The Aftermath of Kavanaugh & The Midterms
More than anything, we believed Dr. Christine Blasey-Ford when she risked her safety and reputation to testify against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. Dr. Blasey-Ford expressed how much she has lost to do her civic duty. From having to move houses to being accosted at the University where she works, Dr. Blasey-Ford did not personally reap any benefits from her testimony against Kavanaugh. However, an entire influential group of women in the United States gained a voice, a sister. A few months before a major midterm election, American women were infuriated by a poised and credible voice being ignored through the confirmation of Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.
Since Dr. Blasey-Ford’s voice was silenced, American women made it difficult for their voices and votes to be silenced too.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Ilhan Omar. Many, many others. The youngest, the first Latinx, first African American, first Native Americans, first lesbian mothers were elected to numerous different offices throughout the nation on November 6th. In Arizona, a historically heavily Republican state, votes are still being counted that could elect a democratic, bi-sexual female senator (Kyrsten Cinema), and a Latinx female Attorney General (January Contreras)-- just to name a few positions still up in the air. It is not coincidental that this midterm election expanded representation in American politics at a rapid rate. Women were angry, and more importantly, they were motivated.
Obviously, there were losses for Progressive and diverse women across the nation. However, with the increasingly divisive state of U.S. politics since the 2014 and 2016 elections, the impact of these wins should not be downplayed. They should not only be celebrated, but used as ammunition to take these movements further. The midterm showed that in some capacities, exercising your hard-earned right to vote can have an impact on the shaping of the political system. This fact only emphasizes the necessity to also get involved in other means because the system can only improve from here, especially in the hands of women and underrepresented groups.
Dr. Blasey-Ford exercised her patriotic spirit and civic engagement through utilizing her First Amendment right to express a truth she experienced in her life. She referred to this as a civic duty, because her knowledge and participation can positively impact the lives of other Americans. And that is what is prioritized in a democracy.