Friday, September 28, 2018
Like many Americans I watched the Kavanaugh hearings yesterday. And as I sat that I could not help but wonder how we got here. How is it that so many senators and ordinary citizens are so quick to pass judgement on a man who they do know even know? If the senators and many people in this country are opposed to his nomination on ideological grounds, does that give them the right to assume that he is therefore guilty of a crime committed over 30 years ago? Finally, why was Kavanaugh so bothered by these accusations if he knows them to be untrue? Why the anger?
As I mentioned in an entry over 18 months ago http://www.whitecollarguru.com/2017/01/innocent-until-proven-guilty-or-guilty.html and well before President Trump brought it up earlier this week, I lament that the idea that we are innocent until proven guilty is, for all practical purposes, nothing more than a myth. Once someone has been indicted and that indictment is covered in the press, in the eyes of many, he is already guilty. From there it becomes very difficult to get a fair trial even if the defendant is innocent. The onus is on the defendant to prove his innocence instead of on the government to prove guilt. This creates a completely backwards system of justice where people are always quick to believe allegations whether they can be corroborated or not. For those who already decided that Kavanaugh was unfit for the Supreme Court this was yet another excuse (not a reason) to protest his nomination.
As to the outrage by Kavanaugh, I can empathize. I have two daughters, one of whom is 15. As a father, nothing scares me more than an episode such as what happened to Kavanaugh’s accuser, Dr. Ford. I am sure every father shares the same fears, so I am not going to attempt to white wash the cultural epidemic that has victimized women for all too long. Thankfully, many of these perpetrators have been exposed and brought to justice. Finally, albeit belatedly, there is a cultural revolution where women are saying that they are not going to take it anymore! And it is about time!
At the same time, I have been on the receiving end of baseless accusations. While I have never been accused by women of inappropriate behavior, it was alleged in a deposition that I engaged is some repulsive actions that, if true would have changed even my closest friends' views of me and destroyed my marriage. The fact is they were not true and no one who knows me believed them to be true. Nevertheless, I attempted to have the release of these transcripts blocked by the courts. When I called my lawyers to proceed with this action they asked me why I cared. They told me that I am being accused of being part of a fraud involving the loss of a billion dollars and this is nothing compared to that!
So why did I instruct them to do so? There are two types of allegations. There are the types that can be proven or disproven and there are the types that are difficult to refute. As far as the allegations regarding my complicity went, I was prepared than as I am today to prove that the accusations as it related to my alleged criminal activity were without any merit. I had correspondence that supported my position and my actions at the time clearly demonstrated that I was not a co-conspirator. On the contrary, there was ample evidence to support the notion that I was misled and lied to more than any person involved in the case.
Sexual allegations, however, are an entirely different matter. It is very difficult to prove a negative. Just as there was no way to substantiate the baseless accusations when it came to my morality, there was no way to disprove these accusations. These types of accusations amounted to an attack on my family, my marriage and my morality. I knew that one day my daughters would grow up and would read all of these disgusting things about their father. I had to fight back. I was not going to allow this to go unanswered even if it meant there was only a small outside chance that the release of these transcripts could be blocked.
So, I understand Judge Kavanaugh's outrage. I understand what it means to have your morality attacked. I understand what it means to endure an attack on the very foundation of your marriage. I understand what it means to have a daughter who will one day have to read things about her father that cannot be corroborated nor disproven. I understand what it means to be accused of something impossible to defend against. So, while I am unsure what to make of Dr. Ford's accusations, I am sure of what to make of Kavanaugh's response. It is the response of someone under attack for actions he never committed. In short, #imwithhim.
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