Saturday, October 15, 2016

Debate at 140 Characters

An interesting little fellow, Armando Santiago (Twitter identity @ArmingStJames), has decided to try to school me on the intricacies of the legal system and what constitutes evidence. He states that unless you actually witness someone being abused, they weren't really abused.1

This is, of course, utter crap.

He then asked if someone called me a pedophile, should he believe them?

That is, of course, utter crap. It's a loaded question. It would be like my asking if he still beat his wife.2

But if I'm accused of pedophilia, you shouldn't just dismiss the accuser even if you hate him/her or like me. It shouldn't matter if you have something to gain by either defending or prosecuting me. You should look at the evidence supporting the claim.

The same goes for any accusation.

For example, if a street vendor said that I'd stolen one of his pretzels then a tape was released in which I could be heard bragging that I could take a pretzel from any street vendor simply because I wanted one, that might lend a bit more credence to his claim. And, if you were the sort to investigate this kind of thing, you might want to dig a bit deeper.

You could look at my record (assuming I had one) regarding prior pretzel theft. You might see if someone caught me on camera. You might see if I have large crystals of kosher salt on my clothing. There would be evidence.

If other vendors came forth and said that they'd seen me stealing pretzels from their carts, these larger numbers of claimants would add credence to the first vendor's claim.

That wouldn't actually prove his claim but it would give any investigators adequate cause to to look further into the accusation.

Whenever someone makes a claim, it's only as valid as the evidence that supports it. Once the evidence is gathered, the witnesses questioned and all of it weighed carefully, then we can make a determination.

What Mr. Santiago is trying to do is say that Donald Trump's accusers weren't actually assaulted because nobody else saw it happen.

This is grasping at straws to justify support of Trump. He is outright dismissing the accusations brought forth by the claimants because they haven't produced any witnesses... yet.

Maybe Trump is completely innocent of the accusations being leveled against him. His own words are pretty damning. And large numbers of women are speaking out.3

There is enough here to warrant further and more thorough investigation, to be sure.

But just outright dismissal of the claimants' accusations is to bury one's head in the sand.

And we know where that leaves your butt.

1 Here's the link to his original tweet.
2 I don't know if he's married. I don't care. Frankly, the less I know about him, the better for the both of us.
3 And considering the onslaught of abuse they're receiving from Trump's supporters, it's no wonder they didn't speak out earlier.