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Kavanaugh: women and the fight for democracy

Ethel Long-Scott, Executive Director, Women’s Economic Agenda Project  |  Issue: November | December 2018

Placing Judge Brett Kavanaugh on the Supreme Court shows how determined the rulers are to destroy democracy. His many previous rulings were anti-women, anti-labor, anti-environment and pro-corporate. The women and men who raised their voices to challenge him were belittled. Neither the Supreme Court nor the Senate majority are impartial or unbiased. They seem to believe that defenders of democracy, women and others marginalized have no rights they are bound to respect.

Challengers like #MeToo and #Timesup and others initially came together to stop an accused sexual predator from handing another accused predator a lifetime appointment on our highest court. Then the fight turned to supporting Kavanaugh’s accuser, giving voice to how half the population suffers from male supremacy, at work, at home, in schools, everywhere. At each step they were ignored, lied to, belittled, treated with no respect. They learned the system they were up against is rotten to the core. Women are fed up and enraged.

The corporations now more firmly control all three branches of our national government—executive, legislative, and judiciary. To achieve that much power, they crushed democracy by choking off a thorough investigation of the charges against Kavanaugh. Instead of being fair, many Judiciary Committee senators mocked Dr. Christine Blasey Ford and millions of #MeToo women. When other women made their grievances heard they were branded “a mob,” suggesting that seeking justice is now a criminal offense.

The Kavanaugh hearing was a sham. Sexual assault survivors stood up, spoke out and took every opportunity to expose the routine lack of respect and dereliction of duty by the national government. Kavanaugh is the most recent battering ram used to further break down our democracy, in this case, by denying that rape and abuse of women and girls even happens. This is pure homegrown fascism, government officials ignoring the wishes of the people, instead doing the bidding of corporations that value profits above people. Those protesting on behalf of survivors were defending democracy by siding with the women against the corporate dictators.

So what now? The situation, for women, workers, people of color, immigrants and the poor is growing grimmer by the moment. The billionaires running the Trump Administration wielded the tool of male supremacy as deftly as they have wielded the race and anti-immigrant cards throughout America’s history to keep we-the-people at one another’s throats. The rulers scramble to squeeze profits from a dying system of capitalism that is being destroyed by expanding digital production without human workers. Dying capitalism has nothing to offer the vast majority of workers but austerity, abuse, addiction, homelessness, jail, child theft, poverty, violence, privatizing public resources like water and education, and planet destruction. Smashing democracy shuts down dissent and is the rulers’ way of ridding the system of excess workers.

We need a political movement to right these wrongs. The survivors united to demand our government believe the women, and provide safety, economic security and human dignity. The protestors proceeded from what we have in common, regardless of dividing lines. What we have in common is a need for the cooperative ownership of the basic necessities of life. We need a national movement to reconstruct a healing, supportive and cooperative society where all of us can thrive. Follow the example of the protesting women and move from this moment of resistance to a political movement for safety, economic security, and justice.

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