An open letter to populists who talk about the “Lolita Express”

Jeffery Epstein is, to say the least, a scumbag. But recently a chorus of people have been asserting, with no or very dubious evidence, that a whole bunch of people had sex with underage girls in his company or else “knew” it was happening and said nothing. They’ve attacked his prosecutor, his defense lawyer, and even Steven Pinker. The main contingent are the usual suspects egged on by the fakestream media, but they have been joined in by some Right-wing populists. It is an understandable why populists would want an opportunity to attack the elite. What’s the problem here?

The problem is that crap falls downhill. #MeToo started by targeting rich Hollywood Democrats, but didn’t stay there. Soon it began permeating the whole culture. There is a similar danger here. At the end of the day, despite all the angry tweeting, billionaires accused of crimes will be able to hire armies of lawyers to defend them. Who will really suffer when statutory rape is treated as the moral equivalent of forcible rape? When attraction to teenagers is treated as equivalent to pedophilia? It will be the 19 year old kid who has a 16 year old girlfriend, who despite the angry tweeting will remain unable to hire an army of lawyers. Who will suffer when hiring a prostitute is considered morally equivalent to slavery? The middle class schlub. Who will suffer when prosecutors are afraid to go easy on an accused “sex criminal?” The person who can’t afford a drawn-out legal defense. Who will suffer when riding in a car with a man later discovered to be a rapist (the “rapemobile”) is treated as evidence of complicity in his crimes? Contrary to the belief of many people, most rapists don’t look like Jeffery Epstein, or Haven Monahan. It will be the poor man who has poor friends.

If this is all too theoretical for you, read up on the McMartin preschool trial. Just like in the current year, it was thought that the crime was so atrocious, so horrible that normal standards of evidence shouldn’t apply and that anyone who didn’t believe the accusations was a supporter of the crimes. It was part of the whole “Satanic Ritual Abuse” nonsense. I’m sure a lot of Right-wing populists at the time bought into it, thinking they were striking a blow to the “atheistic” elite. But who ended up victimized by it? Ordinary, middle class people like the McMartins.

 

4 thoughts on “An open letter to populists who talk about the “Lolita Express”

  1. Votler

    The attacks on Pinker are despicable, but Acosta deserves it. The attacks against him are simply presentations of the facts he can’t deny; there’s nothing wrong with demanding prosecutors actually prosecute. You want a repeat of the 60s?

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    1. No, many have lied, blaming Acosta for the fact that Epstein was allowed “work release” while in prison and for the fact that he was given “only” 13 months.(He was sentenced to 18 months, the prosecutor doesn’t control the release process.) I’m fine with “tough-on-crime” as an abstract idea. But when the mob is encouraged to scream about specific cases, that’s where I start to get scared, because the mob is made up of stupid people who don’t even want to objectively analyze the facts, they just want to signal how virtuous they are, how outraged they are about supposed injustices.

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  2. fixeddisdain

    I’d be quite happy to lynch Epstein if he really was grooming girls to be used as sex objects, but you make a good point
    “… the mob is made up of stupid people who don’t even want to objectively analyze the facts, they just want to signal how virtuous they are, how outraged they are…”
    This makes me think back on a recent incident. I watched a young man – 19 or so – get beaten in a holding cell by other inmates. He had kept pictures of his girlfriend from perhaps two or three years prior. The sexual relationship itself was legal at the time, since they were both teenagers less than 2 years apart in age. He was charged with possessing child pornography.
    Here is one result of that “witch hunt mentality”. This guy was treated like a rapist but to my knowledge was really not a sexual predator. Just incredibly stupid.

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