Let’s play what if.

What if Judge Brett Kavanaugh, instead of categorically denying Dr. Christine Blasey Ford’s claims that she’d been attacked by him while at a party in 1982, when she was fifteen years old and he seventeen, said I am sorry.

What if, while sitting before the Senate Judiciary Committee he told the group:

While on the whole I like to think my behavior has always been above reproach, I can not deny that there was a time in my earlier years that I would party, and party hard. Sometimes my drinking led to moments I have later regretted — things I said, did, or wrote in my own year book that were not thought out and ended up being an embarrassment. Though I have no memory of the event Dr. Ford described in her testimony, she does remember, and that’s what is important.

When I first learned of Dr. Ford’s allegations I was filled with rage, and I felt compelled to defend myself, my reputation, and my family. The drunken actions Dr. Ford detailed were not only a violation of laws which I honor and have stood behind for my entire career, but also a gross breach of the very fibers of my ethical and moral being. But, in giving the Doctor’s assertions the consideration they deserve, I have come to the conclusion that I am in no position to argue with those claims. Alcohol can be a persuasive demon, prodding us toward our lowest and most degrading selves. If we are to believe Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, and I am saying we should, then this must explain my horrendous behavior on that summer afternoon in 1982. I say explain, not condone. There is no condoning those actions.

The truth is no woman, no child, no man should ever have to live with the indignity of sexual predation. And no human has the right to treat another person the way Dr. Ford says she was treated by me. Respect and honor are the touchstones of a civilized society. So today, in accepting responsibility for the actions Dr. Ford has described, I hope to make amends and ask the doctor to forgive the grave wrong I did that afternoon 36 years ago at a party in Maryland. Her accusation has cut deeply. I am humiliated, remorseful, and deeply apologetic for any pain I caused.’

What if the world heard those words instead of the vitriol we did? How would it have changed our conversations about the hearings? How would a forthright apology from the Judge to Dr Ford have affected the pain women and men are experiencing as they relive their own history of abuse? How many people might have considered, perhaps for the first time, that maybe they too had the courage to apologize for something they did along the way?

Thursday was an opportunity lost. Judge Kavanaugh could have drawn a new map, instead he followed the unremarkable and well trodden path laid by the heavy steps of priveledged men burdened by the load of too much pride.