What happened to the most wonderful time of the year

 I would like to make a request:  could we just receive the good news at this time of the year?  I’d like to hear that the Santa Claus at the Salvation Army kettle in front of (fill in the blank) received $10,000 in donations, and much of it was hundred-dollar bills.  Wishful thinking.

Instead, we’re besieged with all these sexual allegations.  News out of D.C. that politicians pinched, groped, kissed, and generally sexually forced themselves on unwilling victims.  Al Franken has resigned, as has John Conyers, along with a Republican representative from Arizona.  Not the best news to inspire the “peace on earth, goodwill to all men [make that all persons]”. A staff member of Gov. John Bel Edwards has also resigned based on sexual allegations.

President Trump is facing sexual allegations from 19 women.  The most recent allegation comes from Summer Zervos.  Trump met Zervos in 2005 when she was in the fifth season of The Apprentice. Two years later in 2007, Trump was meeting with Zervos at a Los Angeles hotel to discuss business opportunities.  Zervos claims that Trump forcefully kissed her, put his hand on her breast, and propositioned her to “come watch TV on my bed.”

I’m not here to defend any alleged unwanted sexual advances.  And of course, we don’t know the validity of any of these sexual allegations.  Nonetheless, the president has accusations of sexual impropriety going back to the early 1990s.  The excerpt from Access Hollywood is on tape and goes back to 2005. You know, when Trump told the host that when you’re famous, you can take liberties with women.  Trump is seen and heard on tape talking about grabbing women’s private parts.

Back to Ms. Zervos.  She has hired attorney Gloria Allred and has filed a defamation lawsuit, based on Trump’s calling her and other women liars.  Trump has denied all allegations that he made sexual advances toward the 19 female accusers; hence, he is calling them liars.  The statute of limitations has run out for Zervos to file suit on the actual alleged incident in 2007.    Nonetheless, the defamation lawsuit is currently being reviewed by a judge in New York to determine whether the case should proceed to trial.  If  Zervos prevails, the president could be deposed – that is, compelled to testify about the alleged incident with Zervos.

We are all guilty of stupid acts in our lives.  These allegations of sexual misconduct, if true, are what I call sheer stupidity.  Do something once and realize that it was not right, then learn from the mistake.  That’s how we all learn and grow.  But to do something wrong, and keep repeating the stupidity over and over, that’s progressively and unequivocally stupid.  And with most of these sexual allegations, the occurrence happened 10, 20 years ago.  If an experience was so painful and damaging, why did these alleged victims not immediately address the situation and begin the healing process?

I hear it now, ‘yeah, but you don’t understand, Pope, you’ve never experienced the pain and humiliation.’  Well, twenty-five years ago, I received unwanted aggressive sexual advances from (a) a heterosexual female, and (b) a homosexual male.  Yes, the experience can be disconcerting and troubling, but you deal with it and move on.  I made peace with both persons who forced themselves on me.  Both turned out to be fine people.

Sometimes when we let difficult situations in our lives faster, the effects are pronounced.  So it is with these people making sexual allegations based on incidents that occurred 10-20 years ago.  Could their motivation be political in nature; that is, to damage a person with whom they disagree, or who they politically despise?

I don’t have the answers, and I don’t know the validity of all these sexual allegations.  All I know is that I want to get back to the most wonderful time of the year and interact with all the wonderfully moral, smart, and fun people in my life.

-Mark Pope