Platform Statements

Sexual Predators Do Not Belong in Positions of Public Trust
Position Statement by Randy Auxier
 
The recent wave of revelations exposing predatory or oppressive sexual conduct by men holding positions of power has been shocking to many people. Yet, these revelations, coming from courageous women all over the country, represent a long-overdue development for our society and a step in the right direction. Women, and some men, are striking blows against male domination, against men who think they can get away with any indecency through intimidation or because authorities (mostly male) will not punish them. 

The principal reason for this lamentable “tradition” of male misbehavior is what feminists rightly call the patriarchy: that historical aspect of our social order and culture that has empowered some men to treat women as inferiors, as sex objects, or even as property. It poisons all human relationships. The tradition of tolerating patriarchy stands in the way of social progress, of building a society based on cooperation, solidarity, trust, and love. We can do better —we simply must. Things cannot go on as they have been. It is intolerable to anyone who respects the dignity of other persons, and especially anyone who wants to have self-respect.
 
The American people have a right to expect that persons holding positions of public trust—including those representing them in Congress (or the White House)—meet fundamental standards of ethics and human decency, and do not abuse their power by using it to coerce others. The same standard must apply to those holding power in the private sector as well. Persons who use their power to prey on other people do not belong in positions of power at all, and they must be held accountable for their abuses. Such persons tragically damage and dehumanize themselves, often unconsciously. That is why many of them are surprised when their behavior comes to light. But their deprivation of their own humanity and decency is plain to others, and especially to those who are being coerced.

Contrite apologies are not enough, at this point in our shared history. And we must move beyond simply not doing what is wrong. We must work together toward replacing patriarchal presumptions of power with genuine, active respect for others, especially toward those whose fundamental situation is different from our own. We must become conscious of privilege when we possess it, especially where it comes unearned from inherited status in past societies, ones we now recognize as having moral standards we would like to improve. The exercise of privilege always comes at a social and cultural cost. To have privilege is to have it over others. The exercise of power does not require privilege, and the moral exercise of power must never be mixed with privilege.

As a candidate of the Green Party, I represent a party founded on certain core values—including feminism, respect for diversity, social equality and social justice. As a lifelong advocate for feminist ideals, I aspire to build, in cooperation with all of you, a society in which we not only establish full legal equality for women, but build an economy, society, and culture in which all human beings are treasured, valued, and empowered to reach their full potential, irrespective of gender, sexual orientation, skin color, national origin, religious belief, or any among the protected differences currently recognized, as well as those still to be fully and legally recognized. I am a longtime participant in the struggle to overcome patriarchy, and I will continue that work when elected to represent you in Congress. 

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