After stewing all week over the scene in Washington I decided to write an op-ed letter to send to our local newspaper, the Joplin Globe. I don’t know if they will have room for it this Sunday, but anyhow, here it is:
Today I heard GOP chairman Grassley accuse Democrats of being “monstrous” in their opposition to nominee Kavanaugh. Since November 2016 I’ve voted Democrat and I don’t feel that believing the following makes me a monster:
• Government should help people and solve problems.
• Keynesian economics makes sense and stimulus funds are a remedy for recessions.
• Government ought not promote any religion over another, but treat all equally.
• Capital punishment does little to deter crime and is more expensive than life sentences.
• A woman ought to have control of her own body and has a right to the same dignity afforded a man.
• I have a right to own guns (I do) but not machine guns, bazookas or surface-to-air missiles.
• What goes on in bedrooms by mutually consenting adults is none of the government’s business.
• Environmental programs are needed to keep the planet livable for everyone.
Relative to Senator Grassley’s charge, he and the GOP should recognize that judge Kavanaugh voluntarily entered the profession of politics knowing its nature (judges are elected) and that failing to meet the standards for a Supreme Court lifetime appointment is hardly shameful. The hearing was not a trial but rather a job interview. To take criticism and background interviews as personal attacks is to mischaracterize them. His family was not “destroyed” in the process. His angry performance is evidence to me that he lacks the detachment, political impartiality and temperament for the job. He’s a good man but just not the right man.
How can we begin to heal the terrible partisan divide in our country? I have a suggestion: ranked choice voting, a.k.a. instant runoff voting, in primaries. (You can look it up.) It is designed to favor moderates over extremists. Maine will become the first state to use it next Tuesday, 9 October.