I want to get this off my chest and out of my system. I don’t expect my thoughts on Brett Kavanaugh to change the world. I’m probably going to say the same things other people have already said. However, I need to write this because it’s on my mind so much that it’s blocking me from writing other things here.
The topics surrounding Brett Kavanaugh’s appointment are complicated so I’m going to separate them into their own sections. I’m doing to dive in as far as I dare, then try to wrap this up in the end. Here’s what I’m going to try and cover:
- Listening to the victims of sexual assault and the #MeToo movement
- Brett Kavanaugh as a nominee
- The Republican party and the current political climate
- Dissent and Tone
That shouldn’t be too daunting, should it?
Listening to the Victims of Sexual Assault
I’m a cis white male that’s quickly approaching the age where I can be called an old white man. I’m starting with this declaration so that you know what perspective I’m bringing to the discussion. I’ve seen plenty of people on social media say that we don’t need any more opinions from straight white males on this. That’s the only viewpoint I have to offer. I hope what I have to say surprises or reassures you.
First of all, we should ALWAYS listen to the victims. Statistically speaking, they’re not lying. The cases where a woman has stepped forward and placed wrongful accusations are few and far between. If someone says that they’ve been the victim of assault, listen to them with respect. They’ve been through some shit. Don’t put them through more.
Trump went in front of a rally and in front of the press and said that it’s a terrible time to be a man, because all these lying women are coming forward and destroying them. This is bullshit, and not the kind that fertilizes. He is an idiot, credibly accused of assaulting women, and caught on tape talking about perpetrating sexual assault.
Don’t listen to Trump. Treat women with respect. Practice consent. Teach consent to our children. Don’t support people that are unwilling to do these things. Don’t be friends with those people. Don’t turn a blind eye when they try to do something you know is wrong. These things are not difficult.
Trump, a credibly accused sexual predator, would have men believe that they should be afraid of the #MeToo movement. The truth is that if you’re not raping women, you don’t have anything to be afraid of.
You know, a lot of women like having sex. It’s true! All you have to do is ask them. If you’re not man enough to ask then you’re not man enough to be having sex in the first place.
Brett Kavanaugh Himself
I believe Dr. Ford when she said that Brett Kavanaugh tried to sexually assault her. She spoke clearly, without evasion, and some of the evidence Brett presented himself corroborated details of Dr. Ford’s testimony. I believe her. I think Brett Kavanaugh got drunk and tried to force himself on a girl when he was in high school.
I believe Dr. Ford, but let’s pretend for some reason that doesn’t automatically disqualify Kavanaugh from being assigned to one of the seats of the highest court in the land. Maybe we’ll seat Kavanaugh next to Clarence Thomas, since they have so much in common they can talk about.
Kavanaugh demonstrated in front of the committee that he was not fit to be on the Supreme Court. He doesn’t have the temperament. He doesn’t honor the oath to tell the truth. He’s a belligerent asshole that really, really likes beer. This man should not be a judge at all, let alone on the Supreme Court.
He’s a heavy drinker with gambling debts. He doesn’t demonstrate good judgement in his own life. Why would anyone think he’d demonstrate good judgement in court?
I sincerely hope the Democrats take congress and impeach both him and Trump. They’re both embarrassments, and neither of them should be in the positions they’ve been placed.
The Republican Party
I’ve already written a pretty decent post about Jeff Flake and how the Republican Party has been usurped by people that aren’t actual Republicans. I don’t want to rehash too much of it, but the main point is this: a true Republican wouldn’t put party over country.
Maybe true Republicans don’t exist anymore. We can tick off the things that Republicans are supposed to stand for and see that whatever we have now, they aren’t this:
- Fiscally conservative — They approved a trillion dollar budget for military spending, ballooning the national debt beyond anything we’ve seen before, ever.
- Lower taxes — It looks like they’ve done something here, except that the new tax plan actually eliminates a lot of exemptions. People with lower incomes are paying more in the long run. Meanwhile, the super rich got tax breaks, because of course they did.
- Family Values — Your President cheated on his pregnant wife. He fucked a porn star and tried to pay her off with campaign funds.
- Christian — See also Family Values
Republicans are in the minority. Their loudest members are racist, misogynist, antisemitic neo-Nazis that show up in the deep south from time to time with Tiki torches and flags with swastikas on them. When David Duke is one of your vocal supporters, that ought to clue you in that you’re on the wrong side of history, and the wrong side of human decency.
Party over country. Red versus blue. Blind faith in a political party, conflating it with a higher power, confusing partisanship with religion. That’s the Republican party I see right now.
And unfortunately, I don’t think it’s going to get any better.
Dissent and Tone
I’m upset, and I’ve used some salty language in this post.
You know what? We have a sexual predator in the White House that just appointed a sexual predator to the Supreme Court. Dropping an F-bomb is a succinct way to express exactly how I feel about this situation.
There are many people on Twitter that say that we need to drop civility at this point. The Republicans are not being civil. Why should we treat them with respect?
That’s a place where I have to take a step back and disagree. I believe that we should all try to treat each other with respect. Be the change in the world that you want to see. I want to see civil discourse, and I want to see people put country before party. When I’m talking with an individual, I’ll be respectful, I’ll listen with an open mind, but I’ll maintain my integrity and defend freedom and equality.
I think if we’re going to get on the right course again, we need to be civil with one another.
Unless I’ve completely pissed them off, I still have conservative friends in Oregon that might even be reading this post. I hope I’ve been fair in stating my opinions. I hope we can still be friends. But if you think that Mitch McConnell represents you, you’re mistaken. He’s a hypocrite that blocked a Supreme Court nominee for 10 months, then rushed through an appointee that is an unhinged lying drunk with gambling debts at best, a credibly accused sexual predator at worst. My conservative friends are not well represented right now. Their party has been stolen by opportunists that are stealing from American coffers while doing lasting damage to our way of life.
If one of my conservative friends wanted to have a civil conversation with me, I would welcome it. Maybe I’d learn something of their perspective that will help me be more fair in my views of the political world. And maybe, just maybe, I might help them see some of the injustice I see.
Without civility, we couldn’t have a conversation at all. I like Pat Tomlinson quite a bit, but I would never encourage the kind of engagement he enjoys on Twitter. Then there’s Chuck Wendig’s recent post:
Civility is for normalcy. When things are normal and working as intended, civility is part of maintaining balance. But when that balance is gone, civility does not help return it but rather, destabilize it further. Because your civility gives them cover for evil.
— Chuck Wendig (@ChuckWendig) October 6, 2018
I obviously disagree with Chuck on this. Civility is the thing that allows us to communicate with the people that are not being well represented. Civility is the way we’re going to be able to reach the people that truly haven’t been paying attention to the news, who have no idea who Brett Kavanaugh is, or what their representatives are doing. There are lots and lots of people that have their head down, just trying to get through the days the best they can. They might identify as Republican, and if we walk up to them and start shouting at them that they’re rapist Nazis, they’re going to write us off as assholes and then go to the polls and continue to vote for people that they think represent them.
I call for civility, but I do not call for complacency. Yesterday, after I found out the bad news about Kavanaugh, I had a talk with my son. He’s 20 years old. We were able to have a mature conversation about what it used to mean to be a conservative, and how what the Republicans are doing these days is not that. I think he would have been able to handle the conversation 2 years ago, maybe even 4 years ago. He’s a smart kid.
It is possible and necessary to express opinions of dissent without throwing away civility. If you become a shouting monster, if you let the faux Republicans change your behavior for the worst, then they will have won. Because even if you have good things to say, no one is going to want to listen to you.