Robbing the Cradle - and the Voters

The voters, not the media, decide their representatives.

Now that the Democrats have forced Senator Al Franken to resign from the Senate - or at least, to say he will - because of unproven allegations of sexual abuse that haven't even been investigated by the Senate "ethics" committee, feminists are turning their full fire on Judge Roy Moore of Alabama.

Judge Moore is the Republican candidate for Senator in his state's upcoming special election.  He has been hated by the left for a long time, having first gained national notoriety when - horrors! - he placed a copy of the Ten Commandments in his courtroom.  He was elected to the state Supreme Court in the aftermath of the controversy, where he did the same thing to an even more outraged response.  In a way, he has served as a proto-Trump, being repeatedly removed from office by unelected elites and then returned to a higher post by the votes of unrepentant deplorables.

Not wanting to see him in the Senate, the Washington Post unleashed their journalistic hounds in an attempt to find something sleazy in his past.  Sure enough, journalists tracked down women who accused him of unseemly behavior toward them and published their stories.  Although Judge Moore has been in public office for many decades, and these allegations are just as old, somehow the Post was unable to find and publish them until shortly after the time when Alabama law made it impossible to change the election ballots in favor of some other Republican.

In the aftermath of these claims, some Republicans urged Judge Moore to drop out of the race anyway, while others, particularly the religious, have urged him to soldier on.  The media finds this odd since religious folks are generally thought to disapprove of sexual malfeasance, but religious folks are also well accustomed to the atheist national media lying about them and figure that's what's happening to Judge Moore.

Democrats have shown themselves to be shameless liars at election time.  In 2012, Harry Reid, the Senate Democrat leader, lied about Mitt Romney, Mr. Obama's Republican opponent, saying for example that he paid no taxes in spite of his substantial wealth.  This lie was widely reported and discussed.  When asked about his lies, Reid responded: "He didn’t win, did he?" which ended the matter.

Mr. Obama's supporters also claimed that one of Mr. Romney's buyouts had taken health insurance away from a worker, leading to his wife's death from cancer.  This was another widely-repeated lie.

These lies weren't exposed by the MSM, but the Internet spread the word.  With such a rich history of Democrat lies, is it any surprise that a lot of Judge Moore's supporters simply don't believe the accusations?

Polls are all over the place; nobody knows how the election will turn out.

The Roy Moore Storm

The controversy gives us an opportunity to explore various potential resolutions for controversies of this sort.  We've noted that "he said, she said" is notoriously difficult to sort out "beyond a reasonable doubt," and that's when it happened yesterday, not 40 years ago.

Further investigation of the backgrounds of Judge Moore's accusers suggests that many of them were upset due to some of his decisions while he was a judge, years after he dated them.  It's not too great a leap to wonder if they might have thought they had an opportunity for revenge.  Breitbart discusses one such:

Beverly Young Nelson has finally admitted that she forged a portion of the infamous high school yearbook that she and attorney Gloria Allred used as proof of her accusations against U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore. ...

Another problem with Nelson is that she has a motive to lie and forge: as a circuit judge, Moore ruled against her in a 1999 divorce case.

Her divorce proceedings gave her access to court papers bearing Judge Moore's signature, of course, so she had both motive and opportunity to perpetrate this fraud.

Judge Moore was also accused of sexually assaulting a girl who was below the age of consent at the time.  If this is true, he committed sexual abuse of a minor, which is a crime worthy of jail in anybody's book.

But Judge Moore denies the incident ever occurred, and it supposedly happened way back in 1979!  After this much time, there's pretty much no chance of getting the proof required for a criminal conviction.  After all, the prosecution hasn't able to convince a jury that Bill Cosby had committed a crime even though the alleged matter was much more recent.

So far as we are aware, this was the only accusation of any actual crime by Judge Moore.  The Post's story presented many more accusers of a somewhat more subtle, albeit legal, misstep: dating a teenage girl while he was in his 30s.

There is little debate on the underlying facts: he agrees that he did date younger women, but, he says, he always received permission from their families - and indeed, several of the mothers involved have confirmed this to be true.  Feminists shudder at the thought that a man couldn't date a women without her parents' permission, that's far too patriarchal.  Their complaint is about the age difference, which some have described as "creepy."

On the other hand, what we call "May / December" marriages have been relatively common throughout history.  NBC reports:

The last widow of a Union veteran from the Civil War, Gertrude Janeway, died in January 2003 at her home in Tennessee. She was 93 and had married veteran John Janeway when she was 18.

Mr. Janeway was 81 when he married his blushing bride of 18, a far bigger difference than any of Mr. Moore's dates.

