The philosophical axiom that two things can be true at once needs to be kept in mind when discussing the allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. It’s easy to get caught up in one truth and say things that we’ll regret later about the other truth. For example, it’s true that the Democrats are playing a shameful game of politics with the last-minute allegations about Kavanaugh. However, it’s also true that the allegations are serious and should be treated as such.
Now, before proceeding further, I want to ask you not to read what I did not write. While I don’t have enough information to make a definitive statement, what I do know about the allegations causes me to question their veracity. I am not saying that I believe the allegations leveled against Kavanaugh, because at this time, I don’t. Nor am I saying that Senator Grassley and company should delay the vote, because they shouldn’t at this time. What I am saying is that conservatives need to be careful that while defending Brett Kavanaugh we don’t give reasons for our mothers, sisters, daughters, and wives to believe that we take the safety of women less seriously than those on the other side of the political aisle.
Yesterday, Dinesh D’Souza provided a negative example of what I’m talking about when he tweeted, “The #KavanaughCircus illustrates the power of the left to make a complete nonissue into an issue.”
— Dinesh D'Souza (@DineshDSouza) September 23, 2018
Allegations of sexual assault should never be tagged with the description of “nonissue.”
In the early 2000s, while living in Florida, I received a phone call at about two in the morning from a friend who lived several states away. She was highly upset and a little incoherent. All I could make out was that she didn’t know where she was and was naked. Unsure of what was going on and more than a little worried, I urged her to call 911.
The next day, I called her back to check in on her. She was still upset but better able to explain what had happened. The previous night, after attending a party, she had woken up naked in a hotel room with a guy she didn’t know on top of her after apparently having been drugged. She screamed, and the guy got up and ran off. It was at that point that she called me, for no other reason than in her confused state my name was the first one she saw on her phone. After we had hung up, she did call 911. Incredibly and disgustingly, the police told her that it was her fault because she had been drinking at a party.
Sadly, that’s not the only story of sexual assault that I’m familiar with. And not the only story in which the female has been blamed or outright ignored. In fact, sexual assault and harassment seem almost ubiquitous in our sex-saturated society.
While bartending, I’ve had guys thrown out of the bar for messing with a female’s drink (in hindsight, I wish that I called the police and had them arrested). My own wife has told me stories about what men’s hands do while on a crowded Metro. I could go on and on.
It’s those stories and more that I think about whenever discussing allegations of sexual assault. Brett Kavanaugh is no exception. There are ways to defend a presumably innocent man without downplaying the seriousness of sexual assault.
Probably even more disturbing than dismissals of the allegations are those who believe that even if the allegations are true, it doesn’t matter. “Boys will be boys,” some professing conservatives smirk as they excuse it as just being a little “handsy.”
Well, as a father of a daughter, I promise you that if any man or boy ever gets a little handsy like that with my daughter, I’m fully to prepared to spend a night or two in jail for smashing their hands to mush with my boots. And most fathers, if they step back from the politics of it all, recognize what I’m saying.
The allegations are disturbing and, if true, should never be dismissed as “boys being boys.” Sexual assault is serious and should be treated as serious. It’s possible to defend Brett Kavanaugh without either dismissing the seriousness of the allegations or laughing them off as “boys being boys.” Conservatives, of all people, should strive to be principled in all things, including in how we defend Brett Kavanaugh.