By Richard Kirsch
I dreamt about them last night, their faces rising in my dreams and each time I awoke. Hers – sad, powerful, dignified. His angry scowl barely hiding a smirk.
Can you imagine if she acted like him: raging, crying? What they would say about whether an hysterical woman has the temperament to be on the Court?
She answered calmly, quietly. Reliving her nightmare with dignity. Asking for the truth so it could help her be of more service to her country.
He bobbed and weaved, evading questions, attacking his questioners. Angrily denouncing a great conspiracy. A conspiracy of truth? And he has a judicial temperament?
He was silenced for a moment when Senator Durbin asked him whether he personally believed there should be an FBI investigation. Because he knew the answer was yes – he also knew it wasn’t up to him, because he had to kowtow to the orders of the President and Republicans in the Senate. Showing himself to be the political hack he still is, even as he sits on a federal court.
Where do we look for hope? Yes, in her heroism. Yes in the millions who declare they believe her and other women. And men. Yes in the movements we have seen surge around the country these last few years, movements that were rising even before Trump’s election. Movements rising more and more since.
Does the moral arc of history bend toward justice? I often ask that when I’m looking for hope. When I’m looking to spring from the anger of injustice to the activism that powers my life. Anger the trampoline. Hope the sky above. But does that sky really have a rainbow bending toward a moral pot of gold?
Yes and no. Yes, over time the world has become a more just place. But not as an arc. More like a lightning bolt – zigging and zagging from the deepest most awful periods in which tyranny and cruelty and hatred and the cowering, scared, tribal, awfulness of humanity dominates. A lightning bolt of fire and destruction. To periods when justice and solidarity and love and people and our governments acting out of the profound understanding of our common humanity triumph. A lightning bolt of progress that transforms lives for generations.
But today I’m sad. Their faces haunt me. As the faces of children separated from their families have haunted me. And the faces of families fleeing war in Syria have haunted me. As …
I’ll have to sit with that.