Brett and O.J. (EP.72)


Do Brett Kavanaugh and O.J. Simpson seem like an odd pair? Give me a few minutes, and we’ll see some key parallels; parallels that tell us a lot about how the law and politics in the US have become so wrongly conflated.

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Do Brett Kavanaugh and O.J. Simpson seem like an odd pair? Give me a few minutes, and we’ll see some key parallels; parallels that tell us a lot about how the law and politics in the US have become so wrongly conflated.

Orenthal J. Simpson was clearly guilty; his lawyer and the jurors no doubt knew that as well. Simpson was found not guilty because historically so many black men have been falsely accused–and convicted–of crimes against white women. (Ron Goldman was merely collateral damage.) The jury was making a statement about past injustices; it was not rendering a verdict based upon the evidence in this case. Somehow, freeing Simpson was seen by the jury as proper in the light of the historical injustices involving whites and blacks.

Brett Kavanaugh was seen as guilty for very similar reasons. Many men have gotten away with assaulting women for a very long time; Kavanaugh was seen as having committed the crime based on nothing more than an accusation, an accusation that was not only uncorroborated but in many parts refuted, as a cry for historical justice. Again, somehow, seeing Kavanaugh as guilty was seen as proper in the light of the historical injustices involving men and women.

Today’s podcast goes beyond reinforcing the point that two wrongs do not, cannot, make a right. Clearly, two wrongs are at least twice as bad as one wrong.

One of the points we are making today is that morals and ethics, and right and wrong, can so easily get all tangled up when we think that allowing an injustice today can make up for historical injustices. With the Simpson verdict, Nicole Brown Simpson’s family, and Ron Goldman’s family, were left with not only no justice–but with a public slap in the face. And the American judicial system was deeply embarrassed and compromised. Pressing the Kavanaugh accusations and pronouncements of guilt badly damaged an innocent family, embarrassed the Senate and damaged the credibility of the Advice and Consent process. Perhaps more importantly, the whole world witnessed the attempt to further politicize the Supreme Court of the United States, and try to make it another legislative branch, negating a key part of the brilliance of our founding documents: the separation and balance of powers.

Now let’s look at the Hatfield-McCoy feud effect. This feud is part of our lexicon, and is used to describe damaging and unceasing feuds of unremembered origin. And while the origins may be murky, the dislike and hate are real and growing. Aren’t we in danger of an unceasing and growing Democrat-Republican feud–a feud of murky and unremembered origin–if we aren’t there already? More than just taking the side of one party or the other, anyone with a conviction who has the temerity to express it in public, stands to be shunned, loudly insulted, or even physically attacked. This is all part of the fallout of stains on our national character like the Simpson verdict and the Kavanaugh attack.

Today’s key point. When we take preconceived notions of what’s right and wrong, and who should be encouraged and supported and who should be rejected, into our thought processes and actions, while setting aside the evidence of that is going on today, we are in great danger of doing ourselves, communities and country a great disservice. We compound that damage when we get so lost in our thinking that we react because we have picked one side or other of a forever feud, a feud whose origins are indeed murkey and not well understood, then stake our claims to what and who is right and wrong based on that stand. Who was originally at fault, who is more at fault; the Hatfields or the McCoys? Who is more at fault, men or women; Democrats or Republicans. More importantly, who cares? Even asking these questions will lead to the wrong answers. The better–the only–question is how to we make this work going forward. Try this with me. Ask “Who is at fault.” Insert anything; parties, spouses, races, etc. What answers did you get? Now, ask this question, “How do I fix this?” N. B. the “I” part; not we.” What answers did you get? Which answer or set of answers is more likely to lead to progress?


I publish two podcasts each week; mid-day on Tuesday and Friday. Every week. I am also considering doing these as videos on YouTube, and would love to get your thoughts.

Let’s apply the two Results With Reason main tenets to today’s issues. The two main tenets that we believe in at Results With Reason are:

  1. Personal Responsibility; practice it, teach it and
  2. Be Your Brother’s Keeper.

Today’s application is again straightforward:

  1. Personal Responsibility. Engage in the political conversation. Don’t be afraid to stand up for what you believe, for what you know to be true.
  2. Be your Brother’s Keeper. Be patient with each other; some will understand what you saying immediately, others will not. Teach and encourage; don’t criticize and reject. Love and lead. Remember, we are all in this together.


Now it is time for our usual parting thought. It is not enough to be informed. It is not enough to be a well informed voter. We need to act.  And if we, you and I, don’t do something, then the others who are doing something, will continue to run the show.

Remember: Knowledge by itself is the booby prize.

Will Luden, writing to you from my home office at 7,200’ in Colorado Springs.

Will Luden
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4 Responses

  1. Charles Cabral Reply

    As I pointed out to a geologist friend the other day, he’s in the only profession where fault finding is a good thing.

  2. James Kuhn Reply

    Today’s political climate is not unique. We really need a two party system. Each party, though must argue what they are FOR not so much what they are AGAINST. The sooner the Democrats get around to acting on the positive side of their arguments the stronger we will all be.

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