September 28, 2018
The free press is under attack by the current administration. Which makes it all the more important. A pitfall the press must avoid at this time when facts are under assault is false equivalence. Saying there are two equivalent sides to the reality of man made climate change, for instance. Or implying that the Kavanaugh appointment boils down to, “he-said, she-said.”
There were headlines in both The Washington Post and The New York Times this morning that amounted to “he-said, she said.” It is unfortunate. What Dr. Christine Blasey Ford and Brett Kavanaugh had on the line is not only not equivalent, it is polar opposite. Dr. Blasey had everything to lose. She had nothing to gain besides the pride one has in acting with massive courage to do one’s civic duty. Kavanaugh, on the other hand, has a lifetime appointment to gain, as a political hack, to the U.S. Supreme Court. One has to weigh the evidence in this light. What does Dr. Blasey have to gain by lying? Nothing. What does Kavanaugh have to gain by lying? Everything. It is not equivalent.
Power will win in the short run and Kavanaugh will be appointed to the Supreme Court. A political hack in a robe. Republican leadership does not care if Trump is a pussy grabber or that Kavanaugh assaulted Blasey in high school. They care about power. When virtue and integrity are abandoned the ends always justify the means.
When virtue and integrity are abandoned the ends always justify the means.
But what will the long run bring for truth? Will enough women be outraged to be dismissed and not believed to swing the mid-term vote? It would seem so obvious that it would be so, but half of women voters are Republican and have a world view of what George Lakoff calls the “strict father” belief. These women are content to subordinate themselves. Their access to power is only if they have strong men they can be attached to. It seems to be okay with them if young women are assaulted and not okay if the assaults eventually reflect back on their strict father providers. Power is more important than integrity.
Republicans are committed to power over truth. How could they stomach Trump otherwise?
Democracy hangs in the balance. If the House or the Senate are not regained by Democrats, there will be no checks, no balance. The U.S. will be subjected to minority rule, as it currently is, and be perilously far down the slippery slope toward authoritarianism and fascism.