kissed her without consent in 2006, and unlike a few individuals being accused Franken owned up to the act and made a public apology. Does that get him off the hook? Not really, but it certainly doesn’t condemn him as the silence of others might. There’s also the fact that he did happen to admit what he did and seek to make amends in a verbal fashion.
It might not excuse him and he could very well be marked for this act for some time if not the rest of his life. But the only argument to be made here, the core argument anyway, is that he fessed up and didn’t try to hide. How this will affect his career is unknown as of yet but the sure thing is that he is not nearly as bad as others who have been accused of doing much more heinous acts and are attempting to deny that they are guilty. The continuing blame game is becoming rather tense at this moment and while those who are guilty and manage to stand up and face the music are in some ways just a little better for it, those that continue to hide behind lawyers and denials are swiftly becoming the most hated men in America.
Franken did something incredibly foolish and wrong, that much has been established. But one of the biggest differences is that he hasn’t gone public and stated in a proud voice how he did it, how it felt, and why it should have been allowed. If that rings any bells then you might know who it’s alluding to without the words being said. Anyway, Franken isn’t in the right just because he apologizes and by now he probably understands that very well. But he also cannot possibly be lumped in with the likes of Weinstein and Trump, who respectively deny the allegations and call them “locker room talk”. That’s funny, I didn’t realize the locker room was the same as a confessional or a psychiatrist’s office.
The very real issue with sexual misconduct in this country has reached a fever pitch and something has to give eventually. Unfortunately that means that the issue will finally be given the attention it needs and change will occur, or someone will find a way to sweep it under the rug again by offering to placate those who have been wronged and thereby negate any further accusations. Obviously the need to expose those who are truly guilty is something that people wish for, but at this point the fact that at least a couple have come forth is mildly reassuring.