That just might be enough to push Cain over into winning the Republican Party nomination for president.
Many leading Republicans, including Cain, Michele Bachmann and Rick Santorum, openly long for the nebulous good old days when moms stayed in the kitchen, homosexuals stayed in the closet and dad stayed in his chair in front of the tube with a whiskey in one hand and a Winston in the other. Of course back in those good old days, kids and wives tended to keep their mouths shuts for fear of having their mouths swollen shut by Dad’s hooks and uppercuts, as there were no domestic violence laws protecting the most vulnerable.
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There also were no laws protecting women from sexual harassment, in the workplace or elsewhere. So the idea that some right-wingers might long for the good old days, back when a man could tell a broad who works for him that she has a dynamite pair of legs and a wondrous chest, might not be a reach.
Still, I was only half-serious about such a GOP mindset until I started reading some of the Internet postings about Cain’s mess.
People wrote that certain women take advantage of sexual harassment laws to make a quick buck. Others stated some women dress and act provocatively at work and bring it on themselves. Others insisted companies often settle such matters when there is no proof of guilt because it’s cheaper than fighting the cases in court. Some longed for the good old days, when a man was a man and a woman was sexually harassed and accepted it.
Not getting sued for sexual harassment in the workplace is not all that difficult. In my 20 or so years as a supervisor, I never was sued, reprimanded or even counseled for acting improperly with the many women under my direction.
Was I perfect? Of course not. I have a bawdy sense of humor and sometimes laughed at things I shouldn’t have. But I knew where the real lines were drawn and I tried to stay far from those lines.
My issues as a manager ultimately turned out to be with my own gender. I had a co-worker throw a punch at me — which I blocked with my Pacquiao-quick reflexes — and later I threatened to beat up another employee who had made a series of hateful remarks about me, my loved ones and my friend. The fact that my alleged victim was 15 years younger, 75 pounds heavier and six inches taller proved no defense for my actions, and I was justifiably disciplined and put on the road to removal from my post.
I learned valuable lessons from those imbroglios, but I’m not sure if I ever ran for president as a Republican that such a history wouldn’t earn me points with many.
It certainly wouldn’t rack up as many points in some eyes as harassing some dame under my charge, but it might just count for something.
Bret Kofford teaches writing at San Diego State University-Imperial Valley campus. His opinions don’t necessarily reflect those of SDSU or its employees. Kofford can be reached at Kofford@roadrunner.com