Beydler: Cain failed to learn from Weinergate - East Valley Tribune: Columnists

Beydler: Cain failed to learn from Weinergate

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Jon Beydler is a 32-year Valley resident and the former mayor of Fountain Hills who now lives in Chandler.

Posted: Monday, November 14, 2011 2:20 pm | Updated: 4:13 pm, Tue Nov 15, 2011.

I have never sexually harassed anyone. Sound familiar? It's one thing to have one woman make allegations of sexual harassment. It's quite another when four, five or more step up and allege the same thing. What happens is that it appears to most of us that a pattern of behavior has emerged where this individual has a problem with female relationships.

This is no joking matter. Sexual harassment is not just about sex. It's an act of violence, in this case, against women. It is an attempt to control a member of the opposite sex and attempt to force them to comply with one's sexual advances.

In many cases, the perpetrator actually believes that his victims want him, are attracted to him, when in reality they want nothing to do with him. One victim likened him to a "monster."

This man wants to be the President of the United States of America. The leader of the "free" world. The most powerful person on earth. In this country, we hold people who want this power to a higher standard. We expect them to be bigger than the rest of us, more transparent, more willing to take the heat. The man I'm talking about is Herman Cain. The following is an excerpt from my commentary that I wrote after former New York Congressman Anthony Weiner resigned his office after tweeting images of his genitalia to multiple women, lying about it and subsequently attempting to cover up the truth:

"The first mistake that Weiner made was to lie and attempt to cover up ... To continue to lie was unforgivable. Telling the truth is a non-partisan requirement of holding elective office. Unfortunately, it seems that human nature leads most people to deny, deny and deny some more when confronted. For some reason, people are unwilling to take responsibility for their personal choices and deal with the fallout in an open and honest manner. What would have been the end game for Weiner if he had simply lived up to the truth and defended his personal choices? Would the truth have set him free? Most never think that there will be any fallout and, thus have no contingency plans. What lies ahead for all of us in the wake of his demise?"

Apparently, what lies ahead for us is more of the same. Initially, Mr. Cain suffered from complete amnesia. Once his long-term memory recovered, he denied ever sexually harassing anyone. Anyone quickly became anybody due to the number of women who came forward with similar allegations. Next, Mr. Cain chose to lay the blame at the feet of either Romney or Perry for leaking the story to the media. When that didn't fly, he moved onto the liberal media and then finally to the "Democratic Machine." Never has he once taken any personal responsibility for why these women have problems with him. I wonder if this issue would have had legs if he would have simply "manned up" to being a little too sexually aggressive in his younger days and apologize for anything he may have said or done that may have offended these or other women. He could have turned a negative into a positive by focusing on the fact that sexual harassment is an important issue in modern American culture and why men need to be more sensitive and responsible in their behavior.

In my article I went on to say: "Unfortunately, for many of them it's not the sex itself that took them out; rather it was either the lies, the coverups or other complications associated with anything but the truth."

Mr. Cain has lied, covered up, and shirked any personal responsibility for his alleged actions. No, he hasn't handled this issue like a seasoned politician. In fact, he has handled the issue completely wrong like a rank amateur. Herman Cain's campaign for the Republican presidential nomination is over.

• Jon Beydler is a 32-year Valley resident and the former mayor of Fountain Hills who now lives in Chandler.


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