One consequence of living in a web of lies is that one is always on guard to defend themselves against deception. Anyone who has ever been in a relationship knows this circumstance can also be called “the complete dissolution of trust.”

What’s needed, when one political faction honestly intends to understand whether a member of an opposing political faction is guilty of a nigh-impossible-to-prove — but extremely serious — allegation of sexual misconduct, is trust. Each side has to trust that the other wouldn’t advance a scurrilous allegation for dishonest reasons, and likewise that their adversaries wouldn’t ignore a genuine allegation for dishonest reasons. Otherwise, the entire thing is an exercise in brute force: The truth is inaccessible; all that matters is which side has the power to win the day.

It’s a self-destructive cycle. I wish I saw a way out of it. If I did, I would tell you. But who would believe it?