The Orange County Young Democrats stand with Christine Blasey Ford and survivors of sexual abuse who come forward knowing they will be called vicious names, discredited, re-traumatized, and threatened. We believe her, as there is no credible reason to doubt Ms. Blasey Ford’s detailed account of Brett Kavanaugh’s harrowing attempted rape when she was only 15 years old.
As the umbrella group for progressive youth of Orange County ages 14-35, we condemn the notion that “teenage boys will be boys” and they should “get a pass because they’re not mature enough to understand consent.” This is not a message to send to young boys. We must hold our officials to higher standards, particularly those who have applied for one of the most important jobs in America.
For those who say liberals are rushing to judgment, and to those who question the veracity of Ms. Blasey Ford’s account, consider also Brett Kavanaugh’s history. Contrary to the picture he’s tried to paint in the media, he’s no choir boy. While working for a presidential administration, he wrote an email to attendees of a guys’ weekend stating “reminders to everyone to be very, very vigilant [with regard to] confidentiality on all issues and all fronts, including with spouses.” This is the man who said of his elite, all-boys prep school: “what happens in Georgetown prep stays in Georgetown prep.” Kavanaugh also clerked for and had a close personal relationship with a serial abuser of women, disgraced Judge Alex Kozinski.
Kavanaugh says Ms. Blasey Ford is lying, but why should we believe him? He consistently lied under oath. He lied to the Judiciary Committee in 2004 and 2006 during confirmation hearings on the DC Circuit Court of Appeals. He lied about not knowing about the NSA’s warrantless wiretapping. He lied about his involvement in the nomination of the anti-abortion judge William Pryor. (Putting aside Kavanaugh’s politics, judicial philosophy, and even Ms. Blasey Ford’s account for a moment—is this the sort of person we want on the highest court of the land? One who does not respect women and who lies under oath? Our answer is an unequivocal “no.”).
We also have a message for those who say it isn’t fair to hold youthful indiscretions against someone when they’re 53 (although let’s be clear: attempted rape is much more than a “youthful indiscretion”). We have a message for those who say, Kavanagh is a victim here too. First, these same people never seem to show similar remorse when the perpetrator is a young black man. Brett Kavanaugh is not a victim. If he was, he would not attempt to discredit Ms. Blasey Ford. If he was, he would acknowledge that Ms. Blasey Ford’s account is entirely credible, and he would at the very least acknowledge the possibility that he did this to her. If he was, he would apologize for causing her years of personal trauma and distress. Last year, the Orange County Young Democrats amplified the voices of several local women who came forward with abuse and harassment complaints against party leaders. Those men are no longer in power. However, demanding individuals bear the full professional, social and emotional cost of dismantling the machinery of men in power propping up men in power is not sustainable. Any efforts to take on entrenched institutions of power supported by other people in power is nothing short of heroic. What Ms. Blasey Ford is doing is heroic. If we are serious about ending the endemic violence against women in America, we must change the way we respond to sexual abuse and the way we treat victims. Men must step-up and actively fight rape culture. We must believe and stand with survivors. We stand with Christine Blasey Ford.