That depends on what they knew.
I worked with a guy on one of my jobs who I’m sure was gay and who I’m sure had pedophilic tendencies. He worked with children and was overly friendly with them. I always had the feeling he was right on the verge of crossing the line. He never did cross the line, though. He was, of course, very popular, very good at his job, and, considering he never crossed the line with the children, he seemed to help the children in many ways.
What should I have done? The man also happened to be African-American. I could put people on alert about the guy. I could report him, but for what? He never did anything wrong. My guess is that the guy has these tendencies, but manages to contain himself. I don’t think you can condemn someone for “tendencies.” If he continues to resist temptation, containing himself, he will have done what all good men must do—resist the “devil” and overcome the allures that lead us astray. So, he’s a good man, isn’t he?
Yes. And yet I know that both he and the children are in danger. He is in the wrong profession for a man having this tendency. Yet, I am powerless. I can’t accuse the guy of having “tendencies.” I have no right to besmirch his character. Unfortunately, I had no choice. I could communicate with him directly in a diplomatic way, which is what I did. So, at least I had put him on alert that someone was watching.
What should Republicans have done? My understanding is that they saw the emails, but not the instant messaging. The emails were overly friendly, but not sexual in nature. If the Repubs had seen the sexual messages, then they were obligated to confront Foley and report him, ask him to resign, and take any further actions to expel him from the House. Having seen only the emails, however, they were obligated to take him aside and talk to him, and to put other people on alert about him.
Did they do any of this? Did any Republicans do the unthinkable, sweep this thing under the rug until after the election? We’ll find out soon.
(*Wikipedia is always my source unless indicated.)
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