I Feel Trump’s Pain. I Was the Target of a Similar Leftist Witch Hunt
Let’s call this moment the Great Embarrassment. After a 675-day investigation, Mueller’s report came out.
Mueller concluded that Donald Trump did not work with Russian officials to steal the 2016 election.
Everything the Democrats have discussed since 2016 looks like lunacy. The Democrats took the “collusion” and “treason” accusations to a new level of histrionics.
Some say “let us move on.” I don’t. As an ex-Democrat I pray that the left looks backward rather than forward. They should study all that happened during the Obama administration and since. They should speak to people like me, Brittany Klein, and Paul Church — plus many others driven from academic jobs by liberal zeal. And often, slander.
The Russian “collusion” fiasco did not appear out of nowhere.
The left’s road to madness stretches back at least to 2011. That is when the Obama-era Department of Education issued a “Dear Colleague” letter. Massive changes in the way institutions conducted non-legal “investigations” paved the way to the Great Embarrassment.
Do 675 Days of Investigation Frighten You?
(Warning, some pseudonyms up ahead.)
Believe it or not, as a college professor who professed Christ, I suffered an investigation almost as complex as the Mueller inquisition. But mine lasted at least 1,217 days, from October 6, 2014, to February 4, 2018.
I call my case the “Reagan Library Affair.” I wish to ensure that people know it involves the Reagan Library, whose officials told me they wanted me to deny any connection to them. (With bravery like that, the Berlin Wall might yet stand.)
The Reagan Library Affair grew and multiplied in absurdity until the faculty union decided unilaterally to close out my case. By then I had vacated the job nearly two years prior. I had moved away to Texas. The case was a Dickensian mockery, a pile of ghost papers haunting an institution I didn’t even work at.
When I was 350 days into the ordeal, I wrote this true-life lampoon, “Poe Explains Title IX.”
Two and a half years into it, in 2017, I wrote Wackos Thugs & Perverts: Clintonian Decadence in Academia. The drama went on for a whole year after that book.
Many saw signs that the kangaroo courts would spill out of academia into other institutions. I knew investigations like this would be a reality for more people. But I could not have foreseen that they would do the same to a sitting president.
The Anatomy of a Kangaroo Court Case
On October 3, 2014, I led a conference at the Reagan Presidential Library. The title “Bonds that Matter” simply asserted that family ties, such as mother-daughter, father-son, mother-son, etc., meant a lot to people. This infuriated feminists and homosexuals.
I had tenure at California State University Northridge, the alma mater of Kamala Harris’s husband, Douglas Emhoff. At this time Kamala Harris was the state attorney general. Jerry Brown was the governor. Barack Obama was the president. My dean was Elizabeth Say. She would soon become head of the Clinton Global Initiative on campus.
You can guess where this is going. I had opposed gay adoption at the European Union, the United Nations, and the Supreme Court.
An Orchestrated Complaint
Immediately after the Reagan Library conference, three women (Faya, Rhonda, and Brunhilda) and a gay man named Sylvester issued complaints. They alleged that the event had been anti-woman and anti-gay. Next they said that I had used my authority as a professor to force them to attend a day-long homophobic and misogynist brainwashing. They claimed the event had nothing to do with the literature courses I taught. They said they broke down in tears.
Sylvester claimed that he was coming to terms with his own gay identity in October 2014. He said that as a result of the stress caused by my homophobia, he failed my class.
Kangaroo court cases often depend on crazy people, gullible stooges, or indebted criminals to present charges against their bogeymen. Naturally, they struggle to keep their stories straight.
Sylvester’s allegations showed he did not know which class he was in. He attended only five classes, missing half of them even before the conference and 100 percent of them afterward. A quick Google search also revealed he was not “coming to terms with” his sexuality in the fall of 2014. He had already served as an officer in the gay students’ group in previous years.
Thus most people would guess that some political group got Sylvester to sign up for my class, disappear, and then claim he failed because I was a bigot. I will never know. I had no right to question the accusers. Nor could I read their complaints.
Rhonda and Brunhilda fell off the case quickly. They alleged that the speakers at the conference engaged in “slut-shaming” and anti-woman rhetoric. This clashed with the fact that all five of the speakers were … women.
The Art of the Shameless “Findings”
The 2015 “disposition” on the Reagan Library Affair included two passages that should worry Donald Trump. My 2015 disposition stated that they did not have sufficient evidence that I discriminated. But …
It stated I might be liable to investigation for other (unnamed) violations by offices that deal with things other than discrimination.
Then the disposition took exception to how I had defended myself against the charges. They said I engaged in “retaliatory acts.” These consisted of asking students to let me know if they felt offended before filing a complaint with Equity and Diversity.
