By Carl Carter
I’m angry. I’m frustrated. And I’m ashamed of myself.
On January 30, 2018, voters in St. Clair County had a chance to provide some desperately needed funding for the area’s schools. But the referendum was rejected, 61-39%, in a vote that brought out less than 15% of the registered voters. Only Leeds voted for the kids, passing 3 mills there.
Just a few weeks ago, the county turned out enough Doug Jones votes to have passed the school tax comfortably. But apparently, we care more about maneuverings in D.C. than about the kids with ragged school books right under our own noses.
I’ve been writing for months about the need for Democrats in Alabama to pay attention to state and local races, and to get involved at all levels. I even wrote about “what happens on December 13” (the day after we elected Doug Jones), trying desperately to remind people that changing Alabama isn’t just a one-shot deal.
So what were Democrats doing to help pass a tax to better fund the schools here in my own county? I honestly don’t know. I’m sure there were some people working hard to pass it. But somehow, as politically connected as I am, I didn’t even know about the vote until I saw it mentioned yesterday on the 5 o’clock news. Never saw a sign or got a flyer. Nobody called. I rushed down to vote yes, but I’m embarrassed that I was caught napping.
Especially when the first campaign I managed resulted in a 17-mill tax that funded two high schools, a Middle School, at least one elementary school and more.
Democrats, who care deeply about education, should have been mobilized in a big way to pass the tax in a county that hasn’t passed a school tax since the 1960s.
Well, we’ve been busy, haven’t we? We’ve had more important things to do, like engage in pissing matches over whether white liberal women are still racist. We went about the really important work of dogging our newly elected Senator over his every move and comment. We were busy parsing the words of a Democratic gubernatorial candidate to make sure he’s “pro-choice” enough for everybody’s liking.
Meanwhile, you and I did zippo to help the kids in the county where I live – the county that borders Jefferson County and includes Leeds, Moody, Pell City, Anniston, Ashville, and parts of Trussville and Leeds.
We had better things to do, I guess.
I can hear somebody saying, “there just aren’t enough Democrats in St. Clair to make a difference.” I call bullshit on that. When we were energized by the Senate race, 6,212 of us turned out to vote for Doug Jones. That would have been enough to pass the tax, which would have provided an additional $4.3 million per year for St. Clair County schools, and an additional $2 million for Pell City schools.
But we didn’t get 6,212 votes, did we? No, we got a paltry 3,348. In other words, 2,864 people who cared enough to vote for Doug Jones couldn’t muster up the energy to vote for the kids.
When we actually cared about a race, we worked hard, and gave money to the campaign. People came from all over the country to knock on doors. When there was a big race in Atlanta, people from Alabama flocked over the state line to canvass for a Democrat.
I know a county school referendum isn’t going to draw an influx of people to fight for quality schools. But where were our neighbors? I wonder if a single person in Jefferson County bothered to make a call or to help get the word out. Where were we? I know I didn’t lift a finger. Because I was preoccupied with other stuff. For that, I’m deeply ashamed.
Excuses don’t buy books or pay for teachers. Votes do.
If this is the way we follow through, God help us in November.
By Carl Carter, APR
Much as I love the Democratic Party, we’ve gotten really bad at telling people why they should vote for us.
I mean really, really bad – nationally and in our own state.
It feels like we’re getting away with it for the moment, because … well, you know. But we can’t keep defining ourselves by what we oppose, because that sets us up for future failure. Someday, we’ll have a president who isn’t Donald Trump, and if all we’ve done is say how much we hate him, we’ll end up like the Republicans did on health care, with no ideas of our own.
But we’re not really getting away with it, are we? Democrats control hardly anything. We’ve won a few special elections – including the big Senate race here in Alabama. But the Republicans still own the presidency, the Senate and the House, as well as 32 state legislatures. Here in Alabama, they have a 70-33 majority in the House, a 26-7 majority in the Senate, and all the executive officers, including governor, lieutenant governor and attorney general.
At every level that matters here in Alabama, the Republicans can do whatever they want, and all we can do is stand by and bitch. Our main strategy is to stoke outrage and hope that gets us enough votes to get out of the cellar.
But what’s our message, and how good are we at making it stick?
Let’s review. We got our clocks cleaned in the shutdown showdown, because all Mitch McConnell had to do was start calling Dreamers “illegal immigrants.” It was game over at that point, because we weren’t ready for it and didn’t have a plan to counter it.
