On Thursday, Senator Al Franken (D-MN) announced that he plans to resign at the end of the year, ending his nine-year political career under a cloud of sexual misconduct allegations from eight different accusers. However, the disgraced Senator didn’t just go quietly — he also named President Donald Trump and Senatorial Candidate Roy Moore (R-AL) as men who should follow his example and step down.
“Today, I am announcing that in the coming weeks, I will be resigning as a member of the United States Senate. I of all people am aware that there is some irony in the fact that I am leaving while a man who has bragged on tape about his history of sexual assault sits in the Oval Office, and a man who has repeatedly preyed on young girls campaigns for the Senate with the full support of his party.”
Franken also insisted that the Senate ethics investigation into the allegations against him continue. He also mentioned how he’d lost the support of many of his colleagues, giving many the impression that he’s being forced out. But let’s be clear. Franken’s decision to resign was the right thing to do, regardless of whether or not he was pressured.
While the loss of Franken and Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.) undoubtedly damages Democrats, as they were talented and powerful politicians within the party, the safety and dignity of people targeted for abuse eclipses those concerns.
For generations, women have been forced to suffer in silence enduring daily humiliation and abuse from male colleagues in both the private and public sector. It seems that 2017 might just be a turning point for those who before felt as though they had no voice.
True progressives believe in empowering those who find themselves being abused by the powerful and even when turns out to be one of our own there must be no distinction. Justice must never be denied for the sake of political convenience. We must hold all elected officials accountable no matter what letters follow their names.
If only Republicans would do the same.
Featured image Mark Wilson / Staff Getty Images
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