We are living in the modern day Salem Witch Trials.
Accusations without evidence are destroying good men’s names, just as Arthur Miller conceived in the famous play The Crucible, set in the time of the Salem Witch Trials.
No, Brett Kavanaugh is not being sentenced to death, but his good name is being destroyed just as John Proctor’s was in the play.
In one of the play’s most memorable scenes, Proctor, in desperation, stands up for his name. “Because it is my name!” the character says while crying. “Because I cannot have another in my life! Because I lie and sign myself to lies! Because I am not worth the dust on the feet of them that hang. How may I live without my name? I have given you my soul; leave me my name!”
In the court of public opinion, Kavanaugh was faced with the same task of upholding his reputation against an accuser who offered no evidence, corroborating witnesses, or even substantial details about where and when the alleged assault took place. In his opening statement, Kavanaugh acknowledges that whichever way the final vote goes, his name has “been totally and permanently destroyed by vicious and false additional accusations.”
In a defense to clear his name which strikingly resembles Proctor’s speech, Kavanaugh said:
“This has destroyed my family and my good name, a good name built up through decades of very hard work and public service at the highest levels of the American government,” and later added "Your coordinated and well-funded effort to destroy my good name and destroy my family will not drag me out."
Kavanaugh was nominated to the Supreme Court by the wrong president at the wrong time. America is so divided and polarized that Kavanaugh, an honorable man who has undergone six FBI investigations and been in public service for decades, is just now having his teenage years ripped into for political motives. Kavanaugh was dragged through the mud for making jokes in his high school yearbook, drinking beer, and being a part of a fraternity.
What does that say to future judges and appointees who have moved well past their college and high school years when they may have dared to attend parties?
This public smear campaign will surely deter qualified appointees to any branch of government from wanting to throw their hat into the ring, for fear of their family undergoing 10 days of what Kavanaugh described as hell.
In 2016, Republicans were not united and we still won the presidency and Congress. Imagine what will happen when those on the right — who were staunchly opposed to Trump — vote with his base in the midterms after this Kavanaugh debacle.
Don’t believe me?
Former president George W. Bush, a frequent target of Trump’s criticism, made phone calls to whip votes for the president’s nominee. Furthermore, Senator Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by National Industries for the Blind - Tight security for Capitol rally; Biden agenda slows Trump offers sympathy for those charged with Jan. 6 offenses Lindsey Graham: Police need 'to take a firm line' with Sept. 18 rally attendees MORE — hardly a champion of the MAGA Movement — was celebrated yesterday by all factions of the Right for standing up to the disgrace that has become this confirmation process.
“I would never do to them what you’ve done to this guy,” he said to his Democratic colleagues, referring to past left-leaning nominees. “This is the most unethical sham since I’ve been in politics.”
Graham is right. The United States in 2018 mirrors Salem of 1692, where evidence doesn’t matter and your political preferences can make you lose everything you spent your life working for.
Just as it was impossible for Proctor to prove his innocence, it is impossible for Kavanaugh. Just as it didn’t matter if Proctor was innocent, it does not matter if Kavanaugh is; his reputation is forever stained. While Kavanaugh won’t be headed to the gallows, this modern-day witch hunt not only causes him and his family to suffer for the years to come, but will set a terrible precedent for future Supreme Court nominees.
Kassy Dillon is a staff writer at The Daily Wire and the founder of LoneConservative.com. She has been published in the Wall Street Journal, Washington Examiner's Red Alert Politics, and Campus Reform, and has appeared on Fox News discussing topics involving free speech and cultural issues on college campuses.