Here in Alabama, even with the best candidate Democrats have fielded in decades, we still got thrown off message and could have lost when Republicans found traction just by saying that even a pedophile is better than a Democrat. In terms of branding, that’s about as bad as it gets.
Doug Jones did a great job face to face at talking about the “kitchen table issues” like jobs and health care, but we barely held our own in the media war.
Our few attempts at a cogent message have been almost tragic. The much-balleyhooed “Better Deal” that came out of Washington was full of worn-out slogans and wonky details on issues that nobody’s talking about.
The Alabama Democratic Party has a statement of principles that’s nearly 800 words of high-blown language written at a 14th grade (college sophomore) level. It reminds me of the time when, as a rookie reporter for the Birmingham News, I turned in a story that was full of fancy language showing off just how smart I was.
Legendary City Editor Clarke Stallworth wadded it up and threw it back at me and bellowed, “If I’m a steelworker in Pratt City reading the paper at the end of the day and you lay that shit on me, I’m gone to the funny papers.” Clark believed in plain talk more than anything.
I’d give my right arm to resurrect Clarke and put him in charge of teaching Democrats in Alabama how to communicate with ordinary people.
For more than 40 years, Democrats have been whining about the power of the religious right. During that time, we’ve shrunk back and allowed Republicans to reduce the entire historic Christian faith to a couple of litmus tests. (As long as you’re against abortion and gay rights, you’re guaranteed the votes of a large majority of those who identify with fundamentalist and Pentecostal churches.) We haven’t even put up a fight.
That needs to end in 2018. In this election year, we have to remind voters that while the Bible says nothing about abortion and almost nothing about homosexuality, it says a great deal about feeding the hungry, welcoming strangers, and protecting those who are weak and poor. It warns against covetousness and adultery, right there in the Ten Commandments, but we’ve never made that part of the conversation.
A lot of people tell me it’s impossible to get the “Christian” vote back, but I’m not buying it. The “Christian” vote has never been as powerful as we imagined, and now it has begun to splinter as Millennials have asserted themselves. Conditions are ideal for a counter-offensive.
The religious right was born in 1979, but its influence has ebbed and flowed. We actually held the extremists at bay during the Clinton administration, because Bill Clinton, who grew up reading his Bible and knows it better than many ministers, had the courage to talk about faith. He took much of the wind from their sails.
They returned somewhat during the first George W. Bush administration, but they played a smaller role as the neoconservatives took the lead after the 9/11 attacks.
Then came the 2004 election, and attention shifted back to religion for many voters. Once again, Democrats lost ground not on the merits, but because we flinched in the face of God-talk. John Kerry was a devout Catholic who attended Mass regularly, but he ran scared because a Catholic bishop declared that politicians who support choice should not receive communion. This finally led to the ludicrous “wafer watch” in which reporters sought to get a photo of Kerry receiving communion.
Once you show fear, you’re always on the defensive, and that’s the best way I know to lose elections.
This doesn’t mean we should all convert to fundamentalism. I for one have no intention of doing such a thing. Rather, it means we must be bold in saying who we are. Boldness commands respect, whether we are Christians, Jews, Muslims or atheists. No Democrat, from any religious background (or lack thereof), has to be afraid of these conversations.
Stepping up to this conversation allows us to remind voters of other issues that are important to fundamentalists but often forgotten. We get to remind people that democracy works both ways. It allows us to say, “When you force your religion on those of other faiths (or no faith), they will come looking for you when they achieve a majority. The way to protect fundamentalists is through the separation of church and state.”
It lets us point to the perverted logic of school prayer: Insist on a Christian prayer today and you must be willing to accept a secular meditation or Muslim prayer tomorrow.
In short, it knocks the props out from under vague assertions (such as those we heard from Roy Moore) about the United States being a Christian nation. It gives us a basis for turning back efforts to wedge religion back into schools through institutional prayer, religious pseudoscience and “abstinence only” sex education. It gives us a rational platform for keeping the Johnson Amendment, which keeps churches from endorsing candidates.
If Democrats do that, we’ll have much better results in the elections. And we’ll set the stage for more rational policy in Congress and the state legislatures.
By Lindsay Fernandes
Last night, the state of Alabama voted a Democrat into the United States Senate.
