I once read the definition of insanity is repeatedly doing the same thing while expecting different results.
It is clear politics fits this profile.
With a population of almost 330 million people in the United States, two presidential candidates are left standing.
Neither of which is a great choice.
It happened in 2016 and history is repeating itself.
This year our choices will be current president, Donald Trump or former vice-president, Joe Biden.
It is no surprise that the usual political playbook has been activated to sway voters one way or another. Everyone knew allegations were coming, it was just a question of when. The one thing we could be certain of is that they would be sexual in nature.
Last fall, several women came forward saying Biden made them uncomfortable by either rubbing their shoulders, hugging them or invading their personal space when he was talking to them.
At the time, Biden issued a statement saying over the years he has offered countless hugs, handshakes, and expressions of affection, support and comfort. He said it was never his intent to be disrespectful and would make a conscious effort to alter his way of communicating with women.
Since that rock did not float, along comes Tara Reade.
Reade, a former Biden congressional staffer, said in the spring of 1993 the then-senator from Delaware, cornered her and allegedly sexually assaulted her. She said after she filed a complaint with staffers, she was given a month to find another job.
Twenty-one former staffers say they have no knowledge of any complaint filed by the woman.
Her story continues to change. Last year she said Biden touched her shoulders and played with her hair but made no mention of a sexual assault.
In January of this year, Reade filed a report with the Washington, DC police accusing Biden of sexual assault.
When she told her story to the Washington Post she could not remember the date, time or exact location of the alleged assault. She said she kept a copy of her employment records, but no copy of the complaint she says she filed.
After supporting Biden during his two terms as vice-president, she announced her support earlier this year for Bernie Sanders, referring to Biden as “the blue version of Trump.”
Biden denied her claims last week and he called for the release of her employment records with any documentation regarding her complaint.
After that, Read stated she did not use the term ‘sexual assault’ in her complaint.
Democrats have a public relations problem as they are on record saying all victims should be believed and claims should be investigated.
They demanded the woman who accused Brett Kavanaugh during his Supreme Court nomination hearings be heard and fought to have her testimony made public.
The DNC chairman explained that comprehensive investigations were conducted when Biden was selected as a running mate for Barack Obama and if these claims were true, it would have come out then.
Republicans have gone on the attack saying Democrats are displaying a double standard after their reaction to Christine Ford’s accusations against Brett Kavanaugh.
They need to be reminded of their reactions during the hearings.
When Ford could not recall all the details of her alleged assault, Republicans said she was an unreliable witness and her testimony should be discredited for that reason.
Lindsay Graham questioned her political motives and Trump mocked Ford and accused Democrats of running a con game.
Most Americans disapprove of sexual misconduct by its politicians.
However, research shows that voters are not swayed much by allegations if the accused are members of the same party. Apparently, voters’ concern is based on the race and the candidate.
Some voters do care about sexual misconduct allegations but are more skeptical if their candidate shares their views on abortion and other issues.
It will be impossible for Biden to prove his innocence without specific details like time and location. Another he said, she said.
At the very least, it appears he suffers from a tone deafness about respecting personal space. Clearly, he touches people without their consent. Real gentlemen know better.
Such behavior should be unacceptable for a presidential candidate or anyone else.
However, our current president has multiple sexual misconduct allegations against him and a video where he describes grabbing women’s private parts. All of which was made public before the 2016 election.
We already know that a man accused of sexual misconduct can get elected.
Liberal and conservative men alike have been accused.
Politics may not determine the propensity to abuse women, but it can obviously affect the ability to get away with it.
Voters will have to decide for themselves, knowing once again there is no real winner in the race.
Anita McGill is a former publisher of The Sentinel. She can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.