The Kavanaugh Firestorm

The fires that have raged over Brett Kavanaugh and his suitability to be a Supreme Court judge have subsided since his confirmation on Saturday, but the embers smoulder, ready to reignite over his name, another name or over nothing. A wildfire is burning over swathes of the United States, and it threatens to be fiercer still in time to come.The scenes televised across the world last week were extraordinary and disturbing, as protestors swarmed through the Capitol, the seat of government, seeking out and mobbing the senators who supported Kavanaugh, or who were wavering. They had the right to express their views, but often it was not peaceful, and it was not kind to send death threats to the families of those they were seeking to influence, or stop. Many of the women were protesting about sexual abuse, sometimes their own, sometimes that of all women including Christine Ford, the accuser of Kavanaugh, but they failed to see that their own actions at times were abusive in themselves. Much distress has been caused to many through blanket judgment and indiscriminate targeting – from men, as well as women, and on all sides of the political argument.

The Kavanaugh firestorm

“I defend kindness and compassion…”

When the accusations of attempted rape against Brett Kavenaugh were found to be without any corroborative evidence, attention turned to his past as a student, and if it made him likely to be an abuser, or unsuitable to be a judge in the Supreme Court. I do not know how much he drank in his youth, but I know that many of my greatest lessons came from when I was growing up and learning about life, and that it is the same for many people. We make mistakes, we learn and hopefully move on, the better for it. I have heard Kavenaugh condemned for his conduct as a teenager by people who now are respected and valued members of their community, but who themselves had addiction and other problems in their past: is it fair to judge a man and find him wanting in this way, when we ourselves have made many mistakes too?

I do not know Brett Kavanagh and I do not uphold his politics or judicial approach – how he acts as a Supreme Court judge is yet to be seen. I defend fairness and justice, I defend kindness and compassion, I defend good intention and forgiveness. Here, politics and causes have been used by some as weapons, thoughtlessly or care-lessly, to manipulate public opinion and to vent emotion over past wrongs and potential future change, and lives have been hurt a result. Passion and action are important, but let them be used wisely, and consciously for the greater good.

The embers of anger smoulder still. They will be stoked again, and the great divide that is in America and many parts of the world, the divide between bitter partisan politics, between men and women, between black and white, between rich and poor, between liberalism and conservatism, between the past and the future, will express itself once again in a torrent of expression that may prove deadly. Then it will stop, and we will move on.

Brett Kavanaugh has been a catalyst for change, in more ways than one. The firestorm that has been created in his name reminds me that the time is coming when the world will look outwards not inwards, and spirituality based on loving reason will prevail. It is not so far away.

 

 


6 thoughts on “The Kavanaugh Firestorm

  1. Hi Claire, I love and value your blogs – often they challenge me to think differently and I appreciate your higher wisdom in many ways. However I feel I must comment on your last blog about Brett Kavanaugh and Christine Ford. I agree with most of what you say but I feel you have missed an important aspect of the situation – that Christine Ford had the courage to speak out about her sexual abuse with dignity, and what appeared to be honesty and integrity. She broke a silence that is now being broken by many women who have suffered at the hands of powerful men and who, for centuries, have most often not been believed by society or the legal courts. You say that there was no corroborative evidence for her allegations – and that is true (although the FBI investigation to my mind cannot be relied upon to exonerate BK as it was widely reported as not being thorough or fair) but this is often the case with rape allegations. It is usually the case that there is no one else there when it happens. How can we heal the wounds between men and women if men are not held to account for their actions?

    • Thank you so much for taking the trouble to comment, Hilary. I agree with you totally about the dignity and courage of Christine Ford, who was not well served by politicians or the media. Yes, men must be held accountable for their actions, but so must women, and while some men lie, some women lie too. Some women have issued death threats to Senators’ families, and some men have too. I do not “judge” one sex to be any better than the other – and in this case of Kavanaugh, the conduct of some men and some women has been unedifying. My point was that sometimes kindness, and fairness, is forgotten when emotions run high. Abuse, of course, can never be condoned.

  2. Thanks, Claire, for your blog post. It is wise to keep in mind that Sen. Mitch McConnell, the GOP leader in the U.S. Senate,rammed Justice Kavanaugh’s nomination through the Senate Judiciary Committee and the Senate proper. He then had the unmitigated gall to crow about his efforts afterwards.

    One big reason people in the U.S. are furious is because this is not the first time Sen. McConnell has tried ramming legislation through the Senate; rather, it’s a pattern of behaviour on his part: allow for little or no informed debate on a given issue, keep the loyal opposition in the dark and ultimate let Donald Trump sign the legislation – or, in this case, to get his Supreme Court nominee.

    Checks and balances within the U.S. Constitution are being circumvented and/or trampled on. More than anything else, most people in the U.S. are dead set against this nasty turn of events. Former President Obama, for instance, has been speaking up forcefully about this and much more, going so far as asking voters to reject this perverted version of normalcy, in the process firing up people to vote in the U.S. mid-term elections.

    In other words, what many in the U.S. are really getting fired up about is the sense of just how threatened representative government in this country is becoming. It’s rather like watching the original six Star Wars films with George Lucas’ imprimatur: corruption has gotten into the Empire, and now there’s a rebellion being played out.

    And where that rebellion’s going is in a state of flux at the moment. Much will depend upon the results of the mid-terms. The U.S. House of Representatives will probably flip to the Democrats, while the Senate is impressing me as being too close to call. Re-shaping of the currents of destiny is occurring with these mid-terms, but the quantum fluctuations are something else altogether at this moment.

    • Thank you as always for your considered reply, William. This is such a complex, multi-layered issue that seems to have incorporated serious constitutional issues (as you point out), political manipulation, womens’ rights issues, sexual abuse issues, sometimes intimidatory protest, questions over the democratic process and anticipation of the mid-term elections next month.So many of the fears, pain and anxieties felt by so many have been manifested through the Kavanaugh hearing.I am just an observer from across the Pond, but I am concerned too, while trying to see it neutrally, and non judgmentally. Our processes, here in the UK, are not perfect either!

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