That’s a sentence I never expected to write. And yet here I sit, a jumble of emotions and thoughts, trying to make sense of it on paper. Because emotions this massive, this overwhelming, only come out of me in words and stories. I’ve been absent from the blog lately – my family moved to Georgia and life has been a wild ride, so in a way I’m a fraud on Birmingham Raw. But today, I had to let the words come.
Alabama is a state of deeply held loyalties. It’s a state of black and white. Auburn or Alabama. Republican or Democrat. It’s a state with extreme opinions on good manners. Rivalries run deep and compromise is slow. I can’t begin to explain why that is. Probably Carl Carter, with his impressive historical knowledge would know better than me. Maybe it’s the heat. But what has always confused me is that the people I know in Alabama are GOOD people. They mean well. They do kind things for one another and they love their neighbors. I have dear, blessed, kind hearted friends who Roll Tide and vote Republican and there isn’t a force on Heaven or Earth to change their minds.
Many of those friends of mine did not vote for Doug Jones because to check a box for a Democrat was simply more than they could do. And that’s okay. Because neither did they vote for Roy Moore. Nearly 23,000 Republicans in the state of Alabama chose to write in a candidate, and it amuses me that thousands of them chose Nick Saban.
And that is okay.
Because it’s enough that those good people, those decent people, those people who love one another, chose to draw a line in the sand and say ENOUGH. Whether they chose to write in or cross the aisle, the message was the same. We won’t vote for a sexual predator, or a total incompetent. Enough embarrassment. Enough stupidity. Enough incompetence.
It was torturous to me not to be an Alabama voter yesterday. Alabama has long been a source of both pride and frustration to me. It’s a difficult place for outsiders to understand. If Alabama were a person, I would roll my eyes and say, “Well – she’s complicated, bless her heart.”
But as it turns out, goodness prevailed yesterday in Alabama, and the state of my heart gave the nation a glimpse into its own heart. It may be stubborn, and loyalist, and intractable. But deep in there, deep in the deepest part of the Deepest Red South, there is goodness and love and the world saw.
And today I feel proud of my home state.
Thank you, Alabama, for giving us all just a little bit of hope.
By Carl Carter
All my life, I have gone by the name “Christian.” No more. The term has no meaning for me.
We tried to save it by using modifiers like fundamentalist and evangelical, but those have become hopelessly muddled along the way. I saw the first signs in the late 1970s, when I was one of the first reporters in the country to start writing about a budding “Christian conservative” movement – before Jerry Falwell jumped in and announced his “Moral Majority.” They weren’t content to call themselves “fundamentalists.” They claimed the whole name of Christianity for their own narrow aims. They first flexed their muscle backing Ronald Reagan (an actor who hadn’t been inside a church in decades except to look for votes) over a truly devout Sunday School teacher from rural Georgia. The same year, the “Christian” political activists at Briarwood Presbyterian, Shades Mountain Independent and other churches went all-in for a Mountain Brook insurance man to oust a second-generation Baptist minister, John Buchanan, a Republican who had long represented central Alabama well in the 6th Congressional District.
I knew all these people well. Those who stole the name “Christian” didn’t give a whit for the good people who worshipped in the black churches. They cared only about a narrow range of issues like abortion, tax cuts, and making sure gay people couldn’t have sex without getting arrested.
They never missed a chance to cite Sodom and Gomorrah in their condemnation of gay and lesbian Americans. Meanwhile, they ignored their beloved Ten Commandments completely, especially the ones about bearing false witness against others (especially Democrats and moderate Republicans), adultery (they embraced adulterors as long as they voted right) and covetousness, which they elevated to an art form, turning greed into an idol they worshipped more than God.
And all that was before Donald Trump showed up with his third wife, his boasts about pussy grabbing, his multiple charges of sexual assaults, and his flagrant worship of money. The “Christian” leaders like Franklin Graham, Jerry Falwell Jr., Pat Robertson, James Dobson and Roy Moore scrambled to proclaim Trump God’s anointed.
So why not Roy Moore? Why would a little thing like forcing himself on teenage girls and raising a kid who’s been arrested nine times get in the way? After all, there’s a Methodist in the race, and these folks know Methodists aren’t real Christians. Besides, he wants to abide by the First Amendment and let people love whom they will. And he thinks being “pro-life” means taking care of children once they’re born. Such notions cannot be allowed among “Christians.”
