Over and over, opponents of Kavanaugh are arguing that Ford is credible because of the actions of other men. That argument is fine as far as it goes, but it does not go very far. Credible means “believable.” It does not mean “true.” And yet the argument made a thousand times a day on cable news and social media is that because the charge is (allegedly) believable, it must also be believed.

And while as a man I do take offense at the presumption of guilt, my true objection has nothing to do with “male pride,” since I find the concept fairly ridiculous. The real problem is that these arguments set a torch to many of the best ideals of this country.

Individuals have a right to confront their accuser. They have a right to defend themselves. Accusers have a right to be heard. They do not have a right to be believed absent evidence or to make anonymous charges and then refuse to support them. Partisans cannot prove an individual’s guilt by invoking the real or alleged crimes of others. Nor should they insist that even if he’s innocent, he should let himself be bullied into surrender for the greater good.