Bipartisan or Biased?

 
 A headline in Minnesota’s Star Tribune in July following President Trump’s nominating Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court ( source )

A headline in Minnesota’s Star Tribune in July following President Trump’s nominating Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court (source)

The smell of coffee and President Trump’s most recent tweet seem to symbolize a “start” to the day for many Americans.

After the first cup is gone, you debate another while checking the time to discover you’re going to be late. Taking a deep breath after barely making the train, you scroll to see the somewhat familiar vernacular of your weekday mornings:

Russia, Mueller, Trump . . .

Republicans and Democrats can’t seem to agree on Kavanaugh’s ethical fitness--will they ever?

44 million Americans lack health insurance.

Celebrity dog visits cancer patient.

UNC students tear down confederate statue.

These headlines, more or less, seem familiar to many of us, and while not every American is keeping up with Silent Sam here at Carolina or this country’s healthcare crisis, the above headlines are not far from some of the primary, newsworthy topics any one of us might find on Google in 2018.

You keep scrolling to see the words, “sexual misconduct and Kavanaugh,” all in the same sentence.

 

That’s new.

With a controversial Supreme Court nominee on his way to a possible confirmation, what do we, the public, do when we open our laptops to find a he said, she said story? How do we, the public, form an opinion about this Supreme Court nominee we could naturally support or oppose when this accusation transcends party lines?

Christine Blasey Ford’s accusation of attempted rape at a party with Brett Kavanaugh should hurt us. It should physically pain all of us: Republicans, Democrats, students, professionals, everyone. It should hurt to hear this accusation because we should be fearful of its truth.

If this accusation is true, it means more than a complicated Supreme Court nomination that produces a possible GOP loss and Democratic victory.

It means a man close to the finish line could, in fact, be the opposite of what we look for in a Supreme Court justice. This man, whose finish line ends at First and Constitution, could sit in the chamber of the highest court in the land for the rest of his life, making judicial decisions that directly affect our history books, including women’s rights and how this country reacts when a woman says she was sexually assaulted.

 
 Kavanaugh and Blasey Ford’s yearbook photos taken in the early 1980s ( source )

Kavanaugh and Blasey Ford’s yearbook photos taken in the early 1980s (source)

If this accusation is true, the words exchanged on the Senate floor will shape the way our sons and daughters view rape and how they handle moments of fear and vulnerability. Of course, we hold our elected officials to “higher standards,” but do we not hold our own friends and people in our personal lives to higher standards, too? I hold my friends to a higher standard than others to be good people. That is why we choose them, out of all the people in this world, to stick around in our lives.

The walls of Congress are not so different.

 

The variation in the kind of friend Republicans and Democrats want to appoint to the Supreme Court varies based on political ideology. While this creates lengthy hearings, family feuds, constant news coverage, and polarizing social circles, this is politics. This is a part of the whole shabang.

 
 

Sexual assault is not.

As a young woman, I am perplexed as to how sexual assault is discussed, debated, and often labeled as a political issue.

Human beings have tried to make it into a political issue and tie it to politics, but sexual assault is a moral issue. And unless we change the way we talk about it, unless we change the way we view it, unless we change the way we treat this human failure, our behavior as human beings is going to be dictated on a political stage.

Someone is telling the truth and someone is not. There are not two winners here. I know not many incidents where there are two winners in Washington.

The simple truth is Brett Kavanaugh either did it, or there is a woman risking her career, image, and mental and emotional health to fabricate an ornate lie for fame, political gain, and the destruction of another person.

You decide which one sounds more plausible. Does the timing of this announcement alter the weight of the message within it?

So what is it that we do now?

We wait, we watch, and we listen.

History has its eyes set on Capitol Hill right now. You should too.

 
ColumnsCaroline BassComment