So I’m out. I reject the label of Christian. I haven’t rejected Christ, but I want nothing to do with the hate, bigotry and perversion that word has come to define. You can call me a believer, a disciple, an Episcopalian, of any number of other things. And I know that a lot of folks will say, “He never was a Christian to begin with,” and by their definition, maybe they’re right.
I’ll sing the hymns and use the word of others, because there’s no way around it. But for me? No thanks.
By Carl Carter, APR
Let’s talk about corruption. Not the kind that involves bribery and kickbacks, but the kind that makes stuff stop working.
Remember what happened when a file in your computer got corrupted? Everything came to a halt, whether it was a document you couldn’t read, a program that wouldn’t run or (God forbid) an entire hard disk garbled.
The corruption I’m talking about is destroying our channels of communication. Public relations professionals used to refer to the “corruption of channels of communication” in our Code of Ethics, but it’s been sanitized in recent years to gentler language. I decided a few months ago to find out when and why it disappeared. I called a PR professor who teaches ethics and even the national office of the Public Relations Association of America. Nobody I talked with could remember.
Channels get corrupted in a lot of ways. Most of those ways involve lying in one form or another. And all of us learned from our mamas that if people catch you lying, they won’t believe you next time.
Our ways to communicate quit working.
Right now, the problem is much, much bigger than the lies of children. We can’t even trust communications are coming from our own friends, because phishing scams are impersonating them. As treasurer of an organization, I’ve received dozens of emails from the president, requesting that I send money to vendors. None of those actually came from her.
Our phones are inundated with junk calls from spoofed numbers that use our own area codes and exchanges, to make them appear local. Robocalls are disguised – with response programs – to appear to be real people. Facebook accounts get hijacked, and I’ve had to resort to vetting “friends” contacting me before I will communicate to them – usually asking a question only the real person could answer.
Just this week, the Washington Post nailed an attempt to trick the newspaper into running a fake story about Roy Moore. A couple of other reporters have been secretly captured on video talking loosely about their colleagues – mostly harmless stuff, but a good reminder that talking too much out of school can get you into trouble.
I had a phone conversation this week in which the organization on the other end of the phone told me they were recording the conversation to capture a voice print for use in confirming future conversations.
In that environment, who cares that the White House has become a fountain of easily documented lies? Who cares that the rules of logic are ignored? Terms are reversed and abused. Fact checkers can debunk a lie, but it doesn’t go away. Instead, the same lies can be repeated and amplified, and they work just as well. In short, we’ve developed a preference for lies over truth. This is why the labeling of legitimate media as “FAKE NEWS” is so destructive. In a society based on lies, the truth tellers must be executed.
Now, in the last two weeks of the special Senate election in Alabama, Roy Moore seems to have retaken the lead simply by repeating the words that “anything is better than a Democrat.” How did we reach a point where a public official credibly accused of attempting sex with a 14-year-old is preferable to anyone belonging to one of our two major political parties?
It only happens “when logic and proportion have fallen sloppy dead.” My God, I’m having to dredge up stoned-out Jefferson Airplane lyrics to make sense of it all.
I communicate for a living, and our tools for that have become so corrupted we can’t trust them any more.
Until we find a way to get them back, things will only get worse. I’m open to suggestions.
By Carl Carter
We should give credit where it’s due. Roy Moore has read his Bible, and his preference for teenage girls makes perfect sense for someone whose guide to the universe (and ours, if he gets his way) includes such concepts as men being able to sell their daughters into slavery. Exodus 21 spells out the rules that apply for the new owner. (If you’re curious, her new owner can’t sell her to foreigners, and if he decides to marry someone else instead, he still has to keep her, feed her and apparently have sex with her.)
So really, if an older man wants to marry a young girl, what’s the beef – as long as he gets her daddy’s permission?
Now, let’s not forget that the Old Testament prescribes the death penalty for a host of offenses, including idolatry, blasphemy, sabbath breaking, rape of a person engaged to another (apparently single people are fair game), adultery, loss of virginity before marriage, and the all-time favorite, gay sex.
Point is, the Bible is chock full of horrifying rules, punishments and brutality, even when viewed in its cultural context. Even among more traditional liturgical Christians, who reject the Old Testament law as a relic of the time before Christ, let’s not forget that the entire religion is built around an act of pretended cannibalism – eating the body and drinking the blood of Christ. It’s all there in the Bible for your reading pleasure.
