by Evert Cilliers aka Evert Eden
It was the most riveting TV of the 21st century.
Because we saw two American faces under the greatest strain.
Something you only see acted out in the final moments of some grand fictional drama. Something Eugene O’Neill might’ve written.
But here it was for real: an actual live event starring two actual live humans.
How do you think you would have acted under such trying circumstances? Who do you think showed most clearly that admirable Hemingway quality of “grace under pressure”?
There was the face of the woman.
Doctor Christine Blasey Ford.
Polite, modest, personable, reasonable, soft-spoken, civic-minded, rational, scientific (“hippocampus”).
And so female: accommodating, seemingly fragile but steely, and terribly anxious to please.
“Collegial” as she put it. And doing her best to be, in her own words, “more helpful.”
She was other-directed: how can I help you?
Cast as the accuser, Doctor Ford was anything but angrily accusatory. She had plenty to be angry about, but she wasn’t angry. She had plenty to cry about, but she didn’t cry. Yes, she teared up a lot. But she got at her most teary only when she was complimented on her bravery.
Under horrible circumstances, having to relive her trauma in front of an audience of millions and terrified, Doctor Ford was utterly endearing. Sweet. In fact, charming.
One wanted to reach out and comfort her.
She was the face of the American woman.
The good face of America.
Then there was the face of the man.
Loud, yelling, blustery, arrogant, dominant, accusatory, raging, belligerent, out-of-control, rude, the judicial temperament of Godzilla.
Judge Kavanaugh was self-directed: it was all about him.
And the weirdest part of all: he was a crybaby. Hey, people, I’m the big victim here. Please, you’ve got to feel sorry for me, because I’m so sorry for myself.
Such a crybaby. John Wayne would’ve been disgusted.
What a performance. Yes, Judge Kavanaugh performed, he acted out, he pulled a political stunt to appeal to Trump’s base of Fox News viewers, he even sprouted conspiracy-nut cant (“revenge on behalf of the Clintons” — dear lord).
Doctor Ford did not perform: she just was.
I believe she told the truth.
And I believe Judge Kavanaugh lied. Not only because of his big lie — that he didn’t do what Doctor Ford so vividly described — but also because of his little lies to make himself look better.
About “The Devil’s Triangle:” it’s not a drinking game, it’s a sexual threesome of two men and one woman.
About “have you boofed yet?:” it’s not about flatulence, it means anal sex.
About “Renate’s Alumni:” it didn’t mean she was a good friend, it was a frat-boy brag about sexual conquest.
About his drinking to black-out excess: “I like beer” was all he admitted. Kind of funny, that.
About the four people who were placed at the gathering by Doctor Ford, who all say they can’t recall it: Judge Kavanaugh kept saying they said it never happened. That was NOT what they said. That was what he wished they’d said.
A lying, self-pitying, blustering crybaby, who acted like a child whose candy was being snatched away from him.
Or who’d been caught with his hand in the cookie jar. Acting very guilty-seeming.
You didn’t want to reach out and comfort the man. You wanted to stand back from his rage, in case his spit splattered you.
What we saw was the face of the American male.
The face of aggrieved entitlement and privilege.
The face of toxic masculinity.
The bad face of America.
There was something fundamental and primeval about the event. It made me feel as though the entire history of humankind is about the struggle of women against men.
As if some kind of veil had been ripped off reality and revealed the soul and spirit of America for what it was.
The good and the bad America.
The male and the female America.
They ought to play the tape for school children. Teach them how to behave under stress. Learn what good and bad looks like.
It also showed us two very good examples of our elite. How they comport themselves. How our elite trains their elite-educated children: to be either nice or nasty, to either exult in their privilege (“I got into Yale”) or to be deprecatingly modest and fair-minded about it (“I like to be collegial”).
Anyway, this is what I saw. What did you see?
Did you believe and admire Doctor Ford?
Did you believe and admire Judge Kavanaugh? Inasmuch as you might’ve admired Judge Kavanaugh’s performance, you are part of bad America.
To get very political, this was also the face of the Democratic Party and the Republican Party. And time for a lament: is this what the GOP has come to? The party of Lincoln, of Eisenhower, of noblesse-oblige country-clubbers — is this party now the status-loss-anxiety pity party of privileged yahoos like Judge Kavanaugh and President Trump?
To stay political: what was up with the Dem senators? With Cory Booker and Kamala Harris? Here was Kavanaugh on the attack, arrogant and rude, and they just soft-ball him? Why didn’t they fight back as hard as he did? They style themselves to be Presidential contenders? Really? For that, you need a bit of gumption. Booker and Harris showed the gumption of a toasted marshmallow.
Why did not one Senate Democrat ask: Judge Kavanaugh, you lied to us before during these hearings, why should we believe you now?
Why did not one of them ask: Judge Kavanaugh, either you’re lying now or you were too drunk to remember that you tried to rape a fifteen-year-old girl — which is it?
Darn it, why are the Democrats such wimps? Why don’t they at least fight, even if they can’t bring themselves to fight dirty like the Republicans? Kavanaugh fought with everything he had — yet the Democrats did not fight him with one tiny percent of the big hundred percent he gave. He rolled over their polite questions like a tank. They even let him get away with being outright rude. Their civility was servile.
At present there’s only one fighter among our Democratic leaders: Senator Elizabeth Warren, who should run against Trump in 2020, because she’s the only Democrat up for a good fight. I would’ve dearly liked to see Senator Warren question Judge Kavanaugh: she would’ve taken him apart (like she’s done to some CEOs).
Two final questions.
Who would you yourself rather be: Doctor Ford or Judge Kavanaugh?
And who do you want the face of America to be: Doctor Ford or Judge Kavanaugh?
Let your vote this November be your answer.