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October 21, 2018

10/3/2018 2:48:00 PM
Room for a View: Where's the Truth?
By Charles Wilkinson


I watched till it hurt, and kept watching the hearing on Capitol Hill last Thursday. A riot of feelings would not let me sleep that night and still churns within me. What follows may seem a rant to some but I believe it needs saying.

I spent the day watching an Uncivil War - and in its aftermath truth, in my mind at least, was on life support. I wept with Dr. Ford in her nakedness before the committee and the world. I wept for Judge Kavanaugh as well, but for very different reasons. I could not dismiss memories of my own, however, which came flooding back while listening to their testimony.

Hearing Dr. Ford’s story, I relived a personal sexual assault in a seminary over sixty years ago. Being pushed onto a bed, him on top of me, grinding, my kicking him off but living with confusion and shame for years after. I believed her - and her memory – because of my own still vivid experience.

With Judge Kavanaugh, the recovering alcoholic in me listened and remembered as well. For far too many years I lived in denial of what drinking did to me and to those I loved. I will forever regret and apologize for that part of my life. I cannot apologize, though, for what I felt listening to Judge Kavanaugh - his belligerent defensiveness so like my own past denials. The judge may not be an alcoholic but I sensed more than a hint of that in him. I had to wonder what evidence Mark Judge might have provided before the hearing if due process had happened.

Judge Kavanaugh has had a remarkable career, but last Thursday he dodged so many questions I was left feeling his story self-serving and distorted, at least. “She said/He said” testimony is far from adequate in such a critical hearing. When that is all there is, where else can one go except to their own experiences? That’s what kept me awake last Thursday night and has unsettled me ever since. Hopefully, the upcoming FBI probe will take care of that.

Senators Durbin and Graham put words to my own feelings about the need for due process and the ugly impact of partisan politics on such an important decision. Also, Senator Hirono from Hawaii cut to the chase about the role of character in our government, even and especially in the White House.

I am not, and have never wanted to be a politician. But I am an American who believes in “We, the people” far, far more than “Me, the President.” I have always trusted the checks and balances provided by our Constitution and still do. But in this hearing truth and due process have taken a serious beating. If I had a vote in this matter I know what it would be. In the meantime, my hope is that “We, the people” will be heard, loud and clear and strong in their outcry about last Thursday and especially in their voting come November.







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