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Democrats Must Hold Republicans to the Same Standard as They Did Al Franken
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9 Dec 2017 05:50 PM EST

-by Drew Kolar, Editor; Image: Sen. Al Franken (Image Source: Jonathunder via Wikimedia Commons)

With Sen. Al Franken announcing his resignation among accusations of sexual misconduct, Democrats have proven that, unlike Republicans, we will hold our own to higher standards than the GOP seems to hold their own.

While the Dems pushed Franken to resign, it seems Republicans celebrate their sexual predators—after all, Roy Moore, who was accused of pedophilia, is still in the dangerously close Alabama Senate race and is being backed fully and unflinchingly by his party. Even our own President has spoken openly and proudly about sexual assault and yet remains in office.

On Thursday, Franken, at the urging of fellow party members, announced his plans to resign, though he does believe that the Senate ethics committee's investigation would find him innocent. Unfortunately, he noted, he felt that he could not serve effectively and will step down in the next few weeks.

"Some of the allegations against me are simply not true," Franken added. "Others I remember very differently."

He also criticized Republicans, Trump, and Moore during his speech, noting their hypocrisy in regard to sexual assault and harassment.

"There is some irony that I am leaving while a man who bragged on tape about his history of sexual assault sits in the Oval Office, and a man who preyed on young girls runs for Senate with the full support of his party," he said.

And Franken is exactly on point. Sure, it may have been the wise choice to step down and "take the high road," in a sense, to set a good example, and it also brings to light the ethical division between the two political parties. But will it make the GOP see their own hypocrisy? That is highly doubtful.

What should be happening now is that Democrats need to speak out—both those who hold office and those of us as private citizens—to make it known far and wide that we can clean up our party, so they must begin to clean up theirs.

Obviously, this won't be an easy fight, but silence on the issue is unacceptable at this point. If we can turn on one of our own (albeit for good reason), then I suggest we make our moral compass known—wave it in their faces. At this point, it seems fair to say, "Hey, we're better than you, because we recognize our wrongdoings." Or at the very least, we must continue to push them to actually "drain the swamp," as Trump has been falsely claiming he has been planning to do since the campaign trail.

At least there is some good that comes from Franken stepping down—he will be replaced by a female Democrat, Minnesota Lt. Gov. Tina Smith, who will hold the seat until a special election in November of next year. Women truly are taking over, but we must continue to hold men accountable for their actions against them—and Democrats especially must continue pushing for the removal of all sexual predators across parties and not just within our own.

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