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It’s over. Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh, finally, although fiercely disputed and debated, was confirmed to the Supreme Court this past weekend. The confirmation capped a near month-long circus act that once again highlighted the deepening divide that continues to ruin this country and accountable democracy.

Along partisan lines, this Kavanaugh-Ford debacle is either seen as an attack on due process or an attack on sexual assault survivors and women as a whole. Both of these sides are right and disingenuous at the same time.

This scandal is a microcosm to the bigger problem: unaccountable and disingenuous partisanship that we as a society and elected politicians willfully and gleefully take part in.

Regardless of where you stand on this debate and regardless of how impactful you think the result is, it behooves you to understand the bigger picture. We as a society are making things worse for not thinking with nuance and impartiality.

If we think with nuance and impartiality, we will come to understand a few things: two things can be true at once and our own personal bias inform who and what we tend to believe. When the opposite is done, we end up with piss-poor results.

The confirmation hearings were bad on both sides. Republicans and Democrats alike were grandstanding, indignant, myopic and downright disingenuous. And I keep using this word, disingenuous, for a reason.

They act in this manner in response to our actions. They play off our tribalistic tendencies and reductive discourse. Politicians are smart, educated and calculated people who will pander to the lowest common denominator if need be.

We don’t have good politicians because we don’t hold them to any standards other than confirming our biases and re-affirming what we already want to believe. Some people venture into politics for the right reasons, they do exist, but the culture of American politics on a local, state and nationwide level at this point is undeniably corrupt and again, disingenuous.

If you eat fast food and in return get fat and feel like shit, guess who’s to blame? You.

If you support celebrity over talent in mediums of film and music and in return get low-grade art and entertainment, guess who’s to blame? You.

If you give biased news sources your viewership and in return get unethical infotainment rather than substantive journalism, guess who’s to blame? You.

The point is, we need to start taking responsibility for our part in our partisan and disingenuous political process, which was on display in full effect this past month. Don’t be distracted by the ostensibly horrid confirmation of Judge Kavanaugh and the poor handling of Blasey Ford’s accusations.

Read the subtext.

When we choose to exist on these rigid party lines in the form of our politics, religion, race, and gender, we inadvertently exacerbate the current strife and divide we are witnessing. This insatiable need to be right, to justify and point the finger the other way is self-serving and pointless.

We need to learn how to talk to each other with an openness to understand the other side, humble ourselves to what we don’t know, while recognizing how our biases can profoundly influence our feelings and corresponding actions.

If we don’t, things will only get worse, and the disingenuous behavior that we propagate will continue to poison our political systems and democracy as a whole. 

Javier Cortez may be reached at [email protected].

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About the Contributor
Javier Cortez
Javier Cortez, Staff Reporter
Javier Cortez is a staff reporter for The Prospector. He is a senior multimedia journalism major, with a minor in English Rhetoric. Javier was born and raised in El Paso, TX and before coming to UTEP in the summer of 2012, he graduated from Irvin High School, where he was a four-year varsity tennis player, a member of student council and a class officer for his graduating class. He has also worked for the El Paso Diablos as a sports information intern on their media relations team. In his spare time, Javier loves to write columns for the perspectives section in the school newspaper—whether it is sports, pop culture, religion, and society he loves to write about it. To go along with writing, Javier loves reading anything about sports, religion, and non-fiction.
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