THIS MONTH, THIS magazine will have arrived in your mailbox beside an abundance of political flyers — each preying on emotions of fear, hope, and loyalty. I wasn’t planning to focus on politics here and Jim Wood is certainly a hard act to follow. For years he has shared his top election picks and poked at legislation he didn’t agree with, which brought us many colorful letters. I hesitate to write about politics because, for me, it’s like trying to discuss what really happened at that one Thanksgiving dinner, after Grandma died, when the family stopped talking to each other; without her stern yet loving leadership, desparate fractures were allowed to prevail.
However, as I write this letter Brett Kavanaugh has been confirmed as a Supreme Court justice, and I can write about how I feel as a woman, with two daughters. It’s hard to not feel slighted. Regardless of which network or news source I watched, I felt like I was watching a panel of mostly white, mostly old men vote in a slightly younger version of themselves. And I will go out on a limb here (bring on the letters): our newest Supreme Court justice did not act very judge-like during the hearings. Instead, he lashed out and behaved more like an entitled child who wasn’t getting the lifetime job with the floor-length robe, further reinforcing the country-club stereotype that emerged front and center during the hearings. To borrow a line from one of my favorite TV series, Shameless, “He was born on third base, and thinks he hit a triple.” I feel like we must have better options. I digress, and I guess I did get political.
I’m not a Democrat, nor am I a Republican, but seeing Kavanaugh voted in (by men and women) so quickly, despite the national outcry, befuddles me. I understand the concept of voting party lines; I grew up in a good ol’ GOP household and had the honor of sharing an intimate Thanksgiving dinner with John and Cindy McCain, where we sat around the table and listened with awe as he told us about his time in prison camp, his hands still deformed from torture. A famously privileged upbringing didn’t spoil McCain’s grit. His patriotism, elegance, and loyalty gave me such a sense of pride in being an American.
Then came Ronald Reagan. Don’t shoot me, Marin, but as a freshman in college, I was quoted in The New York Times saying, “I voted for Reagan, because my grandfather said, ‘You’re going to end up a Republican; you might as well start now.’” This did not make me very popular on campus. But alas, I held my head high and kept voting Republican. My tune changed during George W. Bush’s first term when I felt deeply betrayed by his disregard for the environment. And I wasn’t too keen about going to war. From that point on, I voted for the person, not the party, and I find it’s easier for me to sleep at night.
I was upset about the quick confirmation, but I’ve already moved on. I look forward to seeing who will step up in reaction to the far right. We will get through this and I would like to think the aforementioned old white men, who seem bent on controlling our reproductive rights and choice of marital partners, have their hearts in the right place. We (my women folk) just don’t want them legislating our life choices. OK, now that I’ve gotten that off my chest, we can get to the heart of this issue: you, voting. We live in the best country on the planet, and as many would say, the best county in the country — let’s keep it that way.