Accusations should not be automatically believed or dismissed

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By Michael d’Oliveira

The following is quite insane:

“The charge of sexual assault against [Supreme Court nominee] Brett Kavanaugh is disqualifying and we call on him to immediately withdraw his nomination for the Supreme Court,” said Ilyse Hogue, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America in a New York Times article about the sexual assault accusations against Kavanaugh.

Did you catch that?

“The charge of sexual assault . . . is disqualifying.”

So, apparently, for at least one person, accusation is all that’s required to decide someone is guilty.

No proof needed anymore.

No need to investigate or verify.

Just assume its true and be done with it.

And Hogue’s statement on skipping past the trial part of the court of public opinion, and going straight to sentencing, came when the accusations by Ford were still anonymous.

Would Hogue call for a liberal, pro-choice Supreme Court nominee to step down if someone made anonymous accusations against that nominee with no proof? Very doubtful. But if Hogue’s attitude were applied to everyone who submitted themselves to public office, every single person, no matter if they were truly innocent or guilty, could be derailed with a few minutes spent creating a Microsoft Word document and an email account.

I don’t want to see Brett Kavanaugh confirmed as the next associate justice of the Supreme Court. I don’t think his ascendency to the highest court in the country would be a good thing.

But I do want to see him afforded the basic right to have the accusations of his accuser investigated before he is judged on what she claims happened.

When someone is accused of sexual assault, no one should automatically believe or dismiss the accuser. But each accusation should be taken seriously and investigated. False accusations can ruin careers, relationships and reputations. But individuals who are truly guilty of sexual assault need to be punished accordingly. They certainly shouldn’t be allowed to be placed into positions of power and influence.

That’s why accusations should be investigated before they are taken as fact.

That’s a right that should transcend politics.

Sadly, it’s not.

When some public official gets accused of sexual assault, so many of us either automatically believe or dismiss the accuser based solely on the political background of the accused. And that’s really quite sad and pathetic.

It’s one of the most shameful aspects of our public discourse.

When Democratic Senator Al Franken was accused of bad behavior, many liberals dismissed his accuser of being politically motivated. Likewise, many conservatives automatically believed her and called for Franken to step down. Which he eventually did.

Now, we find ourselves in a situation where the shoe is on the other foot and no one seems to remember what they were wearing just a short while ago.

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