About 50 years ago, a very clever songwriter, Tom Lehrer, wrote this lyric about The Bomb:
“First we got the bomb and that was good, ’cause we love peace and motherhood.
“Then Russia got the bomb, but that’s OK, ’cause the balance of power’s maintained that way.
Now in our nation, we could be asking “Who’s next?” about the next famous person to be
outed, even fired, over allegations of sexual “improprieties,” as the chosen word has been.
Matt Lauer? Garrison Keillor? Good grief.
These men have been in our homes, in a manner of speaking: Lauer through the medium of television on the “Today” show and as part of the team announcing the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade, Keillor through PBS radio via his “Prairie Home Companion” show. And what could be more pure Americana, more middle America, than “Prairie Home Companion”? Well, maybe Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade.
On one level, this is disheartening because we had a certain level of trust in such people. On another, more important, level, it is just the opposite: It is heartening that women now feel empowered to come forward and tell their stories, or at least make allegations, about men who have either harrassed or even sexually assaulted them.
For too many years, women have just had to take it if they wanted to keep their jobs or move ahead. Snide, sexual comments? Grin and bear it. Octopus hands, as one women said of Donald Trump? Unless you’re more famous, grin and bear it.
But all is not roses. Soon, the United States Senate could have a member who is alleged to have dated, or tried to pick up, teenage girls when he was 32 and who was, it has been alleged, barred from an Alabama mall. That’s sad.
But what’s more sad is that he might just fit right in.