I’ve been reading about Christine Ford’s accusation against Brett Kavanaugh a lot. Ford hasn’t been able to provide any specific details about when and where this assault happened, or who was present, or how she got to and from the place where it happened. I listened to a few debates on the facts of the case, and no one on Ford’s side could produce any evidence to back up her story.
Rob Tracinski posted an interesting article at The Federalist. He had been engaging with many people who “believed” in Ford’s story on Twitter.
There is only one fundamental dividing line in the reaction to the televised hearings about accusations against Brett Kavanaugh, and it’s not solely a partisan one. It’s the line between those who judged the hearing based on emotions and those who judged it based on reason.
The testimony of Kavanaugh’s accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, added nothing of substance to the claims already reported. She was still unable to place her accusation at a specific time and place, to fill in many of the gaps in her recollections, or to find a single other person supposedly present who could confirm any aspect of her story. It remains a vague claim with no corroborating evidence.
Based on reason and evidence alone, you would have to conclude that we have gotten no farther in the case and are not likely to get any farther.
[…]But evidence and logic are not what we heard about in most of the reactions to the hearings. What we heard about is how the testimony made people feel.
The attack on logic began before the hearings, with commenters pointing to quotes saying the case against Kavanaugh is “plausible” and “believable”—but providing no actual evidence that it actually did happen—then describing this as “compelling.” But “plausible” is the opposite of compelling. Direct evidence compels belief, logically speaking. Someone’s speculations about what might have happened have no logical standing and compel nothing.
Or consider the phrase you probably heard a thousand times today: that Kavanaugh should not be confirmed because he is “credibly accused.” What does that mean? What makes the accusation “credible,” and what evidentiary status does that give it? A vague accusation with no independent corroboration from the very people the accuser herself described as witnesses doesn’t sound all that credible to me.
But you will look in vain for any clear standard of what is “credible.” It is not an evidentiary term but an emotional one. All it means is “this is something I feel like believing.”
People are not judging credibility based on evidence. They are judging based on how the two witnesses made them feel, which is to say that they base it on a purely emotional reaction—a reaction heavily influenced by partisan loyalties that prejudice you for or against the two witnesses.
So we get pure appeals to emotion like this one: “I can’t imagine how many thousands of women, around the world, are in tears as they listen to Christine Blasey Ford’s voice cracking.” Kavanaugh’s voice cracked, too. Does that mean we should also embrace his side of the story?
The ability to jerk tears in the audience does not constitute evidence, and if all important issues are to be resolved by the test of who is a more charismatic speaker, then impartial justice becomes impossible. On this issue, Conor Friedersdorf makes a highly relevant point: “I’ve studied too many criminal trials that sent innocents to jail or that acquitted the guilty to trust that a mass audience can distill whether anyone is telling the truth or not by consulting their gut while watching testimony.”
This was the problem from the very beginning. Everyone was talking about how each of the witnesses “looks” and about what’s “sympathetic”—as if it’s all about the feels, rather than evidence or logic.
One far-left feminist named Ana Marie Cox tweeted that she didn’t believe Kavanaugh’s tears because “the boyfriend that abused me cried a lot”:
When it’s all about feelings, the logic must be bent and twisted to fit. So when Kavanaugh became emotional while describing his young daughter’s reaction to this case, it wasn’t proof of a man who loves his daughter. No, it was proof that he was abuser. Why? Because “The boyfriend that abused me cried a lot.” Get the logic here? Because one man was abusive and cried in an attempt to get sympathy from his victim, then any man who cries is therefore an abuser. This line was repeated a lot, mostly by women citing an abusive man in their own lives, sometimes a father but usually an ex-boyfriend or ex-husband.
Note that whenever a woman has a defective father, that man was chosen by her mother. Her mother is responsible for the choice of this man and the choice to make babies with this man. Similarly, a woman who has a defective ex-boyfriend or ex-husband is responsible for her choice of this boyfriend or this husband. Although women often blame men for treating them badly, in almost every case, the harm results from a woman’s own choices. The choice to drink too much, the choice to go to parties, the choice to pursue an attractive irresponsible bad boy, etc.
NPR posted a poll on the trial, and the poll found that:
- 32% of men believe Kavanaugh’s account, 28% believe Ford.
- 35% of women believe Ford’s account, 20% believe Kavanaugh.
Why are so many women opposed to Kavanaugh?
Well, thanks to feminism, many women find it very hard to choose men who are good at commitment, self-sacrifice and marriage roles. Feminists consider the traditional male roles to be “sexist”, so they don’t choose men who can perform the traditional male roles. In pre-feminist times, women looked for men who were chaste, sober, good providers, good with children (e.g. pro-life), serious about religion, serious about moral character, and who put the needs of others first. They chose men who would be good at marriage. But because of feminism, choosing men based on “rigid gender identities” for a “sexist” institution like marriage is simply not done. Men who are good at marriage are “boring”, and the best men are the men who let women be as selfiish as they want to be. So, feminists marry men like Ted Kennedy, Anthony Weiner and Bill Clinton because those men are “feminists” who believe that recreational sex, abortion and no-fault divorce are good things.
I had a female friend who I used to work with in my last job who once showed me a web site filled with pictures of men’s faces. Some of them were normal people, and some of them were crazy. And she proudly told me that she was able to pick which ones were crazy with 100% accuracy. She was so proud of her ability to judge men based on appearances. She had complete confidence in her feelings and intuitions. In fact, she got some kind of crazy thrill out of making decisions based on her feelings. The freedom to choose without having any evidence was intoxicating to her. Logic? Evidence? Those things were restrictive and would take away her freedom to make herself happy. She married an atheist devotee of Ayn Rand, despite being Catholic herself. And naturally, they divorced. Trying to think through whether a person who extols the virtue of selfishness can enter an institution like marriage is hard work. She decided to just make the decision based on appearances, feelings and intuitions. I’m sure that today she would tell me how untrustworthy, scary and evil all men are, too.
Feminists want to choose men based on how the man makes them feel, rather than by evaluating his suitability for commitment. This plan never works, and it makes these women very, very bitter. In fact, the same women who are believing Ford based on their feelings, without any evidence, are the ones choosing bad men based on their feelings, without any evidence that he is able to do the job of a husband and father. The problem is the same – making decisions with feelings instead of being bound by the evidence.