Fighting for control of American jurisprudence has been a blood sport in our country for a while now, so anyone might have assumed that Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court would be fraught with emotion and partisanship on both sides. But if you listened to Christine Blasey Ford’s testimony at the confirmation hearings, watched Kavanaugh’s rebuttal to her claims and then saw the Senate Judiciary Committee respond to both, you would have witnessed something new: the acute pain of an entire nation infused throughout a super-charged, high-stakes, winner-take-all moment of lasting historical and cultural importance.
Acrimony, bitterness, victimhood – we’ve all seen that playbook before. This time, however, it felt different to me, as if polarization in our country had reached its zenith. I don’t mean in a “fever broke” sort of way, I mean that we arrived at the summit only to find ourselves at the base of a taller, more arduous peak. In other words, turbulent times ahead.