Tuesday, September 25, 2018

The politics of shame. . .

Let me say that I do not have a clue if Judge Kavanagh is guilty as charged or not.  Certainly his character seems to challenge the accusations but until the evidence is there, all we have are accusations.  Well, that is not quite true.  We have more than charges and accusations -- we have the power of shame.  Indeed, it seems like some have honed the art of shame politics for certain causes at least.  That is my concern.  The politics of shame is not a very accurate barometer of morality.

Why is the power of shame so great in service to the #metoo causes but not so powerful against those who use abortion as a means of birth control?  Why is the power of shame so effective against those who question how gender has become a feeling and choice but not so effective against those who make consent the only barometer of morality?  Why does the power of shame work so well against establishment types but not so much against people who live on the cutting edge of choice and identity?

Before some of you rush to accuse me of hate speech, the point I am addressing has less to do with Judge Kavanagh or his accusers than our willingness to let shame do what was once the realm of justice.  The concern here is that we once thought the accused innocent until proven guilty -- and still do for some charges, but not for others.  Absent the proof, shame is used as an effective substitute and this is not good for justice, not good for politics, and not good for us as people.

I am thankful that I grew up before every stupid thing I said or did could be recorded for posterity on smart phone and played on YouTube for all to see.  But my grandchildren will not be so insulated from the immediate consequences of their foolishness.  And it will mark them just as old accusations have already marked Judge Kavanagh -- whether he is guilty or not.  History will weigh anything good he has done against the accusations against him.  In the end, the question remains who will be left to lead if every foolish, stupid, immature, or questionable word or action will be allowed to shame someone from the national stage?  No one is perfect -- not that this should justify or excuse immorality and illegal action.  Yet some of the sins of the imperfect were good teachers of character and the people grew from their failing.  If the politics of shame are allowed to remove some of those people from the national stage, the choices left to us may not be what we want or need.

Some of those whom we now acclaim as our greatest leaders were people with flaws and failings that would certainly disqualify them from leadership today and, if they refused to leave that national stage, the politics of shame would do what honest justice could not.  Again, my point is to raise a question about the power of shame, the accusations that may not be provable, and the innocence that may not be enough to restore a person so accused.  What do we do then?


Anonymous said...

The problem is that we are already governed by a kakistocracy that refuses to enforce existing laws. The politics of shame has become a tactic embedded in political correctness which is allowed to flourish unchecked and is facilitated by willing accomplices in the media and other sectors in society. At some tipping point, WE will need to shout THEM down. The only alternative is to suffer in silence.

Sean said...

This whole debacle demonstrates that wisdom of the Eighth Commandment and the standard set up that no one is to be convicted of any crime or offense unless the matter has been established by the testimony of two or three witnesses. When people pervert justice based on personal preference or animosity, everyone suffers.

Carl Vehse said...

"The politics of shame is not a very accurate barometer of morality."

No barometer is need at all for Demonicrats who wallow in a hull-crushing abyss of evil.

In the case of a SCOTUS nominee, whose qualifications and character are evident to sentient people, including many of his former school classmate supporters, the Demonicrats' politics of shame is to be used to provide Demonicrat senators, especially from Red-leaning states, and RINOcrats an (albeit flimsy) excuse to cast "No" in the Senate confirmation vote.

Cliff said...

The politics of shame is unfortunately only used against conservative, traditional family type individuals. If you happen to be a populist icon or a liberal type you are automatically sprinkled with "holy water" and sanctified by the MSM and Hollywood. David Letterman, Bill Clinton and even Tiger Woods get this limited scorching from society. But others get roasted relentlessly with their feet being held to the flame forever.

Equality has no meaning today, only if you hold the correct views will you be judged, either fairly or poorly.

Anonymous said...

The difference is that Letterman, Clinton, and Woods are guilty. The charges being leveled against Brett Kavanaugh are specious and he is innocent (show me the proof). The politics of shame is nothing more than a takedown tactic by the left. Finding the truth has nothing to do with it.