And we wait…for Kavanagh

Judge_Brett_Michael_Kavanaugh

The cloture vote is coming, and I suspect that Kavanaugh will be confirmed sometime tomorrow.

That makes me sad for a few reasons. This is one of those days I will use this as a diary, and diaries are where people write stuff when they’re sad, so here goes.

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The ideal Justice

Even with everything that’s going on, my guess is that Kavanaugh will still be confirmed, and will replace Justice Kennedy on the Supreme Court. I don’t want this, and I’m sad that it seems to be almost inevitable, but my dislike of the nomination has less to do with political ideology than those who know me might think. I expect that a republican president will nominate a conservative judge. I expect that the nominee will have views and positions on issues that go against what I want for the country. I am OK with that, and accept the fact that elections have consequences. Donald Trump won the election, and that means conservatives will be chosen to fill any seats open during his term. I just wish they were thoughtful conservatives. And that’s clearly not what we got with Kavanaugh.

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Do we want our leaders to lead, or follow?

Warning, this is about as late-night-dorm-room-super-high-contemplation-of-the-universe as it gets for me here, but I can’t help but think about this. It’s one of those many times where I don’t have an answer, which makes it perfect for how I’ve used this site in the past. Although I’ve pondered this question before, the coverage of Senator Collins and the Kavanaugh vote has it front and center. Before I delve in, here’s the basic question: do we elect somebody because we want them to make choices for us, or do we elect somebody because we think they’ll make the choices we would make? Essentially, do we want them to lead, or do we want them to follow?

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Is it racist?

We’re pretty good at recognizing explicit racism and bigotry when certain groups are targeted. We are pretty good at seeing racism against people of color, especially African-American/Black people. We see it pretty well when it’s pointed at Jews also. But sometimes it’s harder to see. A way to check is to change the subject of the discussion to a black man, or a Jew, and see if it sounds any alarm bells. Here’s one that I posted on Facebook yesterday:

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The problem with showmen

I’m fascinated by people like Ben Shapiro. He’s smooth, well-spoken, and he gets up on a stage and rattles off stuff like it’s all real. He has a strong following on social media, and conservatives seem to love him. I watch his videos from time to time, not necessarily videos that he posts, but videos of him, and I’m taken by some common themes. Let’s use this one as an example, after the fold.

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No more experts!

Image result for john brennan

I do not like politics of fear. I do not like making policies based on fear. I do not like using fear to play with people’s emotions. But, I am afraid. Genuinely afraid. I see a willful erosion of expertise in this country, and I fear the consequences will be worse than we can imagine. This is not a new feeling, but the removal of Brennan’s security clearance made it especially salient this morning. I recognize that this is a punitive act, and not directed at his expertise, but it’s all part of a bigger problem from my perspective.

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Embracing misinformation

Virtually everything Trump does requires his followers to be misinformed. This is not hyperbole, nor a false overgeneralization. His policies and rhetoric are overwhelmingly based on narrow views of people, the country, and the world. He paints a picture that is distorted as can be, then concocts harmful policy that serves a single purpose: get his followers to feel like he’s solving their problems (problems they didn’t face in the first place). My wish for us all is that we care when we are misinformed, and instead of attacking those who try to inform us (e.g., calling them “fakenews”), we welcome the education we receive.

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