Salem witch trial

A previous uncorroborated accusation

How the Democratic Party convinced me to vote Republican

I have no love for the candidates, platforms, or positions of either major party. Both parties contain rogues and demagogues, as well as, I’m sure, many good people. Neither party is consistently devoted to what I view as the only proper role of government, protecting individual rights. On this account, I have seldom voted on the basis of party affiliation. The Kavanaugh nomination process changed this for me.

Public discussion of the nomination seemed to address everything except Kavanaugh’s judicial abilities. We were told that a vote for Kavanaugh was a vote in favor of sexual assault. What? This was not an issue of all men against all women, nor all victims against all oppressors. Likewise, statistics regarding the accuracy of such accusations are relevant only for groups, not for individuals. This was an uncorroborated accusation by one woman against one man regarding an incident 35 years ago and ought to have had no standing. The proper place for such a claim is the criminal justice system. That system imposes a statute of limitations for excellent reasons. Memories are fallible to begin with and fade over time.

I found it telling that almost all of those who saw the accusation as credible and relevant were opposed to the nomination in any case, while almost all who believed Kavanaugh supported his nomination in any case. We are simply choosing teams yet again, with the unfortunate Dr. Ford and Judge Kavanaugh as pawns.

The Democrats sat on the accusation until the last possible moment and then had the chutzpah to complain that not enough time was allocated to investigate. Their actions are consistent with an ideology that believes it holds dual monopolies on truth and virtue, thereby justifying any means necessary to gain or keep power. This is precisely the kind of faction that it is too dangerous to allow to hold political office. The Republicans could well be as bad in this regard, but so far I have not seen such clear signs of it.

I have no idea whether Kavanaugh will make a good or a poor Supreme Court justice. I am confident that he will make many decisions with which I agree and many more with which I disagree. But the cynical attempt at character assassination I saw has convinced me that I must support the Republicans until the Democrats mend their ways. The Dem’s tactic is counter-productive in that it will tend to drive voters like me into the arms of the Republicans.

I look forward to seeing signs of change in the future. As for this November’s election, my mind is made up.

— Adam Wildavsky, October 31, 2018

Return to Adam's home page