What was a perfect nutcase storm broke out after lawyer Zina Bash, sitting behind Kavanaugh, rested her right hand on her left arm. One left-wing viewer of the televised hearings said she was giving a white nationalist gang sign, and dozens of others jumped on. Ironically, Bash is Mexican on her mother’s side and Jewish on her father’s—her grandparents were Holocaust survivors—and she’s had nothing to do with hate groups, but that didn’t stop the haters. Maybe humor worked best: One response tweet read, “Tomorrow she will be signaling Powerball numbers.”
With Aretha Franklin laid to rest on the last day of August, the funeral highlight of the first half of September was John McCain’s—and as is often the case in modern America, mourning for the dead gave way to attacks on the living. Meghan McCain, the late senator and war hero’s daughter, said, “We gather here to mourn the passing of American greatness—the real thing, not cheap rhetoric.” She took a shot at President Donald Trump: “The America of John McCain has no need to be made great again because America was always great.”
Use of the past tense like that—“America was always great”—reminds me of Merle Haggard’s 1981 song, “Are the good times really over for good?” Maybe not. September brought more good economic news. The gross domestic product, which grew 1.5 percent in 2016 and 2.3 percent in 2017, is on track for 3 percent growth this year. Worker satisfaction, income, and spending are all up.
But we do not live by bread alone, and many cultural indicators signal trouble. Child abuse and spouse abuse continue to soar, and a new term entered the national vocabulary: The former live-in girlfriend of Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minn., said he was guilty of “narcissist abuse,” the emotional suffering a self-centered person inflicts on his partner.
We also do not thrive in uniformity: September opened with more than 100 Facebook employees calling their company “a political monoculture intolerant of different views.” Tired of Facebook’s leftward tilt, they joined an online group, FB’ers for Political Diversity. At WORLD, we’re tracking corporate attacks on political and religious diversity—if you’ve been subjected to one, let us know.
But back to Peggy Nienaber of Faith & Action at the Kavanaugh hearing. She says some protesters asked her what she was doing in the hearing room. Her answer was, “I pray. … I silently pray and don’t look to get arrested.” The protesters, confused, walked away. But praying may be the best thing we can do during our current age of confusion.