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Letter to the editor: “An appeal to logic and reason”

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Editor’s note: This piece is written by a member of the College Republicans in response to The DePaulia’s representation of his comments at a debate between the College Republicans and DePaul Socialists. The article he is referring to was our front page story “The Great Debate” by the Editor-In-Chief Amber Colón. This response remains unedited by The DePaulia to accurately represent his argument.

 

The past couple weeks there has been some controversy surrounding a comment I made at the Capitalism vs Socialism debate between the College Republicans and DePaul Socialists. I said verbatim: “I would’ve rather had a person (in office) who mildly sexually assaulted a woman than another woman who defended her husband after he raped innocent women.”

This was a quick 30-second exchange between myself and the socialists, including a short explanation for the statement. Following the event, the soundbyte became the focus rather than the merits of the actual contention. Neither The DePaulia, Radio DePaul nor any of the other media outlets covering the event attempted any deeper thought on the issue, or show my explanation of the statement. I was promptly labeled a rape apologist and that was that. I decided not to comment in previous articles because of the DePaulia’s longstanding history of misquoting me. In the spirit of actual intellectual discussion of what is admittedly a morally perplexing situation, allow me to explain my thinking a bit more. I would also like to thank the DePaulia for publishing this, partially rectifying their bias.

To preface this, I have no regrets for what I said and stand behind the comment in totality. For clarity’s sake, I will first address my use of the word “mildly” in reference to sexual assault, as this has been a common frame of inquiry. The problem lies in the nature of what sexual assault actually is. Frankly, in our hyper accusatory culture it has become fairly ambiguous. Anything from awkward hug all the way up to rape can be considered as such. For our purposes, I would define sexual assault as a non-consensual interaction between two people with varying levels of sexual undertone.

Now that we have established what sexual assault is (there are other definitions, but even if we disagree a little, we can still move forward), we can examine its varying levels of morality (or lack thereof). I may be out of the main stream of campus political thought, but morally speaking an uncalled for kiss is considerably less heinous than fondling of genitalia, or the worst form, rape. The former deserves a forceful slap, the latter a lifetime in jail. If we assume that all of these are not morally equivalent, which most of us would, we can move forward.

If we have two morally different types of sexual assault, then all different situations between the two form a moral grayscale. All sexual assault is bad, but some sexual assault is worse than others. This is where the term mild comes from, mild making a moral distinction between two immoral acts.

To come back to the actual situation at hand, the only legitimate evidence of Donald Trump committing sexual assault at this point, which he has said on tape, is that he has grabbed a woman’s crotch. He claims it was consensual, but for sake of argument in the sexual marketplace there is often miscommunication, and given Trump’s significant public stature, situations involving that level of celebrity are especially ripe for confusion. So at worst, he grabbed a crotch without consent.

I have never been a rape or sexual assault apologist. They are morally contemptible, including what Trump said or has done. But this election was a binary choice between two candidates. No other candidate had any chance whatsoever to win. When comparing the actions side-by-side, I stuck with Trump. His mishandling of sexual assault is less morally reprehensible (still reprehensible, just less so) and mild in comparison to what Hillary Clinton has defended and inadvertently has aided because of her defense. Many people our age do not remember, but her husband Bill Clinton has had numerous allegations of sexual assault, all the way up to rape as Juanita Broaddrick has alleged. This includes the Monica Lewinsky scandal where he used his power of the office to get sexual favors from a woman 27 years younger than he is. Indeed, Hillary Clinton then stood by his side and used her powerful position to defend Bill’s rampant sexual crimes. She defended him and orchestrated a media campaign to denigrate the reputation of Bill’s victims. She even created a war room in the White House for expressly these purposes.

One can make the case that what Trump did is worse. That is fine. But there certainly lies a perfectly legitimate, indeed I think superior, case the other way. This is a gut call about a sensitive and sticky topic. The choice we had to make was an unfortunate one, but those were our options. I picked Trump. I have many thoughts on the issue of sexuality in modern culture and would like to follow up this article with the conservative perspective if The DePaulia wishes to do so.

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Letter to the editor: “An appeal to logic and reason”