We the People and “Our” Democracy
The drama being enacted around the promotion of a sexist, alcohol-prone judge to what is invariably described as ‘the highest court in the land’ for emphasis, is not only about women’s place in society, it’s a cringing demonstration of how empty the word ‘democracy’ is.
Since it was designated as the target of a Russian attack, presented (by Hillary Clinton and others) as the equivalent of the Japanese air attack on Pearly Harbor in 1941, ’our democracy’ was probably one of the most used labels in the United States.
The actual functioning of that democracy has little to do with the idyllic picture most Americans have carried around in their heads since fourth grade, when they were introduced to the Greek original. In the case of Judge Brett Kavanaugh, his opponents recognize that he has an impressive scholarly record, however his reaction when accused of teenage sexual assault horrified even his most committed supporters. He may have been under the influence of alcohol when he ranted and raged against his accuser and her supporters at a televised hearing in front of a congressional judiciary committee, for he pleaded and weeped, invoking the hardship on his family and a ruined life while his meek-looking wife witnessed the scene with the expression of a parent witnessing yet one more tantrum.
Before we were treated to this spectacle, opposition to Kavanaugh’s appointment centered on his rulings and his pro-life and pro ‘imperial presidency’ record. Once his accuser had been heard, and judged a decorous and credible witness, women of all ages and political persuasions flocked to Washington, where they staged sit-ins in the Congressional buildings, knowing they would be arrested. Their anger was as much a reaction to the behavior of those they had sent to represent them as it was to Kavanaugh: even those Republicans who were clearly uncomfortable with the president’s choice, couldn’t bring themselves to jeopardize their chances of being re-elected in November by backing the wrong group of constituents: the educated over the rednecks who form President Trump’s base, and is armed.
If Kavanaugh is confirmed, the chances of Democrats ‘taking back’ the House of Representatives — and even the Senate — a month from now increase, however it is unlikely that they will have the stomach to impeach and remove him ex post facto. At the height of the ‘me too’ movement — a democratic phenomenon if ever there was one — the spectacle of our elected representatives accepting an additional four-day FBI investigation during which forty people who asked to testify were ignored, was wrenching for progressives: our inboxes shriek with demands for money, as if, somehow, we could turn the tide. But our money will never suffice to compete with that of our oligarchs, it will only increase the number of us ‘crying in the wilderness’.
Deena Stryker is an international expert, author and journalist that has been at the forefront of international politics for over thirty years, exlusively for the online journal “New Eastern Outlook”.