Ostracism, entitlement, and due process

We know that the dam of accusation has now broken in our culture and it is completely beyond any kind of repair. We can no longer go even a week without having someone with high social visibility being rather flagrantly accused of abusing their power and social capital to have their way with someone. It has mostly encompassed the entertainment industry but has already slowly begun spreading to other realms like journalism and politics. So it is now at this time we need to have a very important conversation before it gets to be too late to ever have it again.

Let’s start by covering the fact that the United States does, in fact, have a ruling class. This should not be a controversial claim but it may very well come across that way. It is not the super wealthy as I’m sure some people automatically assume. No, rather here it is people who are able to attain the spotlight. It is anyone and everyone who is able to command a spotlight and a social platform for themselves. It also extends to reach those who are able to provide a platform by virtue of their property of influence. This is due to our dispensation towards hero worship and how it binds itself together with our unchecked consumerism.

Like any ruling elite, this has led them to possess an assumption of entitlement. These people whether they be on the cultural left or the cultural right begin to assume that because they have enjoyed such popularity that it is due to them and that they can not be removed from it. This was all before the scandals of our current moment, however. It is now past time that we forcefully disabuse these people of the notion that they deserve attention or have some intrinsic right to be listened to. They may have a right to speak, but no one has a right to be heard.

Now let’s talk specifically about what they do deserve and how to give it to them. Roy Moore the Republican Senate candidate in Alabama recently had some accusations come out against him. Several of them were creepy but within the letter of the law and therefore unactionable even if true. The other was both legal pedophilia and also sexual assault. It should be considered with the full weight that those accusations deserve. However, in this era of hyperpolarization, there is a notable faction of people who are openly dismissing the claims out of hand. These same people are clamoring that he receive his right to due process.

In the public square, there is no right to due process. We could have a discussion about whether or not there should be. The benefit of a doubt in many circumstances is quite useful. Rather this is a powerful and specific legal right. If charges were somehow able to be brought against him, the statute of limitations has expired, then he would be deserving of every bit of due process we could muster, but he hasn’t been charged. He won’t be charged either.

So rather we must be willing to use an equally and in some cases even more powerful tool. That is the power of ostracism. If this story is credible, and probably even if it is not, then Judge Moore must be cast out of polite society. We have decided that as a society there is not a place for people who use force or coercive influence to satisfy their sexual predilections and this absolutely must be applied universally. As such they no longer deserve access to the reverential status that politicians and others have. Even if he did, the leadership of a theoretically civilized nation should be beyond the reach of someone who so egregiously violates the norms and mores of that nation. They never do, but when there is a direct and obvious choice our leaders should at least reflect the very basic tenets of our mutually agreed beliefs. It is time for Judge Moore to be de-platformed not just by a corporation or a business but by society. Let him feel the cold emptiness that comes with knowing that his values are not valued or respected. Turn off his limelight.

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