I have been watching the Brett Kavanaugh confirmation hearing with interest. I have been reading from a variety of sources from America Magazine to The Washington Post, from CNN to SNL. Even with him now confirmed, I do not know what to make of the whole thing. I respect Christine Blasey Ford and the other women who have come forward. I sincerely hope their motivations were apolitical, and I think they rightly had concerns about a man who sexually harassed them at best being named one of the highest judges in the land. I understand the media storm. With #MeToo, it is good and necessary that this come to light. I understand not making a person guilty without due cause. I also am likely naive enough to think that people making judgements on the Supreme Court should likely have a good character. And I am not old enough to compare Kavanaugh and his accusers to Clarence Thomas and Anita Hill.
I do not know what to make of all of it. I was thinking about all of it and what is authentic justice in this situation when “Drunk Girl” by Chris Janson came on the radio.
As the chorus goes,
“Take a drunk girl home /
Let her sleep all alone /
Leave her keys on the counter, your number by the phone /
Pick up her life she threw on the floor /
Leave the hall lights on walk out and lock the door /
That’s how she knows the difference between a boy and man /
Take a drunk girl home.”
What’s interesting about the song is that it was written in 2017, before President Donald Trump and Stormy Daniels, before Harvey Weinstein and #MeToo, before Brett Kavanaugh and Christine Blasey Ford. Yet rings so true in all that has happened this year.
I am not the one voting for Kavanaugh’s appointment. I really had no say about Harvey Weinstein. My vote in 2016 was a drop in a bucket (and called a “non-vote” because I went 3rd party). I am not the person who gets to decide what is just and right in these situations.
But I think why I have followed Trump, Weinstein, and now Kavanaugh with interest is because something has just not settled well with me. Janson’s song help me figure out a piece of it: I do not like that men who act like boys at best, sexual predators at worst, are leaders. They are not exhibiting respect, kindness, integrity in their actions with these women. So how am I to look up to them as a leader when I cannot condone their personal actions?
Leadership is not having a position of authority. Leadership is having the respect of those you have authority over. I am craving some good, authentic leadership in this country, and I am saddened that it is not happening.
Kavanaugh’s rulings tend to side with my values, but his personal actions violate so much of my values. Is his track record and how he will likely vote in the future worth a confirmation to the Supreme Court? No. I cannot mentally justify it.
I miss some of our old political members. John McCain was respected by all, even if they disagreed with him. Same with Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. I cannot imagine Kavanaugh being the independent, impartial judge he wrote he could be. I have a hard time imagine him being respected, and I myself am struggling to have any.
I had a lot of respect for Scalia. As Stephen Colbert stated on his show at his passing, Scalia had a sense of humor and was human. He got along with people he disagreed with and used his brilliance for the common good. Like John McCain, even if people disagreed with him, they respected him.
I see such intolerance in politics right now that breaks my heart. I do not know what entirely to think or feel about Kavanaugh, but I know this: I want to respect my leaders, and the examples I have of leadership right now are not gaining my respect. Even religious leadership is breaking my heart right now with the priest sexual abuse scandal.
I want a leader I can believe in and respect. Lately, the men I have seen in leadership have left me wanting. For me, the testimony of Christine Blasey Ford and the other women is convincing enough. It is not enough to make me convinced that beyond a reasonable doubt that Kavanaugh did as they said, but it is enough to make me doubt his capability as a leader.