Brett Kavanaugh: On the front line of America’s culture war
Raised by wealthy parents in Washington DC before attending an extremely exclusive middle school, Brett Kavanaugh then went on to attend Yale Law School before mixing in conservative political circles for most of his adult life.
It would be fair to say that at no point has Kavanaugh experienced the grinding anxiety of poverty, or sexism, or discrimination, having seemingly progressed throughout his life on the back of his parent’s money and social standing.
Kavanaugh, a white, rich and privileged male judge now stands on the precipice of being confirmed to a lifetime appointment on the US Supreme Court, the highest court in the land and the institution that makes rulings on things like abortion rights, women’s healthcare, gun rights and other constitutional issues.
Having now been accused of sexual misconduct and sexual assault by several women, the judge also stands in the very middle of no man’s land in what has become the defining cultural war of this century. A battle that pits white conservative America against liberals and ethnic minorities as well as, it seems, women.
On Friday, thousands of women marched on Washington and the Supreme Court before staging a sit in protest in a Senate office building where over 300 women, including comedian Amy Schumer and model and actor Emily Ratajkowski, were later accosted by police.
In an America where there are daily running battles between the right and the left, it has become the battle which, in many ways, defines Donald Trump’s presidency. Kavanaugh, a staunchly conservative judge, has been nominated to tip the balance on the Supreme Court in favour of conservative judges who may vote to overturn things such as abortion rights and gun controls, however, since the nomination was made there have now been incredible scenes of Dr Christine Blasey Ford testifying in front of the US Senate that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her, a claim which he denies. Blasey Ford has also passed a polygraph lie detector test, something which Kavanaugh has refused.
In scenes which highlighted the enormous rift between Democrats and Republicans, senators were seen shaking their heads in disgust and refusing to vote, whilst Republican senators declared that the whole investigation was a political hit job.
The Senate are due to vote on Kavanaugh’s confirmation in the coming weeks, but over 1,000 lawyers across the US, including the head of Yale Law School, have called for Kavanaugh’s nomination to be withdrawn, not just due to accusations of sexual misconduct, but also because they feel he has lied to congress and lacks the temperament of a Supreme Court Justice, in that he was aggressive and short tempered when asked to give evidence.
Donald Trump drew condemnation and disgust when he was broadcast on live television mocking Blasey Ford, deriding her decision to come forward so late, when the accusations date back to the early eighties. Seemingly unaware of perpetuating the very reason so many sexual violence survivors don’t come forward, Trump ranted for almost ten minutes about the accusations.
Regardless of what happens with Kavanaugh, one can’t escape the feeling that this is just the beginning of a violent war of culture and ideas that is unlikely to abate or dampen until Trump is either voted or thrown out of office.