The term “believe women” gained popularity on social media not long after the #MeToo movement rose to prominence in the fall of 2017.
The slogan revolved around the notion that women were more honest than men and therefore were less likely to lie about something so serious as sexual harassment and assault.
Because social media trends are what they are, “believe women” morphed into “believing all women,” and not just when it came to sexual harassment and assault. “Believing all women” expanded to pretty much believing any allegation a woman made against a man, especially when it came to alleged slights and perceived sexism.
Such was the case in recent weeks, as a feud emerged between Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), who pledged to each other in a private December 2018 meeting before declaring their respective presidential candidacies that they would not attack each other on the campaign trail.
After news hit the internet about how Sanders campaign volunteers were being given a negative talking points script to use when speaking to primary voters who indicated they were leaning toward Warren, a retaliatory report was published alleging Sanders told Warren during that December meeting that a woman couldn’t win the presidency.
In response, Sanders flatly denied the allegation. “What I did say that night was that Donald Trump is a sexist, a racist and a liar who would weaponize whatever he could,” he said to CNN in a statement.
Warren pushed back, alleging that during the discussion she asserted to Sanders she “thought a woman could win” but “he disagreed.”
The two had a chance to settle their differences during the Democratic presidential primary debate the same week the news broke. Warren and Sanders both reiterated their positions when asked about it by debate moderators.
But after the debate, Warren refused to shake Sanders’ hand, accusing him of calling her a “liar” on national TV. The testy exchange only lasted a few seconds, with Sanders turning her accusation around on her before they both walked away from each other.
It was high drama for two candidates who otherwise had mostly steered clear of attacks on each other throughout their campaigns. To be sure, their surrogates had thrown a few jabs here and there, but for the most part, Warren and Sanders avoided direct attacks until recently.
The “he said, she said” debate brought up another debate about who to believe. The man or the woman? Naturally, their supporters are lining up behind their respective candidates. But for conservatives who don’t support either of them, a consensus that Sanders is telling the truth has taken root.
There are reasonable explanations for that belief. Warren has told some whoppers throughout her political career that have come back to bite her. Not only that, but there is video from 1988 where Sanders talks openly about his belief that a woman could win the presidency.
Warren has a history of being dishonest with voters, including her false claims of a Native American heritage, her false claims that her children only went to public school, and her false claims about allegedly being let go from a teaching job because she was pregnant.
Even if Warren is telling the truth about her conversation with Sanders, she’s made it harder to believe because now even liberals know she’s not above telling a whopper or two at the expense of other candidates in the Democratic presidential primary in order to get ahead.
Over the weekend, Warren was asked by a journalist if it was disqualifying for a candidate to lie to voters. She paused a moment before answering.
“How could the American people want someone who lies to them?”
Perhaps the senator should ask herself that question.
Stacey Matthews is a veteran blogger who has also written under the pseudonym Sister Toldjah and is a regular contributor to Red State and Legal Insurrection.