So… it’s been a hot sec since I last posted. In truth, I’ve spent the majority of this last month thinking about my role as a blogger and struggling to determine how transparent to be on this platform I’ve built over the past five years.
Last month, we confirmed a man to a lifetime position on the Supreme Court. A man who had been accused of assault and – whether he was guilty of that 30-year-old crime or not – responded to those allegations by:
- Discounting the pain that assault survivors face every day, and
- Blaming the other political party for the entire situation in which he had found himself.
But more on that later.
In the event you’re one of those people who only likes to read above the fold and then scroll through pictures, I have one message for you to take from this post:
You need to vote. Why? For starters, too many people are dying of gun violence in schools, synagogues, and grocery stores for you to stay silent. Women’s rights over their own bodies is once again being called under question. Minority groups are being persecuted, and hate crimes in this country continue to rise. As divisive, partisan, and ugly as it may seem, too much is happening in this country for you to sit back and do nothing this midterm election season. So you need to vote.
What I’m Wearing:
Dress: Gal Meets Glam | Blazer: J.Crew, old (similar)
Shoes: Chanel (similar and under $100!) | Earrings: BaubleBar, color sold out
So… why am I posting this now? After all, a lot of the things I mentioned above have either been happening for a while.
Honestly, it irks me when bloggers and influencers – people who have a platform and a voice – say nothing about current events. Occasionally, you’ll see a “thoughts and prayers” Instagram Story, but those are about as effective at passing legislation as pandas are at performing Shakespeare. Sure, given infinite chances, it has to work eventually… But I’m not really one who is known to have that level of patience.
Truth be told, I’m just as guilty as my peers are of staying silent. Usually, when things have happened politically (or otherwise), I’ve stayed silent on social media and the blog. I’ve preferred to speak with my friends and family than to open myself up to the risk of hateful comments. Following natural (or gun-related) disasters, I’ve created a few charity drives on social media. I’ve even written blog posts capturing my thoughts and feelings following huge events once or twice (see one here). But, for the most part, I’ve kept my public life and my personal beliefs pretty separate.
So what changed?
I’ve been working on this post ever since the Supreme Court confirmation hearings last month. Like so many others, I was horrified by the proceedings and confused to my core by the results. And nothing boggles me more than the fact that the hearings were technically an interview.
Seriously. In what world can somebody yell and cry during an interview – even go so far as to insult several of his or her interviewers – and still be considered for the job?
I’ve interviewed candidates for jobs in the past and I assist in recruiting in my current role; if a candidate displayed any of the behaviors described above – whether or not he or she felt verbally attacked or like his or her character was being questioned – the candidate would immediately be deemed unfit.
And likely escorted off of the premises by a security guard. Or two.
For most final round professional services sector interviews, the question is not about whether or not the candidate can physically do the job. By that point, you’ve been vetted. We know whether or not you’re smart. We’ve seen your resume and we might even know a bit about how you think from your previous interviews. That’s not the goal. A final round interview strives to determine whether or not a candidate is emotionally and mentally fit for the role and can handle the pressures and stresses it may bring.
If that’s the case for a starting-level analyst or basic managerial role, shouldn’t it also be the case for a spot on the Supreme Court? AKA one of the most important roles in our government?
I think yes. Obviously. Because otherwise I probably wouldn’t be writing this post.
Before anybody @’s me about being partisan or overly liberal, let me refer you to this post I wrote following the 2016 election. I believe in the founding ideals of the Republican party, but those could not be further away from the party as it is today.
Furthermore, I believe that there should be a time and a place for politics. An election? Sure. A healthy debate on the senate floor? Absolutely. The confirmation hearings for a candidate aspiring to for a seat on the Supreme Court? No, that’s not such a time. Lest we forget, Ruth Bader Ginsburg was once confirmed to her post on SCOTUS by an overwhelming senate majority – 96 to 3. That was a bi-partisan effort: what happened to lead us so far astray?
The Supreme Court is supposed to be the politically independent pendulum swinging between the executive and legislative branches of government, keeping each or both in check as necessary… not an extension of either political party as it is now. We now find ourselves in a situation in which we are relying on one individual, the Chief Justice, to ensure that the court doesn’t swing too right too quickly. That’s a lot to ask of a man who himself leans conservative.
But back to my earlier point.
Suggesting that these hearings were a he-said-she-said played out on the national stage and not an embarrassing example of polarizing partisan behaviors at work during an interview and watched by the entire world only shows how out of touch our government is with the rest of the nation. It was embarrassing because our nation’s nominee to the Supreme Court completely lost his cool while being interviewed. He appeared – at best – strained under pressure or – at worst – completely unhinged.
Oh and in the event you’ve never interviewed candidates for a job (or been interviewed): neither of those traits is seen as an admirable quality in an interviewee.
But the interviewers didn’t look like rockstars either. It was – in the simplest of terms – a partisan farce. One interviewer went so far as to equate the lifelong emotional trauma of sexual assault with a man perhaps losing his ability to coach girls’ basketball. What.
I have to believe that partisan politics were at play. Otherwise, that means we have individuals leading this government who are not sane or capable of empathy. And if that’s the case, then who are we electing to run our government?
Which brings me back to the original topic of this post:
Why you need to vote.
You need to vote to remind politicians that they serve at the pleasure of the people. That there is a time and a place for politics and some fights are bigger than one party. Sometimes, you need to reach across the aisle or even temporarily relocate to the other side to get things done that work towards societal progress. You need to vote because – as in this week’s episode of John Oliver – many people leave the box for State Attorneys General on the ballot empty. And BTW, Texas’s previous Attorney General is now a governor who advocates carrying guns on college campuses. Oh and our current AG (Ken Paxton) was indicted on fraud charges. That’s what not voting does.
Why do you need to vote? You need to vote so your voice can be heard and people who represent your beliefs can be your advocate on the national stage, ensuring that you remain proud to be an American.