Where were you when you were 17? What were you doing, among your friends, and alone?
Did you ever do anything – anything – you’re embarrassed about, sorry for, anything you would never want to be indicative of your character now?
Are you a sinless, living saint? Or, looking back honestly, did you ever – in your middle or late teens – do anything that, if it were revealed today, might cause others to think less of you?
Or do you, like 99 percent of the rest of us who have never claimed to be perfect, consider that the teen years have always been rife with errors in judgment, rash experimentation and exploration, mistakes and fumbling and outright wrongdoing – most of which disappear with maturity?
Ever read Tom Sawyer and his fence-painting scam? The lies he and Huck Finn told while they were illegally hiding ex-slave Old Jim? Were you never told the scandalous story of young George Washington cutting down his father’s cherry tree? How could he ever have become our first president?
Most kids in high school in the last 36 years have been assigned J.D. Salinger’s “Catcher in the Rye,” largely considered not just a classic, but the best portrayal of teens and the way they think, talk and act in American literature. Remember? “Most guys at Pencey just talked about having sexual intercourse with girls all the time – like Ackley, for instance – but old Stradlater really did it.” Let’s face it – our culture has become more and more saturated with sexual desire and hoped-for experience, and our kids haven’t been insulated from it.
Were you a healthy, normal boy at 17? Never, ever tried to “put the make” on that busty, flirty girl who you suspected might be receptive?
Were you a healthy, normal girl at 15, who wanted to look appealing to the boys, not a “square,” and who might have given some boys the notion you’d be good to kiss – and might have even welcomed it from the “right” guy?
Come on, be honest – were you an absolute “prude,” or did you endeavor to “stay in the mix” with your friends?
In 1975 Janis Ian wrote and sang a hugely popular hit song, “At Seventeen.” Remember?
We all play the game and when we dare
To cheat ourselves at solitaire,
Inventing lovers on the phone
Repenting other lives unknown
This song was hugely successful, and though most girls didn’t want to identify with Janis as she described herself then, countless other teenage girls did identify with her, her less than perfect skin, lack of popularity with the boys and the likelihood she’d never achieve desirability like the “pretty girls” had so effortlessly.
My point? Let my quote Jesus, when stiffly self-righteous Pharisees were demanding the woman taken in adultery be immediately stoned to death, as the law demanded: “Let him who is without sin cast the first stone.”
And no stones were cast. Remember? Why? Because no one in that accusing crowd was without sin – in some cases, likely the same sin.
I’m furious, I admit it. I see this pack of wolves, this lynch mob of puritanical liberal Democrats, desperately afraid that a conservative, good and proven man may be confirmed to the Supreme Court – some of whom are guilty of similar and worse actions than what Judge Kavanaugh is falsely accused of – milling around with stones ready to heave, with no proof whatever of their accusations.
Don’t agree with me? Argue with famed attorney Alan Dershowitz: “There’s no evidence whatsoever, even under her story (account) of attempted rape.”
My wife, Shirley, and I raised four beautiful daughters – right in the middle of Hollywood and Beverly Hills, in public and private schools, pretty and intelligent and desirable girls. I was a pretty protective dad (I had once been a boy, a normal boy), and I saw to it that my girls knew and understood what the “games” were and that there would be, for example, no single dates till they were 16. And we stuck to it.
The bottom line there is that all four daughters married fine Christian young men and came to their marriage partners as virgins. I’ve never talked publicly about this – but I now want people to understand the parental role in keeping their kids chaste and moral.
And I’ll go this far: If one of my girls had an experience like the one professor Ford has described, I’d have been angry of course and wanted to confront the young man personally – but I would also have asked my daughter why she was in an unchaperoned “house party” where something like that could likely happen. In our case, it couldn’t have happened, because my daughter wouldn’t have been there.
The final reason for my fury in this matter is my firm knowledge that virtually every one of Judge Kavanaugh’s puritanical, Pharisaical self-righteous accusers would vote right now for Bill Clinton or John F. Kennedy for president or Supreme Court, fully aware of not what they were accused of but were publicly known to have done repeatedly while they were presidents of the United States, in the Oval Office itself!
And not when they were teenagers.