Are the allegations against Joe Biden reliable? Not much more reliable than most other allegations that “just happen” to come up decades after the story happened. The issue is that the Democrats have trumpeted nearly every allegation against nearly any public person as being the truth, way before any clarity has been established on the matter.
There is no question that many of the allegations that women have had against public men are absolutely true. And there are many allegations that are not. Most are probably somewhat true and somewhat not, and therefore can be debated endlessly. What did he mean, what did she mean? These are not black and white issues. The problem is that in today’s day and age, allegations are usually enough to destroy a person’s reputation, whether or not the allegations are true or not.
Should there be a statute of limitations on allegations? No, that’s the wrong answer. If a person did something horrible in their 20’s, that indeed shows that they may very well be a problematic person that may do problematic things in their 60’s and 70’s. The issue is how can allegations be reported in a way that doesn’t destroy a person’s reputation overnight, yet be taken seriously.
The issue is actually the limits on freedom of the press. Freedom of the press is indeed one of the foundations of Western democracies. It cannot be overestimated. Yet, somehow, the norms that give newspaper publishers so much freedom to destroy reputations is indeed horrible. Joe Biden is probably not a horrible person, and these allegations are certainly debatable. But it doesn’t matter now. It may very well be the nail in the coffin of Joe Biden’t reputation. You may not support Biden. But he probably doesn’t deserve what he is going through now. Donald Trump almost definitely has a much worse record on how he treats women, but he is masterful at fighting back negative reports. But reputation destruction has become a major part of the national sport of politics. This is one issue that we need to disagree with both Democrats and Republicans. Ben Shapiro takes apart the Democrats artfully. But Republicans and right-wing outlets are not exactly great on this issue either. Somehow freedom of the press needs to be preserved along with the freedom to not have one’s reputation destroyed overnight over unfounded allegations. Any ideas how to do this?