The flak is flying, the protests raucous. The Senate is in turmoil. Friends are furious with each other. Our very hallowed democratic (not Democrat) processes are in danger of dissolving into name-calling and verbal – and eventual physical – violence.
What to do? Can there be a real answer?
First, let each person, especially the most prominent protesters on either side, remember our cherished “innocent till proven guilty” maxim. When any allegation or charge of guilt is issued, the burden of proof is on the accuser – not the accused. Anybody who doesn’t agree to that without exception doesn’t understand liberty or law.
In America, we’ve never subscribed to guilt by accusation!
Second, let’s remember a couple of other long cherished admonitions for every right-minded person, male or female:
“Walk a mile in my shoes.”
“Were you there?”
And the best, “Put yourself in my place.”
This could be our remedy for the current screaming, accusatory fracas, and our hope for a renewed bipartisan actual working government. A republic of people who respect each other, even while different in deed and belief.
A couple of hypothetical situations:
Sen. Feinstein, you’ve been very harshly critical of Judge Kavanaugh’s “demeanor,” even anger while defending himself in the Senate committee hearing. Let’s assume, hypothetically, that someone has brought you before a similar committee charging that you were seen falling-down drunk at a private party 16 years ago and saw you force yourself into the lap of a good-looking young Senate intern who was too taken back to complain. And the accuser swears that this was only one of many such embarrassing displays of your political power.
Do you really think you’d sit there calmly and just quietly deny the accusation?
Sen. Schumer, your turn. What if a former page came forward to accuse you of very strong pressure on him to submit to sexual acts with you in a Senate restroom, 22 years ago, and swore under oath that your urges and appetites were widely and well-known throughout the halls of Congress?
Would you just quietly shake your head and claim that you didn’t remember ever doing anything like that?
Rep. Pelosi, you’re next. What if a former male aide, who worked in your office for the last 20 years, swore under penalty of prison that you had a private suite at a Washington hotel and were known to persuade young political hopefuls, male and female, to “visit with you” in that suite, and possibly spend the night? And that you had confided in him that you and your husband have always had “an understanding” that allowed you to indulge your bisexuality in whatever way you choose, as long as you were “discreet”?
You’ve never been one to hide your “temperament” when expressing your views about opposite members and policies in the House. Would you just calmly deny these accusations against you, in front of the nation you serve? While you watched your long career in public service go up in smoke?
Let’s take a hypothetical look at two at once, Don Lemon and Anderson Cooper, both at CNN and ruthless convicters (without evidence) of Judge Kavanaugh. What if a young guy, barely 20 and hopeful of a career in TV journalism, swore under oath and gave details to the New York Times, that Lemon and Cooper had together lured him into a late night “dinner for three” in a cozy suite – eventually promising him employment and their support at CNN, if he would join them in their other interests that night? And that the experience had “scarred him for life,” psychologically?
Do you imagine that either Lemon or Cooper would sit coolly, unemotionally and serene, while those accusations were voiced in a court hearing – or might there have been a lot of very ungentlemanly noise coming in their own defense?
Donna Brazile, former DNC interim chairman, lovely and accomplished woman, was just on a major network news show, expressing her complete belief in the charges against Judge Kavanaugh and even being critical of his tears when he talked about his relatively chaste Catholic years as a young man and the likelihood he might now not even be able to teach in a school his children attend.
Donna, a hypothetical to consider: What if a black minister, very respected and well thought of, testified emotionally that 17 years ago, when he was in seminary, he had met you at a political event and that you, as an attractive and quite persuasive older woman, enticed him into a secret affair that went on for three months and nearly caused him to abandon his pursuit of the ministry?
As you tried to rescue your whole reputation, past and future, against false claims from a seemingly unimpeachable source, do you imagine you might get emotional enough to shed a few tears yourself?
COME ON, PEOPLE, WAKE UP! BE REAL! Let’s each put ourselves in Judge Kavanaugh’s place; look at his unblemished record of almost 30 years on the bench; consider the six previous times the FBI had investigated him and his whole life thoroughly, finding no fault or even a whisper of the things he’s now accused of – and think of our own deeds and misdeeds when we were 15 or 17, and see if any of us can throw the first stone.
And then pray that no one will publicly and falsely accuse us of something we can’t legally disprove.