Justin Fairfax Wants To Be The Governor Of Accused Rapists Everywhere
You probably don't think two credible charges of rape can have any positive impact on your life. You certainly can't imagine they'd provide a springboard to bigger and better things. But you're not Justin Fairfax, which is definitely good for your immortal soul. Fairfax is "thinking very seriously" about running for governor... of a state. That state is Virginia, where he is still lieutenant governor somehow. We suggested that Fairfax resign twice already, but he isn't listening to us. Besides, other people who we assume don't just live in his own imagination are more encouraging.
FAIRFAX: Many people a year ago would not have recognized me, now they really do. People come up to me at gas stations, they say, "Hey, we recognize you. We love you. We know what they are saying about you is false."
How do they know this? Were they present during the alleged events and can dispute the charges from Dr. Vanessa Tyson or Fairfax's Duke classmate Meredith Watson? Otherwise, they're just total strangers Fairfax encountered while filling his tank or ordering a Slurpee. "People I met at gas stations" are not expert witnesses.
Fairfax brought up this nonsense during a discussion with reporters about his recent trip to England. He'd connected with Nicholas Fairfax, whose ancestor helped Fairfax's great-great-great grandfather escape from slavery in Northern Virginia. This would be a lovely story if it didn't directly involve an alleged rapist. "Needs less rapist" is not a note we thought we'd ever have to give. He apparently posted a YouTube video about the trip, which we're not going to share here. Instead, this is Gayle King interviewing Watson back in April.
Fairfax returned from his trip across the pond refreshed and "inspired." He thinks his future's so bright he's gotta wear shades. He really believes he can run for governor. The current office holder is a moonwalking embarrassment, but no one's accused him of raping them. Presumably, Fairfax's opponents in a 2021 race would also be free of rape charges. If not, Virginia's beyond help.
This is quite a turnaround from February when Fairfax went full Clarence Thomas and grossly compared himself to lynching victims. Lynching didn't historically lead to career advancement because the victims were dead and unavailable for networking. It must've been different for Fairfax. His BFF in England also conclusively confirmed that he has never raped anyone.
FAIRFAX: [Nicholas Fairfax] told me he is appalled by what is happening to me and my family. He said he knows it's false and that it's not OK.
All these random people with no firsthand knowledge of the events sure have systematically dismantled the highly credible, painfully detailed allegations from Fairfax's accusers. Case closed! Next stop for Fairfax is the governor's mansion. However, we're not sure that's the best idea. If women are falsely accusing Fairfax for fame and fortune now, what will they do once he's actually governor? That's a far more important role. It even comes with its own parking spot.
Fairfax has tried valiantly over the past few months to clear his name, but his strategy is suspicious. Watson and Dr. Tyson have requested public hearings before the Virginia General Assembly, where they would testify under oath. Liars and participants in smear campaigns don't usually open themselves up for perjury charges. Meanwhile, Fairfax and his Democratic colleagues are blocking Republican efforts to hold the hearings. If you're disgusted by Congressional Republicans attempts to protect Donald Trump from accountability, you should also find this alarming.
We're not naive enough to think solely noble intentions are motivating Republicans. They want to schedule the hearings during a special legislative session Gov. Ralph Northam called to consider gun control laws after the Virginia Beach shootings. Yes, it's a distraction, a sideshow, intended to derail the bills. Watson and Dr. Tyson deserve better. Virginia deserves better. Fairfax does not. If he cared about anything beyond his own ambition, he'd realize he's a liability and resign like we've been saying for months now.
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Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He's on the board of the Portland Playhouse theater and writes for the immersive theater Cafe Nordo in Seattle.