Brett Kavanaugh's Induction Reminds Us That America Is Deeply Divided And Every Vote Counts

Brett Kavanaugh's Induction Reminds Us That America Is Deeply Divided And Every Vote Counts

There are three important takeaways.


As we all know by now, the United States Supreme Court swore in Brett Kavanaugh as its newest member to replace retired justice Anthony Kennedy. A former White House Staff Secretary under George W. Bush and judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit for 12 years, Kavanaugh's political career has been lengthy. However, he has also met his fair share of controversy throughout his career, including recent sexual assault allegations. There have been varying reactions to Kavanaugh's induction to the Supreme Court, but there are significant things to be gathered from it, including what his new status means for Americans and the United States.

Before his induction to the Supreme Court, Kavanaugh was known as a judge for the U.S. Court of Appeals. He made his stance on several political topics visible, including abortion, environmental regulation, certain Constitutional Amendments, and national security, among others. The Washington Post found that Kavanaugh possessed the most or second-most conservative voting record on the court during his tenure.

Kavanaugh's prominence was greatly enhanced when U.S. President Donald Trump publicly nominated him for the position of Associate Justice of the Supreme Court after former justice Kennedy announced his retirement. Kavanaugh was immediately met with negative reception by the public, having Gallup Inc.'s highest opposition since Robert Bork in 1987 at 42%.

After discovering that Kavanaugh was a nominee for the Supreme Court, Palo Alto University professor Christine Blasey Ford notified her native congresswoman Anna Eshoo that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her in high school. Ford confided that the incident occurred at a house party and that she feared for her life. This was followed by another allegation from an anonymous woman, who stated Kavanaugh assaulted her in high school as well.

Because of these allegations, Kavanaugh received opposition from the public. However, a poll by YouGov/The Economist revealed that 55% of Republicans supported his nomination even if the sexual assault allegations raised against him were true. 13% of Democrats announced the same, comprising 28% of the sample size.

On October 5, the Senate voted 51-49 to bring Kavanaugh to a final floor vote the next day. On October 6, Kavanaugh was sworn in as the 114th Associate Justice of the Supreme Court after a Senate confirmation of 50-48.

Here are three important takeaways:

1. A candidate can achieve a high position of power even if serious allegations have been raised against them. 

This can be said for any political candidate, but it certainly shone through here.

2. Congress is deeply divided. 

This is true of the United States and its citizens, and it is a direct result of politicians of opposing parties not being able to agree on certain matters. This division could remain for a long time, regardless of nominees.

3. Every vote counts. 

There was only a two-vote difference between the final two decisions, and if this does not stress to Americans the importance of voting, it is difficult to imagine what will.

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The Impact Of Technology On The Younger Generation

What effect will growing up in an “age of technology” have on the younger generation?

By now, everyone knows what a prominent role technology plays in our society. It is nearly impossible to go a day without hearing something about technology on the news in some form, whether it is good or bad. Usually, these stories focus on the effect that it has on teenagers, since they are the group that is most heavily involved with using it; however, now, more than ever, kids and pre-teens are beginning to use technology just as much as teenagers and adults do. Unlike teenagers and adults, though, the younger generation has been raised with this constant influx of technology around them— they practically do not know life without it. What does this mean for them? What kind of impact will this have on them, both now and in the future? Overall, will this have a positive or negative effect on how they grow up?

In a way, growing up in an “age of technology” is a double-edged sword. While it has an abundance of advantages, it has just as many, if not more, disadvantages.

First, the advantages. The use of technology from a very young age helps in schools, due to the fact that it helps students want to learn, as well as makes it possible for each student to learn at their own pace. Additionally, it allows learning to become more interactive than it has ever been before. Kids essentially have the world readily available at their fingertips— if they want to know something they can look it up on the Internet and in just a few seconds have an answer.

Then, for the disadvantages, which many argue are much stronger than the advantages. Growing up with technology continuously around them, kids have a greater chance of becoming dependent on it, and become overly used to relying on it for everything. Among other effects, this can have a serious impact on their social skills. If kids and pre-teens communicate primarily through texting, social media, etc., from a young age, it is all they will know, and, as they get older, they will not be able to interact with others the same way they would if they were behind the screen of a device.

Kids are also more likely to follow what they see. For example, if they see their older sibling or parent constantly on their phone or laptop, they will do the same. Most kids today would rather stay inside and watch television or play video games then go outside to play. If they learn these habits now, it will be incredibly hard for them to break out of them. This will only lead to future generations becoming more and more introverted and technology obsessed in the years to come.

The bottom line is that having kids and pre-teens grow up in a world that is so influenced by technology has both good and bad effects on them. There is nothing wrong with their use of it, as long as it is balanced with them doing activities that kids should be doing, like going outside and playing catch or jumprope, or reading a book. There is no escaping technology— society just needs to learn how to use it in a way that is more beneficial than it is harmful.

Cover Image Credit: Ralph Nader Radio Hour

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Our Leaders Need A 'Time-Out'

We all learned a few essential rules as children.


As I look watch the news, I can't help but wonder if the lessons we learned as children might not serve our leaders well. They seem to have forgotten these basic lessons. I am reminded of the book by Robert Fulghum "All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten."

Watch out, hold hands, and stick together.

I think this could be useful in a couple of different contexts. First, the current divisiveness in the country doesn't serve us well. We are first and foremost, a part of the family of humankind. Differences in politics, religion, and so on come in far behind that one important attribute. What happened to the notion of agreeing to disagree?

Second, when leaders get off a plane in another country, they should remember who they came with and who they represent - "watch out, hold hands, and stick together."

Clean up your own mess.

Trump seems to take great pleasure in blaming everyone else for their "mess." The government shutdown was someone else's fault – any Democrat. When the stock market went up, he happily took credit, but when it went down, he quickly shifted gears and placed the blame on the Federal Reserve Chairman. Daily and hourly tweets out of the White House place blame on someone else for his "mess." Sadly, he still likes to blame Obama and Hillary for his mess.

Don't lie.

Politicians have always had a bad reputation when it comes to honesty. Still, the number of lies that we hear from Trump (and members of his staff) is unprecedented even for a politician.

We all learned these lessons when we were little more than five years old. Now more than any time in history I think our leaders need a " time out" to re-learn these lessons.

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