It has been a while since I had a column printed in the Bellevue paper. Everything I come up with seems to cause controversy...except maybe recipes... and I haven't made anything in the last year that I would consider worth sharing.
I would be ignoring the elephant in the room if I did not mention the current controversy in the town concerning the building of a new school. Has anyone else noted the irony of the massive division in our country between the red and blue that is also being played out in the town of Bellevue? I would like to say "This, too, shall pass," but will it?
I am writing this on Friday, September 28. Yesterday morning, a special news report featuring the senate judiciary hearing involving Dr. Christine Blasy Ford's accusations against Brett Kavanaugh interrupted the Today show. Normally, I would switch the station to HGTV or ID, but I thought it would be a good time to clean cupboards, as I could listen to the testimony while doing so. The hearing lasted so long that I could have not only cleaned cupboards but possibly built some.
I am not political. I am not especially proud to admit it, but I can rarely tell you (or care) which party a candidate belongs to. I tend to vote for the guy who doesn't try to drag his opponent through the mud, although that guy is getting increasingly hard to find.
With only the sound on the TV to go on, as I cleaned away, I could definitively tell you which party each senator belonged to with the inflection of his questions and/or comments. Come on, really?! I guess I am very naive about how the government works. I suppose I should not have been surprised.
I occasionally glanced at the TV to reaffirm my conviction. The members of one party kept referring to Dr. Ford (sidebar: some people went to great lengths to make sure to mention the Dr. credentials, as if the degree would make her more credible than, say, a waitress) as "heroic" and "brave" and profusely thanked her for performing her civic duty while the other party pretty much walked on proverbial eggshells, as they didn't want to be deemed as victim shaming.
I am sure you have drawn your own conclusions on the testimony of both Dr. Ford and Judge Kavanaugh. I don't know if he is guilty of the accusations or not. Even pending FBI investigation, we still probably won't know, unless his friend suddenly remembers that he was there and a witness, and even then, there are those who will say he was bought. I just am saying it shouldn't be done along party lines.
The following is a true story. In the early and middle ‘60s, Bellevue youth gathered at "the Beach," otherwise known as Pleasant Creek (Bellevue did not have a pool. It had been voted down several times). As a young teen, I went there frequently on hot summer afternoons. One such day, as we were splashing around in the water, a guy who was about 4 or 5 years older than me pulled me out a few feet to where I couldn't touch bottom. As I was pushing against him and trying to swim away, he started groping me.
At best, water was murky, and I am sure no one else even noticed. It never occurred to me to scream, or that he might drown me, but I kicked awfully hard (hoping at least one was well-placed) as I attempted to swim away. I never told anyone. I don't think I was traumatized. I never had any kind of counseling or therapy (maybe that explains a lot). I just thought he was a jerk and made it a point to avoid him from then on.
I do not remember who else was there, how we got there or how we got home. And no, I was not drinking. Does he remember the incident? I doubt it. Did he continue to grope other girls? Possibly. I don't know anything about epinephrine in the brain or the hippocampus. I just know that I remember the incident. I suppose there are those who will say I did suffer trauma manifested by the simple fact that I do remember.
Now, having said that, if he were on the short list for the Supreme Court, I would not feel the need to out him today, especially if he has had an exemplary record since that long ago event. I am sure this won't win me any popular votes with the women marchers, but I never considered myself "a survivor of a sexual assault." To put me in this category would only serve to minimize the victims of true sexual assaults (IMHO). I will leave that title to the "real" survivors of said crimes.
Back to my point: Really, should we vote for or against anyone or anything based purely on political affiliation, or race, or religion?