On Anticipating Backlash

Zephyr Teachout’s position in this NYT Editorial piece is essentially my position: sexual assault/harassment, bad. Current system, sucks. Options NOT limited to the binary “Keep old system, or fire everyone at first accusation, without process.”


We are currently riding a rapid pendulum swing in the right direction — a direction we must move. But we know the dangers of a rushed swing too far: consider, Trump’s demanding the death sentence for the Central Park Five (fanned racist hate, cost NYC millions when DNA exonerated the kids). Look at our hasty adoption of the civil-liberties-killing Patriot Act, after 9/11. (Bloated new government agencies, didn’t end terrorism, and now many police forces in the country are militarized.)

Combine hasty, over-zealous response with a failure to implement process fixes, and you’d better prepare to see the pendulum swing back — perhaps even farther.

Kinda like the Obama election: we made progress as a country but didn’t address underlying issues, and the pendulum swung back, hard right, to Trump. (Not a perfect analogy, so don’t waste too much time beating it up.)

Ladies (AND men who agree)? You have the power to be the Founding Mothers of this new, better process. Lead in its definition and implementation, or we all better duck when this moment starts lashing back.