Disclaimer – this isn’t exactly an HR post, though it reflects how important it is for HR folks to listen carefully to the word choices of their employees.
As the Senate considers yet another version of repeal and replace for the Affordable Care Act, I heard this soundbite from Mitch McConnell, Senate Majority Leader from Kentucky:
After all these years of suffering through Obamacare, republican senators must come through as they have promised.
This, my friends, is language meant to imply victimization.
It made me think about another famous McConnell quote:
Nevertheless, she persisted.
The latter quote, you may recall, is how the Senator from Kentucky reacted to Elizabeth Warren’s remarks on the floor as he moved toward censuring her.
You see, he is a victim. And I think I figured out where he learned the language of a victim.
Whenever there is a prominent sexual harassment or rape case involving a privileged white male (I know, that’s all white males), the prosecution uses the argument that the accused persisted in spite of protestations of the victim. And that the victim “suffered through” the assault and under great duress is here to identify her attacker. As a result, Mitch thought persistence was a bad thing. And he thought that “suffering through” was a hardship.
But the truth is, republican senators did not suffer through the Affordable Care Act. It doesn’t affect them. And their constituents (those they represent, not just those that voted for them) mostly didn’t even understand the ACA. But those that benefited from this act truly needed it.
Senator McConnell, please stop playing the victim. You may be the senate majority leader by virtue of your tenure, but, to paraphrase Yoda – “Lead or do not. There is no blaming others”.