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A Tale of Two Scandals

The sexual assault accusation against Joe Biden reveals less about Joe Biden and more about our politics and our society. The clear inconsistent reactions to the Biden accusation and the Kavanaugh accusation show that we are less concerned about preventing sexual assault and protecting women, and more about politics and power. I’m not naming any names because this is not about exposing people or winning political points. This is between you and your conscience. But most people have used these accusations and this issue solely for political purposes.

The responses to these two accusations should have been pretty much the same. But that has rarely been the case. Every sexual assault accusation should be taken seriously, but every accusation requires support by evidence, facts and corroboration. Both the accused and the accuser deserve due process, a consistent standard of addressing the accusations. But in these cases, there were no true standards, just political expediency.

I don’t not know whether these accusations are true or made up. No one knows beyond a reasonable doubt whether Biden or Kavanaugh are guilty or innocent. There is very little evidence supporting either claim, but lack of evidence does not mean that the accusations are false. Lack of evidence may prevent a conviction beyond a reasonable doubt, but it is by no means an exoneration. The accusers and accusations appear credible, while the accused and their denials also appear credible.

So that leave us in the unenviable no man’s land of the United States judicial system, asking the worn out question, is it better to convict an innocent person or set a guilty person free? We have always fallen on the side of setting the guilty free because when we convict the innocent the we create one more victim of the crime. Do the math. So I have watched in total bewilderment as people on all sides have so willfully exposed not only their biases, but proudly put on display their unabashed hypocrisy by doing away with due process for political expediency.

How can any rational, reasonable person when looking at these dueling accusations passionately demand a conviction of one while fervently defending the other? There is no evidence of guilt or exoneration in either case. None. Some people say, I just know he’s guilty or he’s innocent, she’s lying or she’s telling the truth. But deciding based on your gut instincts, is simply confirmation bias.

I find it equally interesting that people who deem the accused innocent fall on his side of the political spectrum while the one they find guilty resides in the opposing political side. Does our society suffer from a total lack of self-awareness? Can we collectively be this blind to our own biases? Or do we simply not care because winning politically is more important than finding and living in the truth?

The damage done to our country, our government, our society, and ultimately ourselves will be devastating if we continue to flout truth and justice in pursuit of political victory. The bias and corruption that spawns is infinitely more destructive to our country than any perceived damage that a law, statute or policy the other side would happen to push through in victory. Corrupting of our political and judicial systems, especially driven by our biases, is the biggest threat us and this country, and defeating it should always be the first order of business.

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Judd Garrett is a former NFL player, coach and executive. He is a frequent contributer to the website Real Clear Politics, and has recently published his first novel, No Wind

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