Posted 27 September 2018
Evan Slaughenhoupt and the Republican Central Committee continue to miss the point.
The Calvert Democratic Women's Club showed up in numbers at the 9/25 BOCC meeting to protest recent social media comments by that body's President. Immediately following were Commissioners' reports, with four Commissioners commenting on other matters, and finally Mr. Slaughenhoupt reading a prepared statement tangential to the matter.
Several days earlier, Mr. Slaughenhoupt casually asserted an equivalence between birthday spankings among 2nd graders and attempted rape of teenage young women. The Democratic Women's Club called him on that. Not because they're Democrats or women, but because attempted rape is a crime. Everyone, regardless of political leaning or gender, can agree. After five minutes of lecturing and quoting conservative media personalities, he managed to completely avoid addressing their true issue.
Mr. Slaughenhoupt's statement dwelled on Judge Brett Kavanaugh, partisanship, and conspiracies about liberal thought control. The Republican Central Committee eventually got back to this paper with a comment that echoed his statement. For Mr. Slaughenhoupt and for our Republican counterparts, once more, here is a list of things we don't care about. We don't care that you support Kavanaugh. That was assumed a month ago and nobody protested. We don't care that you're Republicans. Slaughenhoupt is not on the ballot in November, and we very much doubt he speaks for all Republicans. The other Commissioners and the Republican Central Committee have implied as much with their clear preference for avoiding the topic. We certainly don't care what Tucker Carlson thinks and can't imagine why his name even entered the conversation. And how's this for partisanship: we don't care what pundits to your political left think, either. We don't care if you call us "leftists," "progressives," or "twitter robots." These things are irrelevant to the subject at hand. Ms. Ball said as much to you in no uncertain terms on 9/25. There is archived video proof of this available online.
We care about ending the culture of casual dismissal of sexual assault. Contrary to your beliefs, Mr. Slaughenhoupt, we care about everyone's right to free speech. But all of us must understand that in public spaces speech has consequences, including those we may not intend or expect. And as a public figure, your speech is always open to the criticism or applause of your constituents. We care that your speech contributes to a culture that is dismissive of victims of sexual assault, comparing attempted rape to a silly game from your childhood. We care that you remain willfully ignorant of the injury you are causing. Even Kavanaugh has stated on the record, "What I’ve been accused of is far more serious than juvenile misbehavior." Are you so obtuse that Kavanaugh himself agrees with us and not with you on this matter?
If the mental burden of considering other people's perspectives before speaking is too high, if the consequence of hearing a brief dissent from your constituency at a Board meeting is too great, perhaps elected office isn't for you. We care that you're being part of the problem, not part of the solution. And if this is all part of some "leftist" agenda, we accept and embrace that label. The only agenda we're concerned with right now is asking that you refrain from trivializing sexual assault. An apology would be welcome, though unexpected, and we would think more of you for it, not less.
The Calvert Democratic Party stands with these women of courage in continuing to await a response that addresses their true concern, not the unrelated issues to which Mr. Slaughenhoupt and the Republican Central Committee keep deflecting.