In the past few weeks California’s 25th Congressional District has received a significant amount of national attention, regrettably almost all negative. Rhetorically charged words like abuse, revenge porn, and victim being some of the most commonly referenced, especially in the social media commentary.
Of late, there has been even more attention given to the partisan aspects surrounding this breaking story with one area newspaper recently publishing a story titled “GOP enemies wanted to beat Katie Hill. Then they got her nude photos.”
In this era of deep partisan division, it is not surprising to see inciting words like “enemy” used, especially in headlines trying to grab attention, but at what point does the language fundamentally alter the facts?
However, language is only one piece of the to the narrative manipulation. For former-Rep. Hill to be able to reclaim control of the direction her story takes, it requires a platform from which to spread her narrative. This is then coupled with being given the opportunity to define the words she chooses and uses in a way that she wants, that in reality, is often quite inconsistent.
It is the double standard surrounding both of these aspects that show just how complicit so many media outlets are in their biased coverage.
The undeniable fact, though, is that Hill acknowledged she was having an inappropriate relationship with a staffer under her supervision and authority. Such a relationship between an employee and his or her supervisor is not only a human resources nightmare in the private sector, but in the United States House of Representatives it is deemed to be an abuse of power and there have been serious rules instituted to eliminate this type of predatory behavior.
Such behavior by Hill is what led to Speaker Nancy Pelosi to have concerns regarding the maintaining of a climate of integrity and dignity, and she ultimately saw continued service by Hill to be untenable.
Consider for a moment if Hill had been a 32-year-old male Republican freshman member of Congress who had engaged in an “inappropriate” relationship with a paid staffer. He would likely have no platform from which he could depict himself to be the victim — and rightfully so, because the person with power in the relationship is not the victim, they are the abuser.
Yet, the real victim of Hill’s abuse is all but forgotten and Hill’s abuse of power as a member of Congress has been all but ignored.
In Hill’s final congressional address, she did everything possible to cloud the issue with unsubstantiated allegations, deflection of blame and responsibility, and to make herself into a victim — all of which is the very essence of spinning a double standard web.
In the war of words being waged, the claims of double standards have been flipped back and forth so many times it is like the bad jokes of double-double agents in spy movie spoofs or the cracks that if not for double standards, then there would be no standards at all.
In reality, though, for there to be a double standard (or a double-double standard), first and foremost there does, in fact, have to be a standard, and that is what has been seen to be lacking for so long.
We deserve better. We deserve a representative who upholds standards and the rule of law, which has been the basis for American government since our founding. We have serious issues and it will take a serious focus on policy, rather than late-night cocktail partying, to deal with the issues that matter most to voters in this district.
Issues addressing quality and cost of living, particularly as it relates to the homeless epidemic in Los Angeles. Issues surrounding our security, both to prevent the trafficking of guns, drugs and people at the border, and our international security against cyber threats faced by China and Russia. Issues ensuring that our active military is supported by Congress and that promises made to our veterans are fulfilled. Issues to protect our liberty against an ever-encroaching behemoth government that is fed by cronyism, special interests and big-monied lobbyists.
The time has come to end Katie Hill’s 15 minutes of infamy and turn the focus and attention to where it belongs- the positive future for California’s 25th Congressional District.
As Ronald Reagan told us nearly 50 years ago, we are again at a “time for choosing” and at this deciding point in the history or our country, and specifically in this district, voters have the opportunity to move forward and reclaim the standard of rule of law by their representative.
Mark Cripe is a Los Angeles County sheriff’s sergeant and a former candidate for the 25th Congressional District.