The news media is playing up with fervor our Presidents statement,” lives are being destroyed by mere allegations!” Immediately the media and most pundits started to attack it seems without thinking or perhaps in some cases they know that to draw more attention to themselves or the news outlet it will be best to find fault with what the President says, taking a very biased stance. But, I believe he was speaking to the need for there to be additional focus on the fact that many innocent individuals’ lives have and are being shattered by false accusation or extreme exaggeration of facts by some women toward some men. That there needs to be more balance if these kinds of situations are put into a public forum as they have been. I think he was being careful not to join or add fuel to the frenzy of such one-sided movements like #METOO lately, in the manner by which he handled the subject with the press. Especially today with the internet, a person’s reputation that took a lifetime to develop and build by living a respectable decent life can be destroyed by one such terrible allegation, leaving that person severely damaged on many levels. Granted there are many true cases of violence or predator behavior toward women. But sheer logic tells us that every single claim or accusation can’t be true and at best is most likely exaggerated.
Therein lies the enormous problem which is once a person’s reputation has been attacked in such a way by a falsehood the severe damage is done; so it behooves all of us to never want to see anyone accused of anything falsely especially physical abuse or sexual crimes. Those types of charges carry a stigma that is always going to be associated with the accused regardless of the accused being exonerated. As an illustration, with the advent of the internet it’s become so easy for individuals to meet virtual strangers and slip into some sense of complacency and let ones guard down allowing a generous and kind heart to trust these virtual strangers; only to later find that they are being accused not only by the stranger but even a publisher that may print very false or unproven defamatory information that the accuser initiated, a “weaponized” accusation if you will. This magnifies and exponentially replicates the initial falsehood to unimaginable proportions as compared to these situations before the internet was around. So then, even if the accused is proven innocent, by virtue of what goes out into cyberspace the person that was accused now becomes a victim of a perpetual punishment! Perhaps akin to early Colonial times here in America of which author Arthur Miller illustrated in “The Crucible” or another great work by renowned author Nathaniel Hawthorne,” The Scarlet Letter!” In those stories which had their basis on the fact that in those earlier times a person accused was either severely physically punished, banished or executed, a life destroyed! Yet many of those early accused were absolutely innocent, but a frenzied approach to accusation based on lies and falsehood led to their demise!
I should hope by now, we have a society that works diligently to prevent any fraction of such injustice wherever it can be prevented! A person once accused but even found innocent today, still carries a great degree of negative public sentiment, if even only by virtue of being, “that person that was once accused of doing a horrible thing!” Who would in their right mind want that kind of millstone tied around his or her neck? To then, being punished and further damaged for something that never happened. But yet there is no due process or eventual justice in this type of attack upon one’s personal integrity or standing in the community of which this person belongs.
I believe the President responded with prudence to indicate that there is a need to prevent false allegations or accusations from being made too easily in the first place. And he along with most of us can see how judgmental the public can be when viewing these matters through a “media circus!” True crimes should be properly vetted and presented in a court of law to establish fact from fiction and to make certain that only the guilty are punished. I think that the President shows insight and character to not join in the hoopla of the media, or lynch mob mentality and would rather see that these matters are vetted and dealt with properly, in a quiet judicial process so as not to enflame or add to the inherit difficulties these matters carry with them.
I really think this is a good time for the best people to come together and figure out how to keep this sort of thing from happening; perhaps by changing statutes of limitation or improving vetting methods to sift out truth from fallacy! I hope there is some way to serve justice better, in this highly technological era in history, or we may now only be seeing the tip of a giant iceberg which is about to collide with our society!