No longer innocent until proven guilty

The morning of the Judge Brett Kavanaugh-Professor Christine Blasey Ford face-off before the Senate Judiciary Committee, I decided to watch something else while reading the morning papers and having a third cup of coffee. Looking through the television listings I came across a movie on Turner Classic Movies entitled “Madam Satan,” an MGM production from 1930. The movie, a musical comedy, was produced and directed by Cecil B. DeMille, the man who gave us Biblical epics with casts of thousands, circus melodramas, sweeping westerns and occasional movies like this.

What intrigued me about the film was the storyline which stated that a wife, afraid of losing her husband, seduces him at a costume party on a doomed dirigible. I watched the movie and realized that the movie going public at the time — 1930 — would go for any kind of motion picture that was all talking and singing no matter how implausible the story.

But “Madam Satan” was no more implausible or crazy than the inquisition of Judge Kavanaugh by the Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee. Being a man who likes his contact with insanity in small rather than large doses, I chose the movie.

Now I want to get serious. We are entering perilous times in our nation’s history but few seem to understand the issues facing our nation or even care about them. When the Founding Fathers wrote the Constitution, they knew that our Republican form of government would only survive with an engaged and informed citizenry. At that time, we were probably the most literate and well-informed nation in the world.

However, these days our children reach adulthood with at best a sketchy knowledge of American history and civics. These subjects are presented at best in a cursory manner with the attitude, ala Gov. Andrew Cuomo that “America was never great.” Our young people, whether high school and college students, have been shortchanged in these subjects by our failing system of public education and by left-leaning globalist college and university faculties.

Not only is citizen knowledge of our history and governmental system at a low ebb now but I am not sure that many people care about that either. Living in the richest, most powerful, secure and freest nation in the history of this planet many of us take for granted our rights granted by the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Many seem unaware that freedom of speech and religion are under attack by left leaning politicians, intellectuals and the “lords” of social media.

Now legal due process is coming under attack. A key tenet of our judicial system, guaranteed by the 14th Amendment, is the presumption of innocence. However Judge Kavanaugh is being told by Democrats and media pundits that it is up to him disprove the unfounded accusations made against him. Our own Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand and Charles Schumer have stated that Kavanaugh has no right to a presumption of innocence until proven guilty because the Senate confirmation is not a criminal trial. However, even the U.N.’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights considers the presumption of innocence as a fundamental human right.

For weeks now, we have been treated to the antics of Sen. Dianne Feinstein and her co-conspirators on the Judiciary Committee as they have used outright lying, character assassination, misinformation and fabrication of facts from whole cloth to advance their left-wing agenda and to protect what they see as the sanctity of Roe v. Wade and their use of the Supreme Court and lower courts to achieve what they cannot through legislation.

This effort to scuttle the nomination of Judge Kavanaugh is only a continuation of the ongoing effort to carry out a silent coup against the constitutionally elected presidency of Donald Trump. Since Inauguration Day and before Democrats and their minions in the national media have leveled and touted phony charges of collusion on the part of the Trump election committee with the Russian government and phony charges that the firing of FBI Director James Comey was an obstruction of Justice by President Trump to put a halt to the Mueller Investigation.

Almost daily unfounded rumors, usually the product of wishful thinking, telling us of chaos, dissatisfaction, incompetence and corruption within the Trump administration are spun off by much of the national media. There is also constant chatter threatening impeachment of the President by Democrats seemingly because he had the temerity to defeat Hillary Clinton and doesn’t fit their notion of what a president should be.

Voters, who may be entranced by the circus-like spectacle of these events, that sometimes threaten to tip over into chaos, should understand that they divert the Administration from important issues, hinder the President’s ability to govern and may embolden our enemies who may perceive a President with weakened support.

That is why we need citizens who understand our nation’s history, its governmental structures and are conversant with the issues and outside forces it faces in the 21st century. Without that, we are in danger of losing the dream that is America.

Thomas Kirkpatrick Sr. is a Silver Creek resident. Send comments to