Neither side knows what happened 36 years ago.
Kavanaugh and his accuser do—to the best that memory can allow.
For everyone else, this has become an ideological battle masquerading behind issues of due process, women’s rights, and justice (for the accused and accuser).
The players of this issue and talking heads on both sides—desperate for their political side to win and wrapped so tightly to the outcome—allow not a ray of light to shine truth into the situation. Kavanaugh is in so deep, that if he did do something wrong, he couldn’t admit to it. While his supporters focus on criticizing the maneuvering of Kavanaugh’s attackers.
Kavanaugh’s accuser is in the same boat as he, as are her supporters, unable to admit to underhanded motives on their part—if any.
Those speaking out on either side seem incapable of seeing this matter from the other’s perspective—that this may be a brave woman coming forward; that this may be a man falsely accused. This is because justice isn’t the driving force of these two sides. The priority is winning—at whatever costs it may incur.
This lack of empathy and reason, this promotion of harm and destruction, are what make one thing within this situation clear – The institution of the U.S. government is becoming more and more incapable of organizing our society.
America is a land with a higher-than-normal amount of reactionaries, hotheads, and dooms-dayers. My uncle said to me as a boy that Bill Clinton’s re-election was going to be the end of America. Later, people said it about Bush. Then Obama. And now Trump. Travel the world, and you experience places that take mellow to higher levels. We Americans, as a culture, are high strung. We’re also innovators, always at the cutting edge of technology to accelerate our lives.
Put together such innovation and attention to drama, and we end up with a society run by an institution struggling with the unwieldy nature of a diverse, reactive public equipped with ever-advancing technology. The Kavanaugh saga is just the latest example.
After years of feeling ignored, tens of millions of Americans (enabled by technology) moved Trump and Bernie Sanders toward the top. The Trump side won the election. Now in response to this, and in response to such anti-Obama activity, the other side works feverishly against Trump and his supporters.
Many say the Republicans (politicians and civilians) damaged their side by choosing Trump. Many others now say the Democrats (politicians and civilians) are damaging theirs by what they are doing.
Both are right.
And in so doing, they are debasing the institution they hope to lead. They are exemplifying why this institution is no longer tenable. They are accelerating the process of the federal government becoming an outdated social organizer for our country.
This was inevitable.
In a society as reactive and innovative as ours, the federal government has been exposed to ever-growing amounts of fear radiating from a public afraid and angry about influential policy and people. Thus, a Supreme Court nomination can’t proceed peacefully. And spilling over into the civilian world, there have been at least four cases in the past year of politicians and political pundits attacked while eating at restaurants. This one focal point of power is now like a blown fuse, surged with too much electricity.
The good news: In lieu of this giant dinosaur, agile institutions and technologies will fill the void. Community organizations, businesses large and small, nonprofits, and individuals will increase their influence in how we shape our societies, to determine justice and freedoms.
So, while this Kavanaugh hearing has become a loaded saga representing sexual abuse, justice, corruption, and power, at the end of the day, this is about whether or not a person is chosen to sit on a court with waning influence over our lives.
And thank goodness, because the concentration of fear directed toward Washington D.C. has increasingly made it an incubator of rage, desperation, deceit, and despair.