On Saturday, The Senate confirmed Brett M. Kavanaugh as the 114th Supreme Court justice amid mass protests at the Capitol, ending a corrosive battle between Republicans and Democrats over his nomination.
As a mass of angry demonstrators shouted "shame" outside the Senate Chamber, Republicans put an end to the war against Kavanaugh, solidifying a conservative majority in the Supreme Court.
The final vote was 50 to 48 — almost entirely along party lines.
Shortly after the vote, Kavanaugh was sworn in by both Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. and the retired Justice Anthony M. Kennedy — the court’s longtime swing vote, whom he will replace.
What started as a debate on judicial ideology quickly turned into a accusation-driven trial straight out of Salem. Through multiple allegations and numerous protests, the light at the end of the tunnel has now been reached, and the nation can put this behind them — or can we?
Although the entire situation rests in our nation's rear view, it casts a large, lingering shadow that obstructs the path our country is on. The Kavanaugh confirmation did little good for the country, and the entire situation left a stain that is as permanent as a tattoo. What follows this critical juncture may in fact lead to an irreparable landslide that will alter our identity as a nation.
With that said, let's take a look at the biggest takeaways from the Kavanaugh debacle, and what it means for our nation moving forward.
1.) Due Process Doesn't Matter
When news broke a few weeks ago that Brett Kavanaugh had committed sexual misconduct 36 years ago. many questioned the validity of Ford's accusation. Given the timing and lack of evidence, Republicans saw this as an attempt to discredit Kavanaugh's record as a judge, and smear his integrity as a man. Still, people were fair, offering to give Christine Blasey Ford her moment to testify.
That is, everyone but Democrats and the media. Instead of wanting to uncover the truth, both were swift to call for Kavanaugh's head. They chose to believe Ford's statement without ever hearing Kavanaugh's side of the story. Opting to put the burden of proof on Kavanaugh, the left replaced the presumption of innocence with guilty until proven innocent.
Under our law, equality is given to all: the thief, the murderer, and even the rapist. The worst of the worst are all innocent until their day in court, even if they're caught red-handed. Yet somehow, a man with a sterling record was immediately found guilty in the court of public opinion with zero evidence against him.
How did we regress back to the Salem Witch Trials? How did equality under the law turn into inequality based on your gender? These accusations, along with the premature sentencing, serve as a black eye on our justice system. How can the worst criminals that commit the most heinous acts have more rights under our law than a man who had a finger pointed at him?
2.) Running for Office is Terrifying
The entire process surrounding both Ford and Kavanaugh was unfortunate for both parties. Both were used politically, and nothing good came from the way they were used. What's worse, their private lives were revealed to the public, setting a possible trend for future nominees and politicians.
Exposing Kavanaugh's past was a top priority for Democrats. With little evidence to convict him, they turned to his teenage years in an effort to link his drinking with blacking out, thus insinuating that he could have sexually assaulted Ford. They also scrutinized his yearbook, and the things he said as an 18-year-old boy.
The idea that your past is also your present may be the most egregious of all. The notion that what you did in your adolescent years could haunt you in your professional life is a scary idea. Such actions will lead to less people wanting to serve our country out of fear of something they did as a teenager. This will alienate good, honest men and women who are desperately needed. But can you blame them?
3.) Our Nation is Divided
Polarization in our politics has always been evident. People choose sides, typically clinging to their political affiliation. When they vote, they vote based on a letter, rarely crossing party lines. But this confirmation did little to help alleviate this problem. Without question, this event has only further polarized both parties.
From mass protests to unruly mob-like tactics, the evidence is clear: our country is more divided than ever, and it may be beyond repair. Throughout this tiring event, people in the media, in Congress and in your neighborhood, took a side. Both camps vehemently supported either Kavanaugh and Ford, and very few remained objective throughout the process. Furthermore, people voluntarily got arrested for protesting an allegation that was never proven to be true.
Given the ugliness of this event, expect the country to become more polarized. Democrats will attempt to get back at Republicans for confirming Kavanaugh, and Republicans will use Kavanaugh to energize voters going into the midterm election. The Kavanaugh confirmation may be over, but this is only the tip of the iceberg.