Both are, or have been, almost admirably inappropriate.
Trump blew up the flimsy decorum of presidential politics, exposing the pervasive rot beneath the surface. And Weinstein smoked, dressed, socialized, bullied and negotiated like a mobster, while championing some of the best movies of the last three decades. Both became successful despite their complete lack of manners or, it turns out, decency.
Harvey’s politics are ‘liberal’. Donald’s are ‘conservative’. Neither word describes either man. They are, rather, vain, infantile, misogynistic louts whose politics were chosen strictly for the sake of expedience.
The word that best describes them both is hypocrite, and if they could be Frankenstein-ed into one monstrous personage, he would be an iconic example of contemporary American corruption.
What is most disturbing of course is the fact that ‘Everybody knew.’
When Trump’s vile ‘locker room talk’ surfaced during the campaign, ‘everybody’ already knew he was like that. Last week the inside dope that emerged on Weinstein was just the same. The difference is, the outing of Harvey Weinstein got him fired, which of course begs the question, “Do you mean to tell me that the moral standards of Hollywood are higher than those of American politics?”
No, they’re not, but… The behavior of Harvey Weinstein is, at long last, more damaging to the company that bears his name than Trump’s filthy mouth (and alleged actions) were to his campaign. ‘Everybody knew’ that Harvey Weinstein was harassing, bullying, two-timing and paying off women for decades. But even big stars and top executives were afraid to out him for fear of what he could do to them. Besides, since the beginning, predatory sexual behavior in Hollywood wasn’t just commonplace. It was expected.
So, could the outing of Harvey W. be a sign of – stand in a doorway everyone – Progress?
Or is it just that this particular very bad guy isn’t as scary-powerful as he once was?
The truth is somewhere in between. It seems that these days men are less inclined toward old school advantage taking, and women are less inclined to use ‘come hither’ behavior, not necessarily because of a new moral clarity, but possibly because the sexual terrain throughout the business, is a lot more diverse. Rules are more specific and more varied. People are both more frank, and less easy to identify. There seems to be a bit more sexual parity at the executive level.
My information is second hand and untested, due to having been happily married for going on 35 years. But I have noticed incremental changes for the better, and I’m guessing that’s at least part of why Harvey’s grossness finally caught up with him.
In Washington, where Trump exhibits new levels of grossness daily, the stakes are incalculably higher, and the corruption is so much more consequential. His harassment of women was a two day story during the campaign, because he had already exploded the flimsy pretense of moral rectitude that the other candidates were fanning themselves with, and now his boorishness is altering America’s identity in the world. Washington is becoming as corrupt as Moscow, and perhaps as delusional as North Korea.
It’s not funny, but when hypocrisy is this brazen and plentiful, well, thank god for Saturday Night Live.
Harvey Weinstein is a bad guy with good taste in movies. He got away with being sexually predatory because he kept making hits and could afford the payoffs.
Trump still acts like he’s on ‘reality TV’, and for too many of us, that makes him legit.
The best option for the rest of us is to do all we can to make the Harvey Trumps of this world into the last of a dying breed.