Kavanaugh: an ugly American spectacle that dismays friends around the world
The ugly spectacle of Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation process to the Supreme Court is likely to deal more damage to the respect foreign peoples have for Americans and their democracy than Donald Trump’s consistent bullying of their countries.
Many Americans who loathe Trump may be underestimating the dismay of people in other democracies, including Europe, India and Japan at the fierce political warfare that drove the spectacle.
It seems that Americans who hate Trump just cannot stand those who support him. And both sides are willing to go to any lengths to make the other bleed. This is what it looks like from the outside.
Most foreign peoples live under justice systems that leave much to be desired because of vulnerability to political interference. But everybody looks up to the US Supreme Court as a bastion impervious to political interference.
Now they find a huge swathe of Americans saying that it is sullied because Kavanaugh’s confirmation will corrupt judgments to satisfy the personal political bias of Justices, instead of honestly serving the Constitution.
Many Americans may feel they are fighting to save their civilization from Trump and his divisive tsunami carried forward by amoral and craven Republicans, as confirmed by the rise of a flawed individual like Kavanaugh to such lasting power.
Many of them want to restore the US to the role of a global moral and humanitarian force that tries its best to save innocent people around the world from the horrors inflicted upon them by their own governments and elites.
Yet, they seem blind to the impacts on ordinary people around the world – the people and not their harsh governments – of how they conduct their anti-Trump war in the US.
They seem to think that weakening Trump’s power by whatever opportunistic means would go a long way towards setting things right.
Instead, they are losing battles as evidenced by Kavanaugh’s confirmation, tax cuts that will balloon deficits, and Trump’s bullying punches against almost all the world’s major countries.
The worst punches are the US Treasury’s sharply coercive tactics to force Europeans and every country on earth to obey unilateral American decisions designed to cause severe enough economic pain to the ordinary people of Russia, China and Iran.
Thus, the freely elected representatives of American voters want through pain to force hapless foreign peoples to change the behavior of their tough authoritarian rulers.
Trump designed the pain, but it is not spawned by just his ego. It is the result of Congressional laws. Every foreign government must obey those US laws even if that means economic harm to its own people.
Remarkably, sovereign major countries like China, Turkey and India are not allowed to buy Russian-made weapons because of a unilateral US law responding to Moscow’s interference in the 2016 US elections.
Seen from the outside, such Congressional actions seem heedless of how many might have to die if people under sanctions rise against their well-armed rulers to persuade American legislators to turn the taps back on.
Trump’s opponents may be at war against him and Republicans, but the pain inflicted upon foreign peoples has bipartisan support. Democrats also voted for the laws to punish Russia and Iran.
Apart from the self-harm, Americans seem heedless that an increasing number of people around the world are having to pay some of the price of their vicious domestic political conflicts. Kavanaugh’s confirmation process is their latest example.
This is happening at a time when Russia sells advanced missile systems to all takers, the Middle East implodes around Syria and Iran, and China flexes muscle in its neighborhood.