Judges, at the end of a trial, usually instruct juries to use their common sense in reaching a verdict. One of my favorite judges in Birmingham used to look each juror square in the eye and tell them they didn’t have to leave their common sense at the door when they walked into the jury room.
Jurors are charged with deciding where the truth lies in a dispute. Jurors use their experience and their ability to reason to decide which witnesses to believe and how to interpret disputes about the facts. They don’t give up their common sense when asked to decide these critical matters. The admonition to rely on common sense is something all Americans should take to heart as we evaluate the mounting evidence about Trump’s effort to hold onto power after losing the election and the insurrection that resulted from his failed attempt. As we enter the midterm elections, and beyond them, the specter of another Trump presidential candidacy, people need to use their common sense to decide what is good for our communities.
But, as one of my good friend’s aunts used to say, “common sense ain’t so common.” After all, the former President once claimed in an interview that it was just common sense for the crowd to chant “Hang Mike Pence” on January 6.