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The Pervasive Power of Politics

The U.S. Supreme Court, Washington, DC

Politics, we hate it, we love it. Like the firefly to the fire, we can’t seem to separate ourselves from its pervasive power.

We speak of being open to all ideas, but in truth, most of us are not. We each have a set of beliefs and despite the words that come from our mouths, our thoughts are set in an almost immovable position. This is what our world has become; like it or not, it is who we have become.

A perfect example is the current Supreme Court nomination (debacle) of Brett Kavanaugh.

Republicans are willing and anxious to elevate him to the Court despite the credible allegations set forth against him.

Democrats want to prevent his confirmation at all costs. They hope beyond hope that somehow by blocking Kavanaugh and holding that seat open a Democratic president will be elected in 2020 and an associate justice more to their liking will be nominated.

Politics is dirty, dirty, dirty. It is all about power.

The Republicans realized a long time ago that the power of politics resided both in the senators and representatives they elected and in the court appointments that senators ratify- appointments that in can last decades and impact the lives of every American.

Sen. Lindsay Graham (R-SC)

These senators and representativesare so committed to this ideal that they are willing to impale themselves and their careers in the name of achieving this end. And while representatives do not have a direct vote in the confirmation process, they view Supreme Court appointments in a political lens and use their influence to back their president’s choice, regardless.

This is exactly what is happening today with the Kavanaugh nomination.

But with all of its emotion and anger — and even the Republicans’ last-minute forced reversal on the background check — the fight over Kavanaugh’s nomination shows how the dynamics of the #MeToo movement have begun to thread their way into American life.

Republicans know full well they may well lose the votes of many women, supported by #MeToo, #Times Up and other movements, if they vote for Kavenaugh. Yet, they are willing to do so because the prize is the Court. It is all about the power.

Democrats Need to Get Tough

Republicans come to a fight armed with knives; Democrats with congeniality. We need to put ourselves on an equal playing field. So often Democrats take the majority, but rarely are we able to retain it because we do not demonstrate the tenacity required. In other words – WE ARE TOO NICE.

We need to take power in the legislature, in courts, in every aspect of (political) life. Unless we do, nothing will ever, ever change. They are not going to give it to us. We have to take it. That doesn't mean taking the low road traveled by many politicians; it means working hard and presenting our case effectively to the American people, both locally and nationally.

Taking power back begins now, but be mindful that complacency is our enemy. We cannot be satisfied with a November win and then go back to a sedentary existence. We must look to 2020 and beyond because if we don’t, I think you know what will happen and then there will be another “Kavanaugh” appointed to the Bench.

Sandy Kohn is the former administrator of a long term substance abuse program and a former critical care nurse. Sandy has said that if she had her life to do over, she would be an author. She is a committed Democrat.

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