by Scott Ragsdale
Part 1 – You Can Kill the Messenger.
“What a message to send to the world. “If you are powerful and entitled, just shout loud enough and you will seem genuine. Show enough contempt for due process and you will be rewarded for standing firm. Harangue lawmakers and you will be fawned over and your nomination fast-tracked.” Sasha Abramsky, UC Davis Instructor and author of “Jumping at Shadows: The Triumph of Fear and the End of the American Dream.” (Sacramento Bee, California Forum 1D October 7, 2018).
By the narrowest margin possible Kavanaugh was forced through by the Senate’s slimmest majority. There was never any intention to seek consensus. The ideology that controls the Republican party has made it clear that they don’t intend to lead through consensus or even by democratic majority. They are “all-in” on “strong man” authoritarianism.
The choice to infect the court reveals the far right’s ideological desperation and hubris. Those in the Senate majority know that Kavanaugh greatly improves their chances of walking away from indictments that will be made against the administration and Congress. These indictments will come because the majority will no longer be Republicans in the House and Senate. Such will be the success of this midterm election and if not entirely this election than future elections.
In her statement, Christine Blasey-Ford said she was reluctant to even notify her federal government of Kavanaghs’ assault. “It seemed like it (his appointment) was inevitable.” An emerging pattern of abusive behavior not was enough to dissuade the Senate majority from seeking an alternative. With misplaced conviction, the Republican leadership has vanquished the Court and the confidence of a generation of women and the men who love them. Ford’s lawyers on Friday denounced the Senate and the FBI probe, calling the inquiry “not a meaningful investigation in any sense of the word. (Carla Herreria POLITICS 10/06/2018)
Christine stood up for human dignity and we all owe her our gratitude for doing so. Her effort will not be in vain. Her presence exposed the Senate majority’s false pretense to represent all Americans. Instead they made a display of ignoring a majority of Americans. Human rights have been for some time more universally applied outside of the United States than in it. This fact is now squarely before the public. The extreme right in power will now try to use the national bench to end the livelihood and lives of those that insist on a living wage and self-determination, who are black or brown or female or lbgtq or a who strives to live as a zero-footprint species.
Validating a Tragedy
We the violated will continue to insist on our dignity and place in society by building a culture of showing up and regular participation by all. At the same time, there is a need to recognize harm when harm is done. I am in mourning and while in mourning I want to show my solidarity and respect for the women in my life. We shed tears together as my heart and the hearts of the majority of the nation have been broken.
To the women in my life, those in my home, those I swim with, those in yoga class, those I danced with and those that I have worked and work with now – I don’t expect you to be holding back anything – not a thing to curb your legitimate despair. Invite yourselves to express it entirely and without boundaries at least until the body requires you to return to make the most of your conscious gift of life in other ways. If you do place your grief away – for now – we are here if you choose to share it in the future – to validate your hurt and the hurt in others and take the time to be in the pain with community. I am and I will.
Scott Ragsdale is a Davis resident and the former general manager of Davis Roots, the business accelerator fostering economic development in Davis.