We Christians are the original walkers, as it were.
So we can accuse Moore of being out of step with historical Christianity, and of stubbornly refusing to acknowledge the many things we’ve learned from science and history. But by and large, the things that horrify us the most are entirely consistent with the Bible we all have on our own shelves.
I should note that Moore doesn’t get abortion right, because in fact, the Bible says nothing about that. Nothing. This isn’t surprising, because the scriptures were written long before we knew enough science to discuss the life status of an unborn baby. Still, the fundamentalists in the late 1970s needed a wedge issue, and as with anything else, you can find something in the Bible to justify what you’re looking for. So what do the fundamentalists pull out to make their case? Well, not much, really. There are some verses saying that God foreknew/predestined who would believe in him. Of course, this isn’t really on point, because this “knowing” happened centuries before there was a fetus in the womb. You see this theme in Psalm 139:13-16; and Jeremiah 1:5. Another argument is the general assertion throughout the Bible that babies are good, which I think most folks would agree with anyway. Finally, there’s a reference to John the Baptist kicking in his mother’s womb (Luke 1:41). So yes, babies kick, as every mother knows.
Fortunately, we don’t have to start stoning homosexuals and sabbath breakers, because if we take into account the timing and context of what the Bible says, we find that it isn’t inspired and doesn’t claim to be. The fundamentalists like to point to 2 Timothy 3: “All scripture is inspired by God,” etc. It’s a single, brief letter to a local church that claims to have been written by the Apostle Paul (though many scholars think it was someone else) – maybe in 61 A.D., maybe the next century. In either case, the only “scripture” a Jew in those days would know about would be the Torah, so that’s all it would really address. It certainly has nothing to do with the gospels (which came much later) or the entire New Testament (which was still in flux until the fifth century).
Yet, I adhere closely to the historic Christian faith. I take communion every week, accepting it as a graphic demonstration of a spiritual principle. It has a great deal of meaning for me. But basically, I do it because that’s what Christians do.
But it’s a faith based on a combination of the Bible, reason and tradition – not a literal reading of rules written by somebody in the desert a few thousand years ago. At any rate, from the very beginning, our founding fathers made it clear that our government wouldn’t take sides. I have close friends who are Jews, Muslims, pagans and atheists, and I love them all. That’s the real beauty of being an American. We can be different without getting our heads chopped off.
You can thank whatever god you worship for that and pray that people like Moore never get their way.
By Carl Carter, APR
I’m going to be totally up front here: The mainstream media don’t write fake news. They don’t make up stories. They don’t do stories based on a single phone interview – at least, not about anything that matters.
When I say mainstream in this article, I mean the Washington Post and The New York Times, because they’re at the top of the media food chain. Here in Alabama, where I live, the Washington Post has taken the lead in coverage of women who have Roy Moore of a disturbing pattern of behavior with regard to much younger women.
That’s all I’ll say about that. This article isn’t about politics. It’s about media – particularly our news media. (I’m not touching on electronic media or Cable TV here, because that’s a much fuzzier picture, and more entertainment than news. My usual advice is to get your advice by reading, not by watching.)
For decades, clients all over the country have hired me to issue press releases and interact with newspapers, TV stations and other media in their behalf. They’ve trusted me with their marketing budgets and their reputations. I’ve gotten them good results. They have known me for years as somebody who understands media, who understands how the business works, and who tells the truth.
And here’s the truth: When somebody tells you that our national mainstream media are making up stories for any political purpose, they’re lying.
Not mistaken. Lying.
I was a journalist for a decade and have been talking to reporters ever since. I covered religion, politics, business and other topics, and spent a year as night city editor for the largest paper in the state, editing all the news that came from our bureaus in the state capitol of Montgomery and Washington. In all that time, I’ve never known a reporter for any mainstream news medium (including all daily and national newspapers) who could be bribed into creating a fake story. I’ve also never known a reporter who would sit on a big story for political reasons, or because they were being bribed.
We’re talking more than four decades. Not one. Never.
They also don’t pay for news – for a very good reason. People could invent a story to “sell” to the newspapers, and such accounts can’t be trusted. I’ve seen a lot of them try to sell stories to me and other journalists. They get sent packing in a hurry.
