I have been reluctant to comment on the Kavanaugh character assassination, because it’s just disgusting and despicable. I also try to avoid the topics that really send my blood pressure up. This one makes me seethe every time I think about how this man’s life is being destroyed for two reasons: the politics of revenge (for Merrick Garland); and to ensure that the US continues to allow women to kill innocent babies for convenience. Enough has been written already about the abject lack of evidence for any of these claims that I’m not going to rehash those points. You can read about it in the many great posts that have been made here at The Resurgent, starting with this one. If you believe the allegations anyway, despite the complete lack of credibility, you may have an axe to grind, and you should reflect on that. I guarantee it isn’t making your life better; it is dragging you down. It’s time to let it go.
At times like these, I try to remind myself about how dirty politics has been in the past. For example, a surrogate for John Adams warned that, should Thomas Jefferson be elected president, “we would see our wives and daughters the victims of legal prostitution.” Wow! In response, a Jefferson surrogate stated that Adams “possessed a hideous hermaphroditical character.” I suppose today that would just be considered gender fluid, and in many circles would not be such an insult after all, but these were certainly different times. It is important to note that Adams and Jefferson became very good friends at the end of their lives, proving that there is always room for reconciliation.
That said, it is extremely disheartening to see what is going on. The Left is overflowing with smug outrage, seemingly giddy at the prospect that Kavanaugh is a sexual predator, because it would give them what they want. Meanwhile, the Right has been outraged over all the outrage from the Left, and civil or productive discourse has completely left the building. I’m skeptical we had much left, but this seems to be the nail in the coffin.
Can we learn anything from the eventual reconciliation, after twelve years of angry silence, of Adams and Jefferson? What brought the bitter rivals back together in the end was finding something in common, despite all their bitterly divisive ideologies. A mutual friend, Benjamin Rush, had passed away, and Jefferson wrote to give the news to Adams. In the letter, he mused that they were now two of only twelve signers of the Declaration of Independence left living. This was enough to begin a friendly correspondence that lasted the rest of their lives, another thirteen years.
Is there anything left that both sides in this country can come back together on? Is there yet one solid foundation that we all can still find agreement on? Or is all hope for any unity now lost? I’m really not sure.
Our country was founded with the motto: E Pluribus Unum: From Many, One. These days all we seem to care about is the Many remaining Many. Tribalism has overtaken Unity as the highest value in the land, and we have lost the soul of what once brought us together.
We found it on 9/12, when we were more united than we have been since World War II ended. We pulled together when we realized what mattered most: family, friends, charity and selflessness. Do you remember the lines at the blood banks, and the millions we raised to help the victims? It didn’t take very long for things to tear us apart again, and that certainly deserves a deeper dive, but for that brief time, we were the embodiment of E Pluribus Unum once again, and it felt great!
We need to once again find something that brings us back from the brink, something to unite us as before. We need to drop the petty partisan politics, the tribalism, the revenge politics, the winning at all costs mentality, and even the basic idea that our side must win and the other side must lose. We need to stop seeing each other as the enemy if they don’t fall into lock-step with every trace of our ideology, and learn to give each other space to be the unique people that God created us all to be. That is true diversity. We need to heal, on an individual level and on a societal level, and stop holding each other responsible for the real and imagined evils of Western Civilization as a whole. We must start looking forward with forgiveness, love, and empathy. We must find that thing that will bring us back together and cling to it, tightly this time. Jesus explained that a house divided against itself cannot stand, and we are on that precipice right now. There is still time to step back and come together again, but we must do it soon, before it is too late.