Tribalism and partisanship have never become more apparent than in 2017. Issues that were once thought to be apolitical are now all of a sudden a wedge that divides people based on the most reprehensible behavior.
In the case of sexual misconduct, the accused you more closely align with politically is innocent until proven guilty, and the accused across the aisle is guilty without a shadow of a doubt.
On Monday, President Trump formally endorsed Republican Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore weeks after several accusers came forward alleging that the former Alabama Supreme Court Justice sexually harassed and assaulted them when they were teenagers and he was in his 30s. As a result of this announcement, the Republican National Committee (which pulled all financial backing after the sexual misconduct allegations were first reported) got back into the Alabama Senate race, supporting Moore financially. It's the same RNC that spent part of October demanding the Democratic National Committee return donations given by Harvey Weinstein.
Still no word from DNC on returning all of Harvey Weinstein's donations...— GOP (@GOP) October 10, 2017
According to a CBS News poll, 71 percent of likely Republican voters believe the allegations against Moore are false. The way the Moore campaign has spun the allegations against him have made voters feel that this is nothing but a smear campaign perpetrated by establishment Republicans and the Left. They've even gone so far as to highlight all the women who haven't accused Roy Moore of any wrongdoing.
"We need to make it clear that there’s a group of non-accusers that have not accused the judge of any sexual misconduct or anything illegal," Janet Porter, a spokeswoman for Moore's campaign, told CNN on Tuesday. "But when we’re talking about Leigh Corfman, even her own mother said that her report to the Washington Post, that her life spiraled out of control after this alleged incident, well actually the court records say differently."
All of these efforts to spin objectively horrible behavior and make it subjective based on your political affiliations seems egregious. It would appear that Republicans are the only ones responsible for engaging in such tactics if you've only followed the media in the last 24 hours.
However, in Sen. Al Franken's state of Minnesota, there's a collective of supporters who say they're disappointed in Franken's pre-Senate sexual misconduct, but feel he's doing a good enough job and shouldn't step down as reported in the Star Tribune.
"I still support him. Really, how serious was it?" Ann-Marie Vossler told the Tribune.
The #MeToo campaign is going down in flames. Any legitimacy and credibility we gave to accusers in the past few months/years is being shredded by politics. In the past week, we were focusing on how Sens. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., are two sides of the same coin and are blatant opportunists, given their responses to the allegations made against both Moore and Franken.
It's times like these that embracing a zombie or sentient robot apocalypse seems like a preferred endeavor. At least we won't have to worry about tribalism and politicizing everything anymore.