One might argue that things were different in the 1800s, but more recently, we have Anna Nicole Smith.  She was a 26 yr old stripper who married an 89 year old oil tycoon.  He died a year later, which led to a massive lawsuit between Ms. Smith and the rest of the family over his billions.  Nobody criticized him for pursuing a younger woman.

Then there's Courtney Stodden.  She was a 16 year old model who married her 51 year old Hollywood manager - who, we can't help but notice, carefully requested and got permission from her parents as soon as he realized how young she really was.  She's now just another divorced Hollywood has-been, but again, nobody attempted to throw husband Doug Hutchison out of Hollywood over the age difference between himself and his bride.

Breitbart discusses this issue with respect to Mr. Moore:

As far as the accusations against Moore involving his wanting to date teenage girls, those are trumped-up charges, utter nonsense.  The age of consent in Alabama was and is 16.  Moreover, 40 years ago, it was not at all uncommon in the South for a 32-year-old man to seek a much younger bride. So not only did Moore not break the law, he was not violating any social mores.

While some may regard Mr. Moore's dating habits as "creepy," what he did is not at all unprecedented - not historically, not geographically, and not even in our most self-appointedly elite circles of today.  One senses the stench of raw politics in the intensity of the criticism - creating an "accusation" of something that's perfectly legal to this day, as well as commonly acceptable in the time and place where it was done?  Really?

A Swift Move

It is difficult to get proof of rape or sexual assault "beyond a reasonable doubt" as required by criminal law.  On the other hand, the musician Taylor Swift has blazed a path which might work for others.

In 2013, Ms. Swift accused David Mueller, a radio host, of groping her underneath her skirt, and his employer fired him.  He sued her for lost income and other damages; she counter-sued, claiming $1 in damages for invasion of privacy.  She won, at the cost of having to give lurid testimony of the details of what he had done to her.

Rolling Stone reported:

Not only did the judge agree to dismiss Swift from the DJ's civil suit, the jury also awarded Swift her counter-suit against the DJ: A symbolic $1, which the singer revealed to Time she has yet to receive.

Ms. Swift wasn't in it for the money, she wanted to set a precedent that other women could follow.  Civil suits have a lower standard of proof than criminal matters, so a woman may be able to collect damages for things that couldn't be proved in a criminal court, at the cost of personally paying a lawyer to pursue the matter.

The problem is precisely that civil suits do have a lower standard of proof.  We can see a sterling example of this in OJ Simpson's litigation history: he was famously acquitted of murder by a jury of his peers, but then found "civilly liable" for the exact same death of his wife by a different jury of his peers presented with pretty much the same evidence.  The only difference was the applicable standard of proof: a felony conviction requires proof "beyond a reasonable doubt," whereas civil findings can hinge on nothing more than "the preponderance of the evidence" - a fancy way of saying "more likely than not."

Do we really want people's lives ruined over a dispute that, at best, is "more likely than not"?  A weepy female claiming abuse will always be more sympathetic to a jury than even the most apparently upright man, if actual evidence is no longer required.

There are many unconvicted abusers out there today; there are many women who have been grievously wronged for whom justice has not been done.  There are also people out there - both male and female - who are willing to lie so as to have someone falsely convicted or to score political points.  That's why we usually demand evidence before rendering a verdict no matter how unsympathetic we are toward the accused.

What Now?

False accusations have been a problem from the beginning.  Ancient Jewish law directed that accuser and accused should both tell their stories in open court:

Then both the men, between whom the controversy is, shall stand before the LORD, before the priests and the judges, which shall be in those days; And the judges shall make diligent inquisition: and, behold, if the witness be a false witness, and hath testified falsely against his brother; Then shall ye do unto him, as he had thought to have done unto his brother: so shalt thou put the evil away from among you. Deuteronomy 19:17-19

Judges were required to make careful investigation before rendering a decision, which is not much different from how it's supposed to work today.

There's one major contrast, though: a lying accuser was to receive the punishment that the false accusation sought to impose.  A rape conviction should result in, what, twenty-to-life?  By this standard, a false rape accusation would result in the accuser receiving the same sentence, a principle which would certainly discourage revenge-minded liars, but "diligent inquisition" is very difficult in these cases.

Instead of "diligent inquisition," Roy Moore's opponents are asking voters to act on decades-old, inherently unprovable accusations with little effort being made to determine truth or falsehood.

We know that false accusations in general have always been a problem; false sex abuse accusations also go back a long way.

The ancient Biblical book of Genesis tells how Joseph, he of the famous coat of many colors, ended up in Potiphar's house after his brothers sold him to be a slave in Egypt.  He was doing a good job until Potiphar's wife asked him to commit adultery with her.  He didn't want to sin in that way and ran out of the house, whereupon she illustrated the 1697 proverb "hell hath no fury like a woman scorned" and fraudulently told her husband that his "Hebrew servant" had tried to rape her.