When the Washington Post published its story on Moore’s first accuser, who was 14 at the time of the incident, I read it with the eye of a newspaper editor as well as a news source. Even by their standards, I was impressed with the breadth and depth of the reporting. Long before that story saw the light of day, the Washington Post had reporters busy verifying the story every which way from Sunday.
They confirmed that the court hearing happened that day, and the room in which it happened, and that the 14-year-old girl’s mother was testifying. Roy Moore was a district attorney and offered to babysit the girl so she wouldn’t be exposed to the unpleasantness that happens in a courtroom. They confirmed that he was working there, and verified where his office was located.
The Post interviewed the victim six times (I’m comfortable calling her the victim at this point) and kept trying to trip her up. Her story never wavered. She told her mother and other people at the time. The Post found those people and got their accounts. In all, they interviewed more than 30 people before putting a word in the paper.
So unless somebody sneaked around and bribed 30 people, and found a way to falsify the court records, everything checked out. To deny it is to indulge in conspiracy thinking, and here’s why I generally reject any kind of big conspiracy: It requires that a large number of people keep a secret about something that a lot of people are talking about.
People don’t keep secrets. Some spill the beans for reasons of ego or conscience, but the truth comes out. Responsible media like the Washington Post, The New York Times and what’s left of the daily papers all over the country find out the truth and publish it. When they make a mistake, they correct it.
I’ve worked with the Washington Post, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and other national media many times. They don’t just take my word for anything. If the story is of any importance at all, it can take weeks of repeated interviews. Many times, I’ve had fact checkers call behind the reporters to make sure the reporters actually did the interviews and reported what I said correctly.
What I’m counting on is that you also are willing to apply the same standards of truth and credibility when it comes to our nation’s newspapers.
If you trust me, trust the Post. Trust the Times. Trust the Associated Press. Trust Reuters.
Trust the women.
By Carl Carter, APR
Raise your hand if you’ve heard this one about the Roy Moore allegations: “Just seems mighty curious to me that this would come up right now, after all this time.”
So let’s take a little thought journey together. Let’s imagine you were a teenage girl. Maybe you wore short skirts and sneaked a cigarette behind the gym.
One day, guy twice your age offered you a ride home. He got you down to your bra and panties, and pulled down his trousers. He grabbed your hand and tried to place it on his erection (mercifully covered by his briefs). He reminded you he worked in the district attorney’s office, where they prosecute criminals.
And you went home and cried, and felt dirty. You’d heard stories of other girls who spoke up and even brought charges. You pictured yourself in a courtroom with a slick lawyer, smirking as he grilled you:
“And what were you wearing? How short WAS that skirt anyway? What kind of panties did you have on? Was that a bikini? A thong? Have you ever had a bikini wax? Are you sure you weren’t bending over a little extra?
“Now tell me about that blouse. What color? See through? Just a little?
“What kind of bra did you have under it? What color? Is that one of those that push you up to show a little extra … uh, décolletage?
“What kind of neckline was it? Scooped or V-neck? Now, about how much cleavage did it show? (Holds up two fingers.) This much? Maybe this much? OK, so maybe this much.
“How many boys have you dated? Where’d you meet them? Did you wear that little skirt and pushup bra and top for them? No? Where did you go? And where’d you go after that? Did you kiss? Tongue or no tongue? What color lipstick were you wearing? What color were your nails?
“So what are you after, really? Hoping my client would give you money? Buy you things? How many things would it take? What’s your price?”
You imagined facing that barrage and gave up … for then. And you cried some more and felt helpless. You thought about the looks on your mother’s and your aunt’s faces if you had to answer all those questions. You wondered if you really were to blame.
Now, a few decades later, you see that guy’s face on TV, and he’s talking about how he’s God’s faithful warrior and the only thing standing between Alabama and an army of fornicators and gays and transgenders. And you’re in your 50s now, and there’s not much he can do to you.
And you realize maybe you can be the one standing between him and the wreckage he could cause in the U.S. Senate. And you love your state and your country, and you’ve grown to hate self-righteousness and lies.
And you’ve watched as women in just the last few weeks have stepped forward after years of secret shame and said “Me too,” bringing down powerful men and striking fear into others. And you think, “If they can, I can too. And by God, I will.”
And you step out into the line of fire. You tell your story to a reporter, or to a lawyer, or to someone who can give you courage and support. In other words, you say, “This asshole’s going to the Senate over my dead body.”
That’s the answer to the question, “Why now.”