A “mistake” at 17 should not ruin a life…

While awaiting the testimony of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, next week, the one thing to keep in mind is that if her story is deemed credible, Judge Kavanaugh’s fate should not be determined based solely on his alleged actions at age 17.  His fate should be determined based on his actions every day after the alleged attempted rape.  More on that, in a moment.

The initial #GOP defense for Judge Brett Kavanaugh centered around what seemed to be an unassailable denial that Kavanaugh was capable of assaulting Dr. Christine Blasey Ford when he was only 17 and she was 15.  The defense transitioned to one that suggested that even if the event had occurred, he was very young. Furthermore, the person he was, then, should have no bearing on who he is as a human being, now.  There has been an outpouring of sympathy, for Judge Kavanaugh, matched by a myriad of doubt, derision, and outright character assassination for Dr. Ford.  Ford is even faulted for not, at 15, taking on a system that has storied tradition of secondary victimization of  adult rape survivors who dare to step forward and name their attackers.  What hope would she have had?

Why didn’t Ford tell someone, more than three decades ago when the event allegedly took place?  I think the answer can be found in the numerous attempts by critics to unveil every detail of Dr. Ford’s life – while ignoring the unanswered questions about Judge Kavanaugh’s spending habits and outstanding debts, which are also relevant to any decision to grant him a lifetime appointment to the bench.

If less than a third of sexual assaults are reported, and less than 5% of perpetrators are convicted, what hope did a 15 year-old have at the time of the alleged, brutal, assault?  We understood even less about rape and rape survivors then than we do, now.

Rape Justice System RAINN.Org.png

 

I would strongly urge anyone reading this blog entry to make your way to RAINN to learn more about sexual assault and its impact on survivors of violence.  I strongly urge you to urge your member of congress to do the same.  I fear for Dr. Ford in her appearance before the Senate Judiciary committee, given the comments and excuses I have read regarding  Judge Kavanaugh’s presumed innocence, at best, and newly limited culpability, at worst.

Is he the same person who, at 17, is alleged to have engaged in such a brutal assault of a 15-year-old teenage girl?  Most likely not, but if he is guilty, he is the same man who  lived every day of his life without once apologizing to his victim or taking responsibility for that day.  If he is guilty, he allowed Dr. Ford to live every day of her life with self-doubt, fear, shame, anger, and a sense of loss that impacted her life to the point of needing support and care to try to recover from the event.  The #GOP is mounting it’s own “Brock Turner defense” in which Turner’s father commented that 20 minutes of action shouldn’t ruin his son’s entire life.

I think it is telling that the Good Ole’ Privilege party views the event from the perspective of the alleged perpetrator and not the alleged victim.  If guilty, Judge Kavanaugh has seemingly moved on and, to our knowledge, has not sought help for any guilt or despair associated with attacking another person.  Dr. Ford has lived with her trauma for more than 30 years. She has not forgotten the clothing she wore, the sound of the music getting louder, the smell of alcohol on her attacker, the hand that covered her mouth, the friends in the house who could not hear her screams, and her own feelings of despair thinking that she would become a rape victim.

If her story is accepted as credible, Judge Kavanaugh is not being criticized and held accountable solely for his actions as a 17 year-old, but for his actions every day since then and his refusal to take responsibility for \the scars his actions left on the psyche of another human being.  If our elected #GOP officials don’t understand that, they are even less deserving of their positions than any nominee they would send to the bench.

Jack Bryan’s”Active Measures” is yet another wake up call.

Instead of weeping over the state of our nation, we should be thinking of how to become proactive in defending her and protecting our values.  We know that we cannot trust the current #GOP-led congress to stand up for our values or to protect low-income and middle-income Americans..  Protecting our American identity has to come from the only source that truly matters: the voters. If you are not registered to vote, you need to be:

 

I hope you will consider watching the Jack Bryan documentary “Active Measures”. There are no anti-Clinton level tin-foil conspiracy theories, here.  There are documented pieces of evidence which do not require “interpretation”, or even misinterpretation, to connect Donald J. Trump to Russian intelligence and Russian oligarchs.  Those ties simply exist and have been openly discussed by credible journalists even before Nov. 2016.

I would also urge you to read EVERYTHING written by journalists Sarah Kendzior and  Kurt Eichenwald, and former intelligence officer, Malcolm Nance.  Follow them on twitter:  @MalcolmNance  @sarahkendzior and @kurteichenwald.

Mr. Nance is a former intelligence officer with more than 36 years of experience and a specialization in studying Russian Cyber espionage.  I think it would be fair to call it warfare, now  While Donald Trump was attacking Ronald Reagan for his Russia policy and was lobbying to be appointed an ambassador to Russia, Mr. Nance was putting his life on the line to keep America safe from Russia’s imposing reach.  If it’s happening now? Malcolm Nance has already predicted it.

Kendzior has written extensively about the anatomy of authoritarian governments, and routinely writes about tendencies in the current WH administration to make huge swings away from our representative government to one in which the voice of the people is primarily ignored when those voices are inconsistent with will of a fickle Donald Trump.  Where else would you go to be educated about words like kakistocracy?

Much of Eichenwald’s work on this topic was written as a warning prior to the election and feels like a road map for any investigation into the relationship between Mr. Trump and his Russian business “friends” — who seemed to think that buying into Trump businesses also means buying into America’s representative democracy.  Eichenwald has been inside of #Trump’s head for a long time… and for that he has both my sympathies and gratitude.  I wish more of us had listened to him before the general election.

My gift to you?  The Nance/ Kendzior/ Eichenwald “starter pack”.  Read, weep if you must, and then roll up your sleeves and get to work for the midterm elections!

Nance

The Plot to Hack America: How Putin’s Cyberspies and WikiLeaks Tried to Steal the 2016 Election

The Plot to Destroy Democracy: How Putin and His Spies Are Undermining America and Dismantling the West

Kendzior

The View from Flyover Country: Dispatches from the Forgotten America

Kendzior’s numerous scholarly publications.

 

 

 

Eichenwald

How the Trump Organization’s Foreign Business Ties Could Upend U.S. National Security

Trump Apparently Quotes Russian Propaganda To Slam Clinton On Benghazi

A People’s History of Donald Trump’s Business Busts and Countless Victims