Don’t misunderstand, this piece is not about Judge Roy Moore. It is about disturbing indications that people are becoming unhinged from the values which have sustained our civilisation and that this represent a danger to us all.
Roy Moore has been defeated in a ‘deep red’ state despite vocal support from Donald Trump, who initially backed his vanquished rival in the primary. The charges that Moore acted inappropriately with a number of young women when he was in his early thirties, around forty years ago, proved decisive. This is a terrible result for the Republican Party, and potentially for Trump’s agenda, and you have to seriously wonder about Republicans, like Mitt Romney and other paragons of morality, who wanted to see Moore lose.
Once again Trump was on the money in supporting Moore, no doubt ignoring the weak reeds around him. After all, if he is so much on the nose, Moore could have been expelled by a two-thirds vote of the Senate. If that were to have happened, the Republican Governor of Alabama would have appointed a Republican replacement pending any new election. It was a political win in the making whichever way it turned out.
I don’t want to comment on the truth or otherwise of the charges against Moore by, reportedly, nine women. I wasn’t there. I have no idea what happened or didn’t happen. A court case hasn’t tested the evidence, which might give distant observers, like me, a proper basis to form a considered view.
However, as I understand it, most of the women have simply claimed that he either asked them out or dated them when they were above-the-age-of-consent teens. Another asked out was twenty-two at the time. According to Wikipedia, when he was in his late 30s, Jerry Seinfeld began a four-year romantic relationship with a high school student aged seventeen. So far as I know this is called cradle snatching not child molestation and has a long, albeit mixed, history.
Whether such trysts breach prevailing moral standards depends upon the circumstances of the courtships. I have no idea what the circumstances were in the case of Moore but the dating per se, if it occurred, is not sufficient in itself to put him outside of civil society. To reiterate, I don’t know and therefore can’t judge the circumstances.
Two accusations rise to a serious level. Did he try to have his way with girl aged fourteen at the time and force himself on another who was sixteen. As I’ve said, I don’t know. And I really mean that. I don’t know. Full stop.
It is usually incumbent on commentators at this point to say, ‘if true it is despicable’. What in the world does stating that particular bleeding obvious remark add? If Lindy Chamberlain had sacrificed daughter Azaria in the desert it would have been despicable. Yes, but she didn’t. It would have been despicable if I’d cruelly killed our pet dog many years’ ago. Yes, but I didn’t. One could go on and on with pointless redundant hypotheticals.
Immediately before the Alabama Senate election, the woman who was sixteen at the time of the alleged offence (Beverly Nelson) conceded through her lawyer, the dubious Gloria Allred, that some of the words in her yearbook, supposedly all inscribed by Moore, were, in fact, added later. Is this significant? Maybe, maybe not, but it is not to my point which goes to a couple of reactions from putatively conservative sources.
This is the first. It is Tyler O’Neil writing on PJ Media. “This news may make Moore look less guilty, but it does not prove his innocence in the slightest.” Now, how in the world did we get to a position where someone has to prove they didn’t do something forty years ago. Of course it doesn’t prove his innocence.
Suppose the whole yearbook inscription was a forgery. That wouldn’t prove his innocence either. There is nothing he can do to prove his innocence short of providing iron-clad alibis for particular days and times forty years’ ago. It is beyond ridiculous. There is no rational thought process behind this kind of writing.
Can we be clear even to the muddle-minded of today’s world. There is no onus at all on me or you to prove that we didn’t act inappropriately forty years’ ago. It would, in most circumstances, be impossible to do that. And we have to be aware that the world changes when someone makes a damning accusation. Follow-up accusations are not independent events.
The second reaction was an aside from Neil Cavuto, on Fox News, to the effect that a thirty-year-old signing a teenage girl’s year book in a public place was untoward. And, with that, autographing became a dastardly offence. No, Mr Cavuto, if it happened, inscribing someone’s yearbook, most particularly if asked to do so, is not tantamount to pedophilia.
In general, this whole business has got out of hand. Apparently, some people think that women accusing men of inappropriate sexual behaviour “must be believed”. It has become like climate change. “Do you believe in climate change and be very careful how you answer if you want to keep your job.”
I struggle to comprehend what “believing the women” actually means and am in complete trepidation as to where it will lead. It is probably in some far-left feminist playbooks. But how did such complete balderdash gain currency among normal people armed, presumably, with knowledge of our judicial traditions and conventions? Declining IQs?
Turn it around. You must disbelieve any man who claims it didn’t happen. It’s gonna be tough to be a man in those circumstances. Men might be advised to hire a chaperone for dates. One sound strategy for businesses might be to preclude any two employees of different sex being alone together in an enclosed space. Silly? Yes, but no sillier than separating truth from falsehood purely on the basis of sex chromosomes.
Another adjective is thrown around liberally to describe accusations and accusers. The adjective is ‘credible’. Her accusations are credible, I hear all the time from commentators and politicians who don’t know either the accused or accuser from a bar of soap. In context, I don’t comprehend what this means either.
This is a quote from the US publication Inside Higher Ed in April last year: “Colleges lose series of rulings in suits brought by male students accused of sex assault. In stinging decisions, judges fault lack of due process.” Presumably the accusers and their accusations were ‘credible’ till they got tested in court.
How are disinterested observers to judge who is credible and who is not? Is it the way they look or how they speak or how much detail they describe? Pray tell. Is there a rule book to refer to?
Short of patently vexatious and superficial claims (e.g., he kissed me once after a date when I didn’t want him to decades ago), those women who accuse men of sexual misbehavior should be taken seriously and their accusations thoroughly investigated. That’s it and no more. Let’s not throw away the presumption of innocence. Of course, it is not being thrown away advisedly. Feminist fanatics and virtue-signaling dolts are throwing it away.