Today’s paragraphs come to us from David French, writing for nationalreview.com.
Mr. French’s latest commentary is a somewhat controversial take on why, in his opinion, the just-endured inquisition of Judge Brett Kavanaugh was a more important definer of the gulf between Republicans and Democrats than the 2016 election. I urge you to click here and read it – see what you agree or disagree with; I’m betting you’ll find some of both.
But within his commentary are these paragraphs, which strike me as being right on target:
While many Republicans may have considered Kavanaugh too safe, too cautious to be the man who replaced Anthony Kennedy, they looked at him and his family and saw themselves. No, not the double Yale credentials, but the person who worked hard, loved sports even more than most, and spent his spare time coaching his daughter’s basketball team.
And so when Ford came forward, it’s as if her allegations landed in two different countries. The good-faith residents of Redworld were skeptical and said, “Prove it.” The good-faith residents of Blueworld believed Ford and said, “Finally, she has a chance for justice.” The presumptions were diametrically opposite, and everything that followed turned on those different presumptions.
At the very heart of “Believe women” or “Believe survivors” is a flipping of the burden of proof. It’s a mind-set that says women almost always tell the truth about sexual assault, and that the failure of the criminal- or civil-justice systems to convict or impose liability on predatory men at anything approaching their rates of predation means that fundamental legal and cultural reform is mandatory. Compounding the injustice, the very process of proving the existence of abuse—especially when claims are subject to cross-examination and public scrutiny—can revictimize the survivor.
The abuse inflicts immense pain. The system inflicts more pain. And true justice is hard to find.
Redworld rejects this view. It treats sexual abuse as a crime like any other crime. Accusers should be heard and treated with respect, but they still have to prove their cases. They’re not “survivors” or “victims” until that proof has been offered. Redworld rejects the notion that women almost always tell the truth and is also concerned for men who face allegations that can and do wreck families and end careers. They do not see men as constituting a predator class or women as a victim class. There are men who are predators and women who are victims, but each case has to be judged on its own merits. Each case stands or falls on its own evidence. And, critically, every accuser bears the burden of proof.
Is David French on target here? Is this the way Kavanaugh played out?
I think so, which is why he wins Paragraphs Of The Day honors.
What do you think?