Opinion: United States needs honorable leaders

General Opinion Graphic

Ramzy Al-mulla, Columnist

“It doesn’t matter. We won.” 

That is what President Donald Trump said during an interview on CBS’s 60 Minutes when asked to clarify whether he believes if Christine Blasey Ford lied about her allegations of sexual assault against newly appointed Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh. 

Their strategy was pretty simple–deny everything and dismiss it as a partisan attack. The strategy saw great success when Justice Clarence Thomas was appointed under a similar controversy in 1991. While Ford’s allegations against Kavanaugh were based on physical sexual assault, Hill’s allegations against Thomas were regarding verbal sexual harassment.

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Describing the abuse, Hill said “his conversations were very vivid. He spoke about acts that he had seen in pornographic films involving such matters as women having sex with animals, and films showing group sex” and scenes of sexual assault. “On several occasions Thomas told me graphically of his own sexual prowess,” Hill said. 

In short, he abused his position of power over a woman to assert his unrequited feelings, to get her attention, like a fifth grader pulling a girl’s hair. 

Thomas was confirmed with a 52-48 vote, largely divided along the same party lines as Kavanaugh’s vote of 50-48. In the simplest terms, both polarizing confirmations revolved around a fairly basic question–is political ideology more important than character when it comes to choosing who holds office? 

Having appointed two deeply conservative judges to the highest court despite serious infringements of multiple individuals’ right to personal sovereignty, the Republican Party has made their position pretty clear.

The senators who confirmed Kavanaugh truly represent their constituents. They represent those who elected Donald Trump as president despite countless serious allegations and scandals, and nominated Roy Moore–a pedophile–to replace Jeff Sessions’ Alabama senate seat. He may have lost, but he was still twice elected Chief Justice of Alabama.

Moore got banned from an Alabama mall by one of his accusers, and went on to be in charge of the highest court in the state. It’s suddenly not so surprising that Kavanaugh made it, considering the people already in charge.

What sets Kavanaugh apart from both Thomas and Moore, however, is his unsettling relevance to the greater story around the Trump Administration.

Commenting on what motivated senators to push Kavanaugh through, Oregon State University Professor of Political Science, Richard Clinton said, “he has established a record of absolving the President of any kind of responsibility while he’s in office,” something the congressmen themselves are relying on as well.

Buried under the typhoon of “breaking” news produced every day, several Republican congressmen have been accused of things like insider trading, insider loaning–just general, run of the mill sleazy stuff. Kavanaugh happens to have consistently voiced the opinion that federal officials should not be held to state-level indictments (ie. insider trading). 

This has plagued the news cycle for so many years because half the voting population genuinely does not care about what a nominee has said or done. Many of them only vote because of a single issue such as abortion, gun-rights or taxes.

Although they are aware a great many issues plague American politics, most millennials do not know the full extent or choose to resign themselves to disillusion rather than stay actively informed. 

According to Professor Bill Lunch, another professor of political science at OSU, “the great majority of young potential voters aren’t outraged about political developments, they are scarcely aware of them.”

This must change if the corrupt cycle of power is ever going to end.