Worse, as 19th-century historian Lord Acton concluded, absolute power corrupts absolutely.
Politician - Entertainment - Mogul - CEO - Officer
It doesn’t matter whether you’re talking about a politician, an entertainment mogul, a corporate CEO or a police officer: give any one person (or government agency) too much power and allow him or her or it to believe that they are entitled, untouchable and will not be held accountable for their actions, and those powers will eventually be abused.
We’re seeing this dynamic play out every day in communities across America.
Cop - Citizen - Reason - A - President
A cop shoots an unarmed citizen for no credible reason and gets away with it. A president employs executive orders to sidestep the Constitution and gets away with it. A government agency spies on its citizens’ communications and gets away with it. An entertainment mogul sexually harasses aspiring actresses and gets away with it.
Abuse of power - and the ambition-fueled hypocrisy and deliberate disregard for misconduct that make those abuses possible - works the same whether you’re talking about sexual harassment, government corruption, or the rule of law.
Instance - Years - Harassment - Lawsuit - Behalf
For instance, 20 years ago, I took up a sexual harassment lawsuit on behalf of a young woman - a state employee - who claimed that her boss, a politically powerful man, had arranged for her to meet him in a hotel room, where he then allegedly dropped his pants, propositioned her and invited her to perform oral sex on him.
Despite the fact that this man had a well-known reputation for womanizing and this woman was merely one in a long line of women who had accused the man of groping, propositioning, and pressuring them for sexual favors in the workplace, she was denounced as white trash and subjected to a massive smear campaign by the man’s wife, friends and colleagues (including the leading women’s rights organizations of the day), while he was...
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