Sunday, October 28, 2018

Hard to believe in 'accusation market'

(My Eastern New Mexico News column for September 26, 2018)

I don't want to be cynical, but the emergence of a market in politically convenient accusations of sexual misconduct, made at just the right moment, is making me cynical.

It's as though people collect and save these accusations in hopes that someday the person they are prepared to accuse will seek a political position, when the accusation can be whipped out, shined up, and presented as a tactic to derail the ambition. If the accuser and accused support different wings of the political vulture, anyway.

I assume anyone inclined to seek political power is probably more likely than the average person to have bad behavior skeletons in their closet, but it all seems too predictable, too convenient, and too politically one-sided as well.

This "accusation market" makes me hesitant to believe any such accusations, regardless of who makes them against whom. And that's a shame. I know there are predatory creeps out there. I believe they should be exposed. But the timing of the accusations-- often decades old-- makes me suspicious.

It also makes me suspect many of these accusations are likely fictitious, created and released to prevent the other political side from getting more power. The passage of so many years makes false memories a near certainty, even if honesty is the goal. And when the game is politics, honesty is never the goal.

Before you accuse me of picking a side, let me remind you where I stand: I don't want any political side to have any power. I would be fine with it if everyone who seeks a political position or office were found unfit for the job. I don't believe anyone is suited to wield political power over others; least of all those who want this power.

It doesn't matter if I don't like most of the people who are targets of these politically convenient accusations. I also don't care much for accusers who stayed quiet and, if their accusations are true, allowed the predators they knew of to continue to victimize others for years or even decades.

Once upon a time, I thought "where there's smoke, there's fire"; when someone was accused of something of this nature. I assumed it was probably at least partly true. I'm less sure today. Today it just looks like the newest way to play politics and force your way on others. Is this where they really want to go from here? How is any of this a good thing for actual victims?

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1 comment:

  1. Perhaps I'm not being cynical enough, but I suspect that people being rational about expenditures, that opposition research on SCOTUS nominees begins when someone makes the short list. The long list is gonna be really big. If no dirt is found, then the sort of desperate mudflinging that appears to be going on with the current SCOTUS nominee will be manufactured, in the hope that the more gullible or politically precarious members of the Senate will succumb to the attempt to smear the nonculpable.

    Obligatory disclaimer - not a fan of the current SCOTUS nominee, but there's plenty of things to disqualify him for the job if one reads the Constitution as plainly written, and the rest of sitting SCOTUS members too.

    Not a fan of the Constitution, either, but the "as written" version is less obnoxious than the contorted interpretation of it that the political process has wrought.