Where is the outrage? Where is the outrage, you ask?

We are in the midst of a pandemic when effects did not have to be as far-reaching and severe in such a rich nation; nearly 1.5 million diagnosed, over 88,000 dead, financial ruin and profound grief and loss for untold number of Americans. Each day brings more insanity from the current occupant of the White House and administration. I want to believe that the majority of the people still understand this is not normal, yet there realistically has to be some level of outrage fatigue.

Allegations that another old “successful” white guy felt entitled to put his hands all over a woman’s body — shocker! That is outrageous, it is. And yet, many of us know it happens a lot. I don’t know if the alleged incident happened, but do I believe it? Yes, I do. Biden’s very poor boundaries have been visually well-documented, and other women came forward early in the campaign to address ways in which he behaved inappropriately with them.

There was a diverse slate of Democratic candidates (most without sexual abuse allegations against them). They had some great ideas to improve our country and the world in which we live. However, for many reasons (racism, misogyny, fear, historic tendency to vote or not against our best interests), we have ended up with Biden as the presumptive Democratic nominee. It seems to me out of fear: fear of the unknown, fear that vote could put the racist, hateful, incompetent, malignant narcissist in power for another four years. So instead, many took what they considered the “safe” vote. A vote for the “known,” the man who stood next to a black man and his family onstage as a vice president to a popular president, President Obama, who is a kind, intelligent man, father of two daughters, had numerous women and people of color in positions of power in his administration, and who speaks respectfully of women. As if by association, Biden might be a similar man.

At this point, in this madness, the best we can hope for is a democracy figuratively and literally healthy enough to vote in November. If that happens, we can hope Biden’s running mate is an intelligent, honorable woman who cares about the problems we are facing in the world and surrounds herself with other intelligent, caring people to improve the situation, a candidate not accused of sexual assault. Maybe then, we can proudly vote in 2024. Regardless, in 2021, the man in the White House will have been accused (one has admitted/bragged) of sexually assaulting women. That is outrageous. It is a persistent battle for many to tamp it down to a simmering boil to function in an increasingly less-polite society.

Please do not conflate semi-silence for lack of outrage.

Neysha Stuart lives in Barre.

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