In the wake of Harvey Weinstein’s accusations of harassment and rape, Republicans have sought to use the disturbing allegations for political gain. Several prominent GOP members including Donald Trump Jr and Ted Cruz have tried to paint Weinstein—a long time donor to the Democratic National Committee (DNC)—as a leading figure in the Democratic Party that leftists have failed to renounce swiftly enough.

This ploy has backfired on Republicans for a few reasons. The first being that Democrats have not only wholly disavowed Weinstein, but several liberal celebrities are the ones making the accusations in the first place.

Secondly, Weinstein has never been a leading voice in the DNC, despite his contributions. He has never run for office nor even spoken at a convention. Finally, this tactic of smearing Democrats based on the reprehensible actions of a donor might be the ultimate “people in glass houses” example, considering who the current Republican president is. Donald Trump has been accused of several alarming acts eerily similar to those hurled at Weinstein, and unlike Weinstein, Trump is on record bragging about several of these inappropriate events.

What about the money?

The Republicans attempt to paint the Democrats as the pro-rape party has failed miserably, but they have brought up an interesting ethical question of whether or not Democrats should return all the money donated by Weinstein.

Senator Ted Cruz suggested this in a tweet when he asked why the DNC had kept so much of a "serial sexual predator's" money.Many believe that Democrats should donate all of Weinstein’s money to charities that help women, and to be fair, many Democrats have done just that. Michigan Senator Debbie Stabenow recently told Crooked Media that she donated a 2012 Weinstein contribution to a domestic violence shelter.

As for the rest of the DNC, what they do with Weinstein’s money should be entirely up to them, as long as the money goes to helping women, and that is precisely what the DNC is doing.

Thanks to high profile figures such as Weinstein, Trump, and Bill O’Reilly, America’s long-running epidemic of powerful men harassing, or sometimes assaulting, women are at long last coming to the surface.

One solution to this problem is to even the playing field and put more women into positions of power. America has made some minor gains in business and politics as far as gender inclusion, but both are still very much boy’s clubs. Only 105 of the 535 members of Congress are women. In business, the stats are even bleaker. According to Fortune, of all the CEOs running Fortune 500 companies, just 32 are women.

The DNC is trying to do something about this problem, and they are using Weinstein’s money to do so. A recent announcement from the DNC stated they would be giving all the money received from Weinstein during their last cycle (roughly 30,000 dollars) to the following groups: EMILY’s List, Higher Heights, and Emerge America.

All three of these organizations help to get women elected to public office. Of course, Republicans were outraged about this donation as well given that all three groups only aim to run Democratic women for office, but if our goal as a nation is to empower women, the Democrats are the only party fighting to make that happen.

Republicans vs women

It is absurd for Republicans to try and use Weinstein’s party affiliation to show that they have women’s best interest at heart. Republicans routinely vote or enact policy that attempts to deny women rights and undo gains made by women over the years. Just recently, House Republicans passed a bill that limits access to safe abortion. Later that same week, the Trump administration announced that businesses would be allowed to deny women access to birth control.

And in what might be the cruelest attack on women, Betsy Devos, Trump’s Secretary of Education, recently decided to rescind Obama’s Title IX guidelines which will disincentivize women on college campuses to report sexual assaults. One of the reasons rape survivors don’t immediately come forward after being assaulted is because they are often accused of fabricating the incident, the title ix guidelines that Devos just removed demanded Universities thoroughly investigate all accusations.

The Republicans attempt to politicize Harvey Weinstein only served to shine a light on the parties own mistreatment of women. Yes, Harvey Weinstein is a dangerous man who deserves to go to prison but pretending his actions reflect the values of the Democratic Party is beyond ignorant.

Democrats have long been the party fighting for women to get an equal shake in this country, and anyone who thinks otherwise hasn't been paying attention. And if Weinstein’s cash helps to elect women that will fight against Republicans whose aim is to strip women of their rights, then that is just fine. In fact, let’s hope the prison allows Weinstein to keep his checkbook.

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