The Logic Lifeline

A logical approach to sorting out world events. Where logic, opinion and speculation are combined to produce a reasoned, but entertaining reading experience. The unofficial hometown conservative blog of Woodridge, Il

Sunday, October 23, 2005

An accusation can be a powerful tool

There are many accusations that fly around in politics all of the time. Various outlets such as other politicians, different media point, individuals known and unknown treat these accusations very differently. An accusation can range from a simple claim to an indictment (or even a conviction). After an accusation is made here are the basic ways they are handled (though each can have varying facets):

  • I uniformly presume innocence until guilt is proven
  • If I agree politically with the accused, I will presume innocence until guilt is proven (or even beyond)
  • If I disagree politically with the accused, I will assume guilt regardless of the flimsiness of the accusation and associated evidence (whether any exists or not)
  • I presume innocence unless there is enough public factual evidence (not opinion) to point toward guilt (aka, the smoking gun)
  • I try to presume innocence but am susceptible to lean towards thinking the party is guilty if I disagree with them politically
  • I believe whatever my source of news tells me, so if they presume innocence or guilt so do I
  • I uniformly resume guilt because all politicians are crooks and liars
How great it would be if in politics we simply openly and aggressively debated the issues and shaped our policy based on the outcome of those debates. Instead politics, though always flavored with such, has devolved into such a state that decisions are rarely made under the right circumstances and for the right reasons. It is a sorry state of our government where the accusation has become such a powerful tool.

While those of us who thrive on seeing justice served want to see a guilty party charged and convicted to pay for their crimes, an unfounded accusation should make us all recoil in disgust. In today's environment an accusation is made and before a shred of evidence is given the media is already holding massive discussions founded on the assumption that the accusation is true.

Sure, I hope those accused on my side are proven not guilty. However, if they are guilty I must side with justice and demand a punishment. While I may want those who disagree with me politically to be defeated, I want them to be defeated by winning the debate on ideas not on some bogus trumped up charge. Sometimes a sports team wins when the star player on the opposing side is injured and can no longer play. Sure winning is nice, but it is more satisfying to win if the star player is still in the game.

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