Potiphar naturally believed his wife over his slave; Joseph lost his job and was thrown in jail.  Like the well-meaning but deceived Potiphar, we'll never know how many of today's "me too" accusations are false.  This is unlikely to end well.

  • Despite what feminists would have you believe, not all accusations are true, ancient or modern.  The story about Judge Moore's signing a yearbook of one of his victims turned out to be largely false, as were the Duke lacrosse rape case and the Rolling Stone rape story.  Feminists admit the existence of specific examples, but argue that only 1% of accusations are false.  We've discussed a 2010 study that found that 5.9% of accusations were provably false and a book which claimed that as many as 40% of accusations were false at certain times.  False accusations are, in a word, common.
  • People, and the law, once simply assumed that consensual sex occurred if a man and a woman were voluntarily alone in a hotel room together.  As the original judge put it, "It is presumed he saith not a pater noster there."  In more modern language, the Wall Street Journal recently confirmed the same principle: "Going to a man's hotel room alone is rarely a smart choice."  Does a woman who chooses of her own free will to take that step bear some of the blame for whatever happens?
  • Our current sex-assault witch hunt isn't going to help women pursue careers.  Politics gets more vicious the higher you get, in the corporate world as in the political realm.  If a woman accuses a man of sexual harassment, his career is effectively ended automatically, and she or some other woman gets the promotion instead.  The New York Times argues that men won't want to take the risk of working around women, and can you blame them?
  • Although feminists argue that women should be free to dress as provocatively as they wish, the New York Times wonders whether women around the world are asking for "trouble" because of how they dress.  The Muslim world considers that to be received wisdom as did Christendom until very recently; perhaps there's something inherent in human nature which inevitably leads to problems when nubile females flaunt their charms?  Personal freedom is one thing, but prudence and common sense is another.

As We See It

In a world with just about as much diversity as we can handle, attempting to impose a one-size-fits-all solution can only lead to gross injustices and bitter resentments.
Private businesses have to be free to handle such matters as they see fit because different businesses and industries operate differently.  There is no reason to ask a secretary to strip to her underwear during a job interview; there may be every legitimate reason to make this request of an actress, depending on the role or the script, or a Hooters waitress whose prescribed uniform is basically underwear anyway.

In the current climate, businesses fire accused men for fear that the accuser will go to the EEOC and have the government jump down their throats at enormous cost regardless of the truth of the accusation.  This is what is happening to Google, Uber, and other tech firms that leaned to the left anyway but now are practically falling over themselves to generate feminist credentials.

It may seem like a rational reaction for them, but over time, this can only reduce women's job opportunities because no man will want to work with, for, or over a woman.  The possible silver lining is that this may be essential for preserving our civilization, but feminists won't like it one bit.

With respect to politicians, we believe that if sexual accusations are well known to the voters before an election, but no action has been taken in a criminal court, the vote should stand.  In other words, the electorate itself is the only body qualified to rule on the validity of accusations that no DA is willing to prosecute or which aren't against the law.

For example, Mr. Trump's locker room tape was widely publicized before the election.  Taken on their own basis, his statements did not represent a crime, as Mr. Trump said women "let" him do things to them - by definition, that's consent.  No legal action was possible based on the tape, even if specific women were cited which they weren't.

Was his statement sleazy?  It doesn't matter: voters elected him anyway, in full knowledge of what he'd said.

The "resistance" has shown that they are not really interested in fighting sexual abuse, but only in slamming Mr. Trump.  If they cared about sexual assault, they'd have picketed Mr. Franken's office, but we heard nothing.  Mr. Franken's questionable maybe-resignation was prompted by pressure from party elders, not throngs of angry feminists wearing pussy hats.

If, on the other hand, credible assault charges come out which were not known to voters, as with Slick Willie and Sen. Franken, the politician should resign or be ejected.  If such a person wants to run again after all the dirty laundry is out in the open and fully-informed voters accept it, so be it.  If, for example, Minnesota voters desire to return Mr. Franken to the Senate against an opponent who reminds them of his sexual history, they may, and their choice should be respected assuming that eligible votes are counted correctly.

That's why we feel that Judge Moore's destiny ought to be up to the voters in Alabama and none other.  Nobody can say they haven't heard about the allegations, so if they say he is their Senator after they've heard and assessed the accusations, who has standing to deny them?

Will Offensicht is a staff writer for and an internationally published author by a different name.  Read other articles by Will Offensicht or other articles on Partisanship.
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