Some women and men shouldn't be trusted with a loaded gun in public, and some shouldn't be allowed to board a plane. But the only reliable way to separate the worthy from the unworthy is in a public forum where people can learn why they're excluded and offer rebuttals.
Providing this opportunity is crucial for individuals who otherwise might suffer unwarranted deprivation of rights that are available to others. But it's also important for the rest of us, if only to reveal whether policies adopted by our elected officials are being carried out with even a minimum level of fairness and competence, writes Steve Chapman.
The alternative is to expect people given power to use it wisely in the absence of public accountability, writes Chapman. It assumes what Orwell's Ministry of Truth proclaimed: Ignorance is strength.