Hearings reach a new low
Divided, nation will be conquered
America has proven, in our attempt to place a new member on the Supreme Court, that we don’t need to point a finger at any other country and accuse them of interfering in our political systems. If no other phrase applies to our nation today, it is “Divide and Conquer.” The problem of course is, we are proving to be our own “divider” and leave ourselves open for some one outside to “conquer.”
It would be truly worthwhile if all Americans could watch the process we are going through in trying to get President Trump’s nominee appointed for the opening on the Supreme Court. The individual, Brett Kavanaugh, may become the person who fills the void, or if he doesn’t get enough Republican senators to support him, the Democrats will successfully delay filling the seat. What is embarrassing to me as an independent voter who leans toward the Republican political philosophy, is the manner in which both major political parties have managed to stoop to new lows in order to protect their agendas. I might add “disgusting new lows” to put it in its proper context.
We had not devoted much time to the newspaper report or the television coverage of the cloak and dagger, grade school politics, until the Senate hearings on Thursday. After watching the afternoon session — the portion devoted to Mr. Kavanaugh’s presentation — the final assessment at our household is simply that it was a media circus orchestrated by grown men and women elected to responsible positions of leadership for our country. All America should watch, and cringe at how politics, power and money get in the way of our governing process.
Viewer coverage prior to the afternoon session started with the television cameras focused down long hallways, providing a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for anyone in the area to have a fleeting moment (or more in most cases) for them to be seen by a waiting audience of television viewers. And, this is while we were waiting for the principle characters in the drama to make their appearance. The wait seemed endless and the television crew’s anchors had to find something to fill the time and keep the audience entertained. People with cameras and/or writing equipment, were everywhere and at one point I counted at least six (6) security people surrounding or being a part of (I couldn’t be sure) a group of senators and their staffs. What would the media do if we conducted our political system with dignity and respect not just for drama to fill “on air” time ? We are told we should respect our elected leaders. What about the individual voters ? Who in our nation’s Capital has respect for the voters who sent these “leaders” to Washington.
Whether Mr. Kavanaugh is the proper person to fill a slot on the Supreme Court is a decision for others to make. You and I are the victims of a process we allowed to develop and it has sunk to a new low as witnessed by this event. The attacks on individuals’ characters for Dr. Ford and Mr. Kavanaugh was an embarrassment to a nation which prides itself in a history of hard work, honesty and political solutions to our disagreements. Politics allowed this process to become a circus of the worst kind. My personal view is our two-party political system is so corrupt it will provide for the dividing of the nation, but neither party will be the ultimate winner. We will all lose as a result.
It won’t be measured by unemployment numbers or gross national product or even tariffs on imported goods. The final measure will be the effect it has on the next generation of voters who will be wary of every political candidate of the “other party.” Will the fear that the Senate Judicial Committee is an example of the process we can expect, affect future voters’ turnout? Republican and Democrats alike allowed this process to be used to attack the nominee, as well as the person accusing the nominee, of behavior that occurred when they were teenagers. I don’t know who is correct, Dr. Ford or the nominee, but there is no doubt the loser is our system of government and the future of faith in politics.
The circus that surrounded these hearings will not likely be forgotten in the elections this fall, nor in subsequent years when the issue of what constitutes appropriate sexual behavior becomes a factor in who “qualifies” for any political position. How far back in one’s history will qualify as the litmus test of whether one is guilty of any behavior by either sex? This will be a test case for females as well as male qualifications in the future and as we are seeing now, 36 years of one’s history is fair game whether true or not true. An accusation of “she said, he said” can open Pandora’s box of anyone’s history.
Mr. Kavanaugh’s daughter suggested they pray for Dr. Ford. I certainly support her comments but maybe we need to go one step further and pray for our nation and our leaders who seem not to recognize their role in our nation’s future.
Editor’s note: Leo Lynch, an award-winning columnist, is a native of Benton County and has deep roots in northwest Arkansas. He is a retired industrial engineer and former Justice of the Peace.