Brett Kavanaugh appears to be sticking to his story that he did not commit the alleged sexual assault. Meanwhile, the Republicans seemed poised and prepared to confirm him to the US Supreme Court. If both of those things remain true, is it possible in the least to use Kavanaugh’s current situation to see if he can be converted on some moral outlooks?
People do mature throughout their lives. The President is not nominating the 17-year old Brett Kavanaugh for the Supreme Court, but rather nominating the now more experienced federal judge that he has become. Seeking out some parallels, I suggest that our current world-wide reverence for Abraham Lincoln is not based upon the principles evidenced in his 1858 debates with Stephen Douglas:
I will say here, while upon this subject, that I have no purpose, directly or indirectly, to interfere with the institution of slavery in the States where it exists. I believe I have no lawful right to do so, and I have no inclination to do so. I have no purpose to introduce political and social equality between the white and the black races. There is a physical difference between the two which, in my judgment, will probably forever forbid their living together upon the footing of perfect equality; and inasmuch as it becomes a necessity there must be a difference, I, as well as Judge Douglas, am in favor of the race to which I belong having the superior position.
And confirmed in a second selection:
I will say then that I am not, nor ever have been, in favor of bringing about in any way the social and political equality of the white and black races; that I am not, nor ever have been, in favor of making voters or jurors of negroes, nor of qualifying them to hold office, nor to intermarry with white people; and I will say in addition to this that there is a physical difference between the white and black races which I believe will forever forbid the two races living together on terms of social and political equality. And inasmuch as they cannot so live, while they do remain together there must be the position of superior and inferior, and I, as much as any other man, am in favor of having the superior position assigned to the white race.
We do not treasure Abraham Lincoln for suggesting an amendment to the US Constitution declaring for all times to come that slavery be a constitutional establishment in the states threatening to become the confederacy. We do not look admiringly at the Abraham Lincoln who discussed with some black citizens of Washington DC an idea of shipping all black people to Africa. We do affirmatively identify Abraham Lincoln with his Emancipation Proclamation, with the 13th Amendment to the US Constitution, with the Gettysburg Address, with his Second Inaugural Speech. He was allowed to mature for himself and we accept that Abraham Lincoln, friend of Frederick Douglass.
Still across America, vast numbers of our citizens have not accepted the full equality of black people to white people. The racism is evidenced in our policing efforts in countless communities. The racism is evidenced in our voting systems and balloting efforts. The racism is evidenced in the funding of education and housing and healthcare. The racism in our nation is evidenced in the often fatal stress for pregnant black mothers who more often statistically lose their babies and/or lose their own lives due to that stress. The pressures of white majority rule still have us under the thumb of racism. The society is maturing slowly, but vast numbers of individuals have still not accepted the model of Abraham Lincoln, friend of Frederick Douglass.
That is not the issue facing Brett Kavanaugh. His issues stem from the dominance of men over women in our society. Questions and discussions can still be directed at Kavanaugh to see if he realizes the importance and ramifications of male dominance throughout our society and how male dominance should be considered in recalculated decisions by judges throughout the country. That male dominance to my thinking nullifies many of the precepts of strict constructionists, a conservative paradigm for interpreting the US Constitution and laws throughout the States.
Questions need to be put to Judge Kavanaugh about the social environment and mentality of his classmates during their high school years. Does he think those attitudes have completely disappeared in America? Does he think the full society is maturing at the same pace that he personally achieved between now and when he was 17 years old? Does he recognize how women and girls are belittled and held as responsible for their “misfortunes” by a skewed view of relationships, skewed by the male dominance in our society? Does he see that overwhelming numbers of men and “coming of age” boys still expect they have been offered social permission to mistreat women? Given these cultural truths and attitudes, does he still hold to ruling against women who accept the risks of abortions? These women are trying to care for their bodies, their health, and their futures as best as they can. For many women having an abortion is the choice they wish to make given their individual situations. Yet the male-dominated governments, medical fields, religious institutions, lobbying efforts and individualized relationships seem to be chiding women’s choices and preventing the unencumbered access to this medical option.
If Brett Kavanaugh can be converted in his thinking and in his morality through the process of the nomination hearings and questions like these, that could lead to be a more acceptable outcome that what was imagined before Christine Blasey Ford came forward with her story.