The Corner

Politics & Policy

Lieutenant Governor Fairfax Doesn’t #BelieveWomen

Justin Fairfax, campaigning to become Virginia’s Lieutenant Governor, talks during a rally in Richmond, Va., November 6, 2017. (Julia Rendleman/REUTERS)

The statement that Lieutenant Governor Fairfax issued today demonstrates perfectly why the #BelieveWomen standard by which many progressives pretend to abide is entirely unworkable. Essentially, Fairfax’s letter contains two parts:

  1. We must believe women;
  2. Just not this one

I have no idea if Fairfax is guilty of the accusations that have been leveled against him. For now, he should certainly be treated as if he is not, as we remember that the consequences of a false accusation that is widely believed are every bit as terrible as the consequences of a true accusation that is not widely believed. What I do know, however, is that the only appropriate standard in a free country is “follow the evidence, and presume innocence.” I knew that last year. I knew that yesterday. Today, at least, Lieutenant Governor Fairfax knows that, too.

Related: What on earth does this mean in practice?

I wish her no harm or humiliation, nor do I seek to denigrate her or diminish her voice. But I cannot agree with a description of events that I know is not true.

The approach laid out in the first sentence is an appropriate one for Fairfax to take if his accuser is telling the truth. But he says that she’s not. In his own words, he “cannot agree with a description of events that I know is not true.” Why, then, wouldn’t he wish to “denigrate her or diminish her voice”? By Fairfax’s own account, “her voice” is lying — and trying to destroy his career and his reputation into the bargain. If he’s right, her voice absolutely deserves to be “diminished” and “denigrated,” and he should absolutely wish her “humiliation,” if not “harm.” What a silly place we have arrived at when a man protesting his innocence has to pretend he wishes to elevate and coddle his accuser.

Most Popular

Elections

One Last Grift for Bernie Sanders

Bernie Sanders, the antique Brooklyn socialist who represents Vermont in the Senate, is not quite ready to retire to his lakeside dacha and so once again is running for the presidential nomination of a party to which he does not belong with an agenda about which he cannot be quite entirely ... Read More
PC Culture

Hate-Crime Hoaxes Reflect America’s Sickness

On January 29, tabloid news site TMZ broke the shocking story that Jussie Smollett, a gay black entertainer and progressive activist, had been viciously attacked in Chicago. Two racist white men had fractured his rib, poured bleach on him, and tied a noose around his neck. As they were leaving, they shouted ... Read More
Politics & Policy

The Strange Paradoxes of Our Age

Modern prophets often say one thing and do another. Worse, they often advocate in the abstract as a way of justifying their doing the opposite in the concrete. The result is that contemporary culture abounds with the inexplicable — mostly because modern progressivism makes all sorts of race, class, and ... Read More
Film & TV

A Sublime Christian Masterpiece of a Film

‘There are two ways through life -- the way of nature and the way of grace,” remarks the saintly mother at the outset of The Tree of Life, one of the most awe-inspiring films of the 21st century. She continues: Grace doesn’t try please itself. It accepts being slighted, forgotten, disliked, accepts insults ... Read More
U.S.

White Progressives Are Polarizing America

To understand how far left (and how quickly) the Democratic party has moved, let’s cycle back a very short 20 years. If 1998 Bill Clinton ran in the Democratic primary today, he’d be instantaneously labeled a far-right bigot. His support for the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, the Defense of Marriage Act, ... Read More