Do you remember the song “Wildfire?” I loved that song, released in 1975. A horse “busted down its stall, in a blizzard he was lost.”
Its owner dashed into the storm after him.
“She ran calling Wildfire. She ran calling Wildfire. She ran calling Wildfire.”
That refrain popped into my mind when the wild fires began to ravage California. To date, the out-of-control flames have charred 240,000 acres. About 270 square miles and 1,000 structures have been destroyed in an area larger than New York City and Boston combined. Fire warnings cover 20 million people and 95,000 residents have been evacuated.
Then, I began thinking about another possible wildfire that could erupt — in our government.
Could the whole #MeToo movement also be approaching out-of-control-blaze status?
OK, before you text or email me about my insensibility, let me explain.
This movement directed at holding individuals accountable for sexual misconduct is long overdue. I have written of my own experiences being a woman in an “ole boy’s club” industry and the humiliating treatment I often had to endure. Recently, I wrote of the pervasive climate of sexual misconduct on Capitol Hill and the despicable way complaints are handled. I am not minimizing the problem but I think there is a risk of over reaction in two areas.
I heard Stephanie Ruhle ask the question, “should a grab, a tickle and a nip be justification to be run out of town?” The reaction throughout the nation is sending the message, yes it should, and I think it has been too long in coming. But, I worry that the airing of every sleazy comment or inappropriate action having taken place a decade or more ago diminishes the truly abusive, sometime illegal actions coming to light. We can become numb to the often traumatic occurrences simply by the deluge of minor grievances.
I also heard many other politicos expressing the desire for more woman to run and be elected to political office to put a stop to the “anything goes” culture on the Hill.
This troubled me. Will our new primary (excuse the pun!) standard for electing our representatives now be their gender? If women really want equality and justice, should the mitigating factor be the sex of the candidates?
I heard so many Alabamans say, leading up to the landmark defeat of the truly-flawed candidate, Roy Moore, in last week's senatorial election, that they and their state deserved better than Roy Moore. I think our country deserves better than electing a candidate just because she’s a she.
I hope in 2018 we have decent, qualified candidates representing both parties from which to choose. We have so many serious issues needing congressional attention; yes, not the least of which is sexual misconduct, but simply thinking that because a woman is a candidate, she is the best choice seems a bit daft to me.
If the backlash from #MeToo is the election of representatives based on gender alone; you might just hear me running into the political blizzard of lunacy “calling Wildfire.”