I wanted to forward you an excellent column from by Meagan Day in Jacobin magazine titled "The Banality of Brett Kavanaugh." It does a good job summing up a central reason why I find the last few years in America to be so disgusting and disturbing.
That central disturbance is this - many of the people at the top in this country's politics didn't get there because they were special and the cream of the crop, but because they were born well and sucked up to the right people. And Day notes that Kavanaugh lived down to that reputation in numerous ways at his shrieking appearance before the Senate Judiciary Committee last week.
What struck me most about [last week's] hearing, cutting through Kavanaugh’s tone-deaf retorts and indignant whinging and his frequent professions of love for beer, is how utterly ordinary he is. This guy is juvenile, arrogant, sexist — and very familiar. It pointed to a larger truth: the people running the show are callous and dangerous, but they’re also astonishingly average. They have no irreplaceable qualities or insights that would oblige us to put up with their bullshit. They would hate for us to realize this....I'll add one more layer to that - in the 2010s, the scum really has risen to the top. And you don't have to be born rich to act like elitist slime and benefit from our broken political value system.
Perhaps the greatest threat to this illusion in all American history is Donald Trump. It’s no coincidence that popular politics are gaining new dynamism under his presidency, including the swelling ranks of the socialist left, but also the menacing flash of energy on the right. Trump is a powerful grenade tossed into the fortress of meritocracy. Obama’s Ivy League competence and cool were, for liberals who loved him but also for many who hated him, powerful reinforcement of the idea that the people at the top are there because they have some special wiring, an innate excellence. They got there because they were meant to be there, and where they are is proof of where they were always meant to be.
But Trump undoes it all. In the realm of ideology, this is Trump’s greatest threat to Obama’s legacy. Trump is a transparent jackass and an egregious bully. Worst of all, he’s unprofessional. And in that way he gives ordinary people across the political spectrum confidence in their own fitness for politics.
What dawns upon you when you bear witness to Trump — even more so than with Bush, who more closely resembles Kavanaugh in both his fatuous smugness and his more conventional unobstructed path to political power — is that the people at the helm don’t necessarily know anything special. It cannot be deduced from the mere fact of their power that they have access to a higher wisdom, beyond the grasp of commoners. The powerful aren’t sages, you realize. What they know that the rest don’t know is how to appreciate money and influence. And, most importantly, they know each other.
Scott Walker is the living proof of someone who has only "succeeded" because of his ability to be the largest sociopath in the state's politics, ignoring the needs of the everyday workers that pay his salary in favor of the wants of his donors. Walker's main goal in office is to slant the playing field of the state toward himself and his donors, and to do so, he shamelessly lacks any core values beyond "PAY ME AND GET ME MORE POWER!" and "TAX CUTS FOR MY DONORS!"
This is the value system that has been rewarded in GOP politics, particularly in the post- Citizens United World. It has also been the fault of a right-wing media world where being the loudest carnival barker and getting ensconced into the RW Bubble is much more important than good governance or thoughtful solutions that help voters. Republicans could care less about that, as long as the checks keep rolling in and the power keeps accumulating.
And those politicians appoint shameless hacks like Brett Kavanaugh, whose main qualification is that there are no depths that he won't plumb to help the GOP.
Day notes that people like Kavanaugh are put in place to continue to insulate similarly arrogant, sociopathic and mediocre people in the political "inner circle" from competition and accountability from the other 99% of us. And until we admit that these people are lowlifes worthy of contempt and removal from their underserving positions of power, things will not get better
...Because as long as we have a political economic system that floats chumps like Kavanaugh on wings of respectable pedigree and impressive social connections to the highest strata of society, and as long as we continue fostering in people’s hearts — even of liberals, especially liberals — the fantasy of those people’s inherent superiority, these guys will continue to have power they don’t deserve. They will continue to be in charge of monumental decisions like Roe v. Wade or Janus v. AFSCME, or going to war or eliminating social programs, or who’s guilty and who’s innocent.I'm so sick of being ruled by people who don't have the moral or intellectual capability to deserve it. And it can't last any longer.
And those decisions won’t be calibrated to maximize society’s well-being and prosperity. They will be meticulously triangulated to preserve club membership, to make their buddies proud — their classmates who chose to go into finance or real-estate or military weapons manufacturing instead of politics. The illusion that these men are prodigies instead of mere scions will prevail, because they will protect it at all costs, and so in turn will their class’s stranglehold on our society.