So we get pure appeals to emotion like this one: “I can’t imagine how many thousands of women, around the world, are in tears as they listen to Christine Blasey Ford’s voice cracking.” Kavanaugh’s voice cracked, too. Does that mean we should also embrace his side of the story?
The ability to jerk tears in the audience does not constitute evidence, and if all important issues are to be resolved by the test of who is a more charismatic speaker, then impartial justice becomes impossible. On this issue, Conor Friedersdorf makes a highly relevant point: “I’ve studied too many criminal trials that sent innocents to jail or that acquitted the guilty to trust that a mass audience can distill whether anyone is telling the truth or not by consulting their gut while watching testimony.”
This was the problem from the very beginning. Everyone was talking about how each of the witnesses “looks” and about what’s “sympathetic”—as if it’s all about the feels, rather than evidence or logic.