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Will the Kavanaugh Case Hurt #MeToo?

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Will the Kavanaugh Case Hurt #MeToo?

Will the Kavanaugh Case Hurt #MeToo?
September 26
18:14 2018

It appears from the bulk of the commentary that supporters of the #MeToo Movement and those who report on it are of the mind that the accusations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh will fuel the movement. There is also the possibility, however, that it will weaken it.

The nature of movements is that they rise, they peak, and then they slip away unceremoniously. The only difference between movements is that some last longer than others, and some result in fundamental change – others not so much.

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The women’s suffrage movement of the early Twentieth Century, the Civil Right Movement of the 1960s and the Gay Rights Movement of more modern times all achieved goals that changed American society by correcting injustices that were correctable.

Occupy Wall Street and taking the knee during the National Anthem are examples of the more common movements that flash brightly in the pan for a short time and then ebb without notable accomplishment in their wake.

The #MeToo movement has all the characteristics of the latter. It draws attention to a legitimate problem and opens up a valuable dialogue. It is, however, a movement long on passion and short of corrective goals. It points to a problem, but offers no acceptable corrective solution – maybe because there is not one.

Rape is a serious and revolting crime. No one disagrees with that. It impacts on women mostly, but also impacts men who have been raped – albeit to a far lesser degree — and it impacts on the loved ones of victims.

According to statistics, most women who have been raped never report it. This is particularly true of those who have been date raped as opposed to kidnapped or violently attacked in dark or remote locations – or even in their homes. This accounts for the fact that most perpetrators of rape are never prosecuted. The problem is what to do about it?

The weakness of the #MeToo movement is that it proposes a unacceptable solution – that women should be believed … period. That would make it the only crime that would not require evidence. There is no doubt that evidence is a high bar in bringing justice to criminals, but it is a requirement of a free and just society.

It has been said that it is better to allow 100 criminals to go free rather than imprison a single innocent person. We know that false accusation and false prosecution are serious problems in our judicial systems even with the requirements of corroboration and evidence. A periodic story in the news is of people – mostly men – who have been released from prison based on false testimony.

It should be disturbing to any fair minded American to hear one Democrat after another definitively declare that they believe Christine Blasey Ford based only on her accusation. That is a modern-day version of the Salem witch trials.

In most cases where women do come forward with accusations of rape, there is evidence, both physical and circumstantial. In the case of women who have been raped and murdered, it is the evidence that points to the perpetrator. If the #MeToo Movement has produced any benefit at all, it is empowering women to come forward. But … if they are expecting some level of justice, they MUST back their claims with evidence – as is required in any other criminal accusation. If we were to apply justice based only on an unsubstantiated accusation, our rule-of-law would be replaced by inquisition.

The Kavanaugh issue exposes the weakness and the danger of the #MeToo movement. Most honest and fair-minded people – which means most Americans – respect the provisions in our law that protect from victimization by false accusation.

The lack of evidence in the Kavanaugh case exposes the problem with the #MeToo notion that a woman must be believed. Ironically, the accusations of the highly questionable second so-called accuser, Deborah Ramirez, undermines the #MeToo Movement because it exposes the weakness of Ford’s evidence-challenged allegation.

The fact that the press would elevate the second accuser’s claims to front-page news, given her omission that she is not sure what happened or if it was Kavanaugh, shows just how far ethical standards of journalism has fallen. This might have been expected of one of the gutter-level checkout counter publications, but not of serious journalists and news services.

Those with a political agenda are engaging in a hideous display of rushing-to-judgment for the advantage they perceive to be gained. They provide the accusers undeserved credibility. Their declarations of belief in the accusations are based on nothing but a political perspective. They cast aside one of Kavanaugh’s most fundamental rights – to be considered innocent until PROVEN guilty.

Oh, I know. They say this is not a criminal or civil case where rules of evidence and standards of reasonable doubt apply. That does not mean the presumption of innocence does not apply, or that the rules that protect against injustice in the courtroom should not be applied more broadly. It is not always a crime to lie, but that does not mean that lying should be made acceptable.

In our justice system, burden of PROOF is on the accusers – on the prosecutors — not the accused. Accusers and prosecutors when proffering a criminal case – as in the case of Kavanaugh – must convince a jury – and in this case, the United States Senate — “beyond any reasonable doubt.”

There can be only two outcomes of the Kavanaugh hearings. We will adhere to the requirement that accusations must be proven – in which case, the energy of the #MeToo Movement will be diminished for lack of a correctable solution to the prosecution of rape cases – or we will do grave harm to the very foundations of a just society.

About Author

Larry Horist

Larry Horist

Larry Horist is a conservative activist with an extensive background in economics, public policy and politics. Clients of his consulting firm have included such conservative icons as Steve Forbes and Milton Friedman, as well as the White House. He has testified as an expert witness before legislative bodies, including the U. S. Congress, and lectured at major colleges and universities. An award-winning debater, his insightful and sometimes controversial commentaries appear frequently on the editorial pages of newspapers across the nation. He can be reached at lph@thomasandjoyce.com.

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1 Comment

  1. Connor VlaKancic
    Connor VlaKancic September 29, 18:51

    How to elevate Americans mindset away from blinded liberal malfesant thinking! “The reformer has enemies in all those who profit by the old order, and only lukewarm defenders in all those who would profit by the new order, this lukewarmness arising partly from fear of their adversaries, who have the laws in their favor; and partly from the incredulity of mankind, who do not truly believe in anything new until they have actual experience of it.”
    Machiavelli, Niccolò. 1469-1527.

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