They make up rules as they go along. They break the rules but you can’t. They draw out everything, because then rules like confidentiality and non-retaliation stay in effect for as long as possible. The rules make it virtually impossible for you to defend yourself.
Also, I did not nominate one of the accusers for an award. She received in A in my class but got no award.
Double Secret Probation
The Mueller machine of 2019 existed in a primordial form back then. Even the most preposterous charges, if leveled, place the accused under strict investigation conditions. Violate the conditions and you are guilty of “obstruction of justice” or “retaliation” or a “cover-up” of nothing you actually did.
The university rules made “retaliation” a crime of equal severity to discrimination and harassment. A Title IX charge could be utterly ridiculous, years past due, and nowhere near as traumatic as an assualt. It doesn’t matter. If you did anything to cast doubt on the accuser (such as say, “this is a lie”) even if it was a lie, you are guilty of retaliating.
Faya claimed that I told her I would not nominate her for an award. No award existed for which I could have nominated her. This paradox did not impede the investigator’s finding.
So even after all that, my Orphic odyssey was far from over. I wanted to rebut the retaliation finding. So I prepared a lengthy rebuttal with piles of evidence to disprove that I had ever made such a comment to Faya Bugworm. I produced the faculty manual that said faculty should seek to resolve student complaints directly before referring them to the office of Equity and Diversity.
The provost told me he would not allow me to rebut the retaliation finding until Human Resources had finished examining the case and determining my punishment. This bizarre phase of post-investigation investigation lasted until December 2016. At that point my rebuttal and counterclaims could be investigated. By then I had left the job. So by February 2018, the faculty union decided to close my case as unresolved.
Games Witch Hunters Play
I was not the president of the United States. In fact, I was only a lowly associate professor. I taught four courses a semester in Los Angeles for a measly $62,000 per year when my nightmare began.
Since I had no money, I could only avail myself of non-profit lawyers when I looked like a good poster boy for fundraising. I was no Jack Phillips. Like Trump, I had a New Yorker’s attitude and a sordid history prior to being born again.
As soon as conservative activists grew tired of my case, they saw me as a liability. When they drop you, your life spirals downward. And fast. One non-profit fund said they were happy to defend Mark Regnerus but not my case. Why? They thought the idea of having students attend a conference and present research exhibits was weird.
The clock starts ticking and you start to feel pretty chilly.
Hung Out to Dry
But I tried. To keep the lawyers interested I had to cultivate media interest. This meant constantly chasing reporters to write about my story. Hence I soon became a Drudge punch line. But no matter how far one went to the right circa 2016, nobody liked someone who was anti-gay. The left-wing and right-wing media both ignored me for the most part. A few articles count as exceptions in places like The American Thinker, The Stream, or The College Fix.
I get what Trump has been through. Because the investigation is askew of a standard legal case, they make up rules as they go along. They break the rules but you can’t. They draw out everything, because then rules like confidentiality and non-retaliation stay in effect for as long as possible. The rules make it virtually impossible for you to defend yourself.
How the Left Grinds People Down
Typical of kangaroo court cases is the constant fishing expedition. When Northridge investigated me, they went after anything they could think of.
A lesbian anthropologist came in as a consultant to say that conception, pregnancy, and family bonds had nothing to do with nineteenth-century literature. This was a way of alleging that I was assigning work that had nothing to do with the class. Her opinion about literary themes had nothing do with the discrimination case. But it was one of many fishing expeditions that consumed my life for years.
During the whole investigation, the inquisitors kept ignoring the eighty-three photographs, piles of documents, and hours of video I submitted as evidence. The consultant claimed that family “bonds” did not constitute a powerful theme in classical literature. Yet eighty-three beautiful exhibits by my students demonstrated the role of family in authors ranging from Ann Bradstreet to Harriet Jacobs.
From Covering Up to Cleaning Up
When I went through the Reagan Library Affair, I felt scared. Part of me kept thinking that I must have done something wrong. After all, whey would all the conservatives back away from me too?
As a Christian I knew I needed to repent when I did things wrong. But I could not lie. It would be false to say I did something wrong when I really didn’t. The utter paradoxes and contradictions in the Obama era’s campus investigation ordeals paved the way for the Great Embarrassment.
Now is the time for the Democrats to take stock of what caused their horrible situation. They need to acknowledge that the procedures they pushed onto institutions like the academy became a cancer. Eventually the tumors metastasized. The whole country is consumed in kangaroo courts. It got so bad even the president was not immune. The left created this monster and needs to slay it. It is much bigger than me or Donald Trump. It’s a matter of making sure America is a place where people can actually live.