This is not so much about Herman Cain as it is about us, and what we are willing to believe without any facts. It’s about the viral lie, and our willingness to protect it.
How many of you have been told something by someone, then repeated it as A FACT, willing to swear on a stack of Bibles only because your best friend of forty years told you it was so?
We all have. Many times, I’m sure.
But that was a lie we repeated, even if it later turned out to be true.
See, we lied because we reported with certainty a thing to be true that we did not know to be true, and only believed to be true. A thing we couldn’t know was true firsthand.
Here’s the rub: Because those things usually turned out to be true, almost each and every time we repeat a rumor we reinforce to ourselves that what we said was a fact, causing us to miss this deeply embedded viral lie until it reaches up and does great harm.
This is why this sort of lie is so ethically and morally profound, because when, on that one in a hundred times we are wrong, the destruction can be devastating.
Consider the back fence gossips, usually about so-and-so’s drinking problem or a love triangle. Predictably there will be that one time out of a hundred that a man or woman is falsely gossiped (accused) and a marriage is broken, or a job lost. Who knows?
But it is the rare back yard chin-wag who will feel remorse or in anywise beg forgiveness for the lies she helped propagate.
They go onto the next story oblivious and indifferent to the damage they have caused.
Remind you of anyone?
Did you know that medical examiners in a murder case, when telling the jury that the cause of death was a gun-shot through the heart, will back this statement up with a “within a medical certainty”? This is because they cannot say 100% that a bullet killed this victim. Why? Because he may have had a heart attack and died an instant before the shot was fired.
Scientists and doctors (actually all of us) have an ethical duty to frame what they know in terms of what they don’t know and can’t know. It’s a bow to a higher law. (Obviously they don’t teach this in public schools anymore. But at one time they did.) Doctors don’t do this for our benefit, mind you, but for themselves, for at the heart of all their knowledge and wisdom is humility…as to what they don’t know and cannot know.
Hearsay and the Viral Lie
The kinds of rumors, gossip, second-hand knowledge we see swirling around Herman Cain’s head are called “hearsay” and have profound legal meaning, as a judge can never let hearsay be taken by a jury (except in certain rare cases) to determine the truth of any matter. It is a legal sin of the highest magnitude to allow a jury to convict a person based on anything other than credible facts.
But hearsay is but one of the central components to the viral lie. Arrogance and pride are others; to pretend to know what dwells in the hearts of other men; to boast that our opinions are as fixed as the stars in the heavens.
Today, we see arrogance trumping wisdom in virtually every public interaction. Not just the Left, but the Right can’t open their mouths without pontificating that their opinions are as mathematically certain as the Pythagorean Theorem.
Modern analysts are so enamored with the accumulated statistics about the growth patterns of political trees the past twenty years they can no longer see the political forest or the blight that is consuming it. They never see the woodchopper coming.
Why would we expect differently for an amoral media who uses hearsay as a weapon?
You see, before becoming a lech Herman Cain was already a statistical anomaly; a black conservative, hard enough to find, who wanted to run for high political office, even more rare, and having no prior political experience, inconceivable.
But he is succeeding, thus challenging every known analytical fixed star in the political heavens. He has become the woodchopper.
Political death by hearsay is but the next battle.
As you know there is no judge who can filter fact from hearsay as the media presents it to the people. The First Amendment even protects the press in this regard. Libel and defamation protection have been spread so very thin by the courts as to make almost any lie against a public figures permissible.
So the people (we the people) are both the judge and the jury to unfiltered accusations and hearsay, a situation very pleasing to the media, for they believe we are too stupid to be able to tell the difference between a fact, and opinion, and a baseless rumor.
They’ve worked hard in conditioning us this way.
We are their ace in the hole with people like Herman Cain, for like the back fence gossips, they can plant the story then walk away and let us do the hanging. So while it may be a Politico or CNN or NBC who cries out from the crowd, “Lynch him!,” we are still the ones who actually throw the rope over the oak branch.
This is how hearsay works. This is how the sex scandal is supposed to work.
Politico, hell, the entire media, deals in lies. It’s their mother’s milk.
In the end, wrong doing, the destroyed life (e.g., Miguel Estrada’s wife), is on our hands, while the media goes on its merry way.
About Hearsay and Herman Cain
We already know all the allegations made so far about sexual advances, harassment are second and third hand allegations. Rumor.
To date, the only first hand “fact” that has been alleged has come from Herman, namely that he had had two complaints made against him, and in both, the investigations cleared him of any wrongdoing.
To date, not a single name or single asserted fact (he touched me, he leered at me) has surfaced.
Do you know how many hundreds of thousands of firsthand UFO accounts there are out there? Or Elvis sightings?
So we really haven’t even risen to the level of hearsay yet. That’s still a work in progress for Politico.
About He-said, She-said and Herman Cain.
We’re not even close to being there yet, as none of the alleged she-said’s have stepped forward to actually say.
But this raises a good point, since, if you will recall that Juanita Broaddrick said in 1999 that Bill Clinton had raped her when he was still governor of Arkansas.
Now that’s an allegation straight out the horse’s mouth, it is not a second-hand rumor, but it is still not a proven fact. Sorry, I wouldn’t convict Clinton of what Ms Broderick said although I have heard many people say that he in fact did rape her. (There’s that lie again.)
He said-she said usually requires corroboration of some sort, for juries have a tough time convicting when both parties provide contradictory stories. And the presumption, of course, is always for the accused. Bruises, evidence of a struggle, torn clothes, and yes, a bloody lip help back up an accusation. Sadly, Ms Broaddrick waited 20 years. Yes, I believe he did it because I knew guys like Bill Clinton, and his pattern of behavior tells me he certainly could have pulled off a stunt like that…having convinced himself that it wasn’t rape. (I knew the type.)
But on her word alone I would have voted to acquit. Let God deal with him, as I’m sure He will.
About common sense, and Herman Cain
In a hostile media world…let’s count the ways a leftwing media would be hostile to a conservative black man running for high public office…Mr Cain, if he did have a wandering eye for the ladies would have known that fact would eventually become public. And he would likely not have thrown his hat in the ring in the first place.
While he is being beaten up, sometimes by conservatives, because he is not a polished enough politician to have a bimbo eruptions squad to fend off media scrutiny, no one is ever considering he may not be guilty enough to need one.
This is what common sense tells me. Herman doesn’t fit the profile. And as a basis for circumstantial evidence it outweighs all the other rumors and innuendos combined.
The jury remains unconvinced.