Anxiety is on the rise, in people with and without a diagnosis. Our political climate affects us all—especially those of us in recovery, so that’s why I’m talking about it here. In the spirit of full disclosure, my first alliance is always to human rights, and I’m pretty much a good liberal. But it’s not important to me whether my friends are liberal or conservative—the world needs both.
A lot of folks on both sides of the aisle are in a tizzy over the Supreme Court pick. I’d rather have Kennedy still in his seat, and Kavanaugh isn’t making my best staunch conservative lawyer friend very happy, either. But this is not, as many pundits assert, “the end of the world as we know it.”
No, really! Please hear me out. Bear with me.
A fine American tradition is our two-party system with bipartisanship at the center. That’s still actually working in the judicial branch. The late Antonin Scalia, representing all evil to good liberals, and Ruth Bader Ginsberg (RBG to fangirls like me) representing all evil to conservatives, were actually—wait for it—friends.
Ginsberg, who sees the U.S. Constitution as a living document, with amendments improving it as society evolves (eg. the Reconstruction Amendments ensuring equal protection and due process—and freedom itself for African Americans!) was friends with the most Conservative guy on the bench.
The late Scalia was the brains behind the “Originalist” interpretation of the U.S. Constitution (which basically says it should be interpreted in the light of what my con-law prof called “the 1776 bunch” would have wanted—as IF they could have magically anticipated a world with nuclear weapons and internet pundits!!!). He was friends with Ginsberg. There’s also the important idea that we need to consider the abolitionist authors of the Reconstruction Amendments as founders, too. But there’s a middle ground, where both interpretations meet.
Donald Trump is not a proper conservative like Scalia. Trump’s a reality TV star who flaunts the constitution, and I think Scalia would be pissed if he were alive. Trump is a racist casino owner. He calls immigrants parasites and cockroaches. He mocked a disabled person on tv. He’s vile.
But that’s not what the SCOTUS nomination is about. Trump didn’t prepare the list; a group of conservative jurists called The Federalist Society did. They’re qualified attorneys with degrees, experience, and proper scholarship. I don’t agree with them in general; I’m team Ginsberg, and they’re team Scalia. But both teams share a commitment to the fairness of the judiciary branch.
There is hope for all of us. And in these troubled times, when anxiety grips us like an anaconda’s death embrace, I’m saying this is one less thing we need to freak out about. It’s going to be okay.
But there are other things out there—like the ongoing refugee crisis—that we need to fix. Vote. Organize. Pray. Work. But also, talk to people on the other side of the aisle. Be like Ginsberg and Scalia. We can all work together for the good of our country. Republicans and Democrats, conservatives and liberals, can work together. We can be bipartisan.
If Kavanaugh is confirmed, I believe Roberts will be a swing vote, and not much will change in the Supreme Court.
Ginsberg and Scalia didn’t vote together, but they respected each other, and were able to work together, and even play together. Here is a picture of the two of them riding elephants together:
In other words, the Zombie Apocalypse may come yet, but Kavanaugh isn’t it.