Moshe-Mordechai van Zuiden
Psychology, Medicine, Science, Politics, Oppression, Integrity, Philosophy, Jews

Analysis: Did national mental problems cause the Kavanaugh debacle?

Confirmation by the Senate of new Supreme Court Judge Kavanaugh is not only an insult to the Supreme Court and the Senate, but also to the FBI with its fake investigation (only looking there where nothing could be found) and the Republican Party (that looked the other way about sexual assault). It shows the bankruptcy of politics that Trump painted which made him great again but also shows that voting for Trump is not the solution. (Yet, it ain’t over ’till it’s over. When appointed, the next phase begins, in which an attempt to impeach him can start. This is just a matter of time. If Judge Kavanaugh would have been innocent and truth-loving, he would have insisted on a thorough FBI investigation clearing his name.) How did they sink so low? Here’s my thought about this.

What strikes me most is that so many Conservatives, Republicans and Manual Laborers can’t wrap their heads around the idea that their perfect right-wing candidate for the Supreme Court is clearly a liar, a pretender, a bully, from his drunken student time and still when the veneer gets taken off. I believe that they genuinely can’t see that.

How come most US high school girls can talk about the persistence and destructiveness of sexual assault today while hardly any of their male classmates can acknowledge the same?

It reminds me of the last presidential election campaign, in which almost no Conservatives, Republicans and Manual Laborers could see the obvious, that Donald Trump is a moral (and environmental and economic) disaster. Even not after the grab-them-by-the-p**** tape came out, putting down representatives of oppressed groups, failure to confront Nazis, destruction of the environment, ballooning the national debt, clearly being a con artist, squandering his father’s fortunes.

It reminds me of intelligent and educated Conservatives who fight the notion and teaching of the Evolution Theory, while a child can see how true it is and how well it works. (Some of our greatest Rabbis (Hirsch and Kook), already two centuries ago, declared that G-d uses natural processes to do His Own biddings so that ET is no problem.)

Further down in history, it reminds me of the O.J. Simpson trial. Blacks just couldn’t see him as guilty. Whites could not see him as innocent. What gives me some hope is that in that case, opinion has shifted after two decades.

Still, I would like to ask, what is wrong with Americans that they so easily get divided into black or white, for or against, loyalty to the wrong guy?

  • Is it the prominent history of slavery – you either are owned or free – and if you’re the free guy, you have no empathy with the owned people? Or deeper, is it a lack of empathy for people who think differently from you or look different from you (racism, sexism)?
  • Is it the result of a political system where in most cases one only can choose between two political parties or candidates – different from multi-party democracies?
  • Is it a reflection of classical Christianity that pits God and the Devil, Heaven and Hell opposite each other? Followed by pitting the saintly and the wicked against each other in movies; the policeman as selfless defender of innocent citizens opposite the ruthless murderer. And the supposedly civilized Whites shooting off allegedly blood-thirsty natives (turning racism, genocide and colonialism on its head). (In Judaism, the Devil is not a second god but rather a G-d-sent Angel who comes to entice to let us fight him and come out victorious and meritorious – hopefully. And the rabbis teach that Hell is for most people a temporary cleansing place before Heaven.)
  • Does it come from being taught that sexuality is bad so they feel bad about it and don’t use it to consolidate their relationship (but get sex addicted to compulsive self-centered pseudo-sex) so that they move away from being interested in the other and what they think?
  • Does it come from glorifying war? (The Dutch had an 80-year war of independence, centuries ago and since then hardly any, with WW II as exception confirming that rule. (We capitulated within a week.) War and nationalism are costly and should not be glorified.) On the battlefield, typically, one has no time for subtleties. It’s kill or be killed.
  • Is it from thinking that only one side can be right, as my teacher, the prominent Dutch psychiatrist P.C. Kuiper, once suggested, a result of the patriarchal system, where always one person has the last word: Father?
  • Does it come from advocating the pursuit of happiness? (This is such nonsense as happiness needs as little pursuing as having a skin. Just smile, mean it and you’ll be happy with your share.) Followed up by the advertisement world promoting products because they make you feel good, instead of that they work well? (In the Netherlands, you couldn’t sell a vacuum cleaner on that it makes you feel happy. There counts: does it hoover well and is it not too noisy?)
  • Does it come from glamorous Hollywood that idealizes the fake, outwardly beautiful and apparently confidently strong, followed by facelifts and other superficial untruth, stepping on deeper realities?
  • Or is it possibly all or most of the above?

I don’t know. You tell me. But just as an outsider I can tell you, this needs to change. It looks bad and it does a lot of harm.

Mental concepts as objective truth and evil are valid, but Creation is more subtle and shaded. Stop defending the indefensible. Stop loyalty toward mostly wrong guys or policies. (I wanted to say as illustration: Abusive Trump still supports Israel but after an anti-Semitic rant by him, and under uncertainty about what “peace process” this US President is going to try ramming through Israel’s throat,” that feels kind of shaky and premature.) Stop blocking out “unwelcome” voices and ideas. Start seeing some gray in your black-and-white picture.

Seeing (conflicting) details doesn’t need to make you less passionate. But it will make that you’re not rallying behind wrong (sub-)causes.

You don’t need to write off as human beings, people who did wrong. You don’t need to overlook flaws in your heroes. You can honor and listen to opponents and search for compromise and middle grounds.

Make Truth and Goodness the banners to humbly follow.

About the Author
The author is a fetal survivor of the pharmaceutical industry (DES - Diethylstilbestrol), born in 1953 to two Holocaust survivors in The Netherlands, and holds a BA in medicine (University of Amsterdam). He taught Re-evaluation Co-counseling, became a social activist, became religious, made Aliyah, and raised three wonderful kids. He wrote an unpublished tome about Jewish Free Will. He's a vegan for 8 years now. His writing has been made possible by an allowance for second generation Dutch Holocaust survivors. It has been his dream since he was 38 to try to make a difference by teaching through writing. How ironic that he who had three times 90 for Dutch at his finals is spending his days communicating in English and Hebrew. G-d definitely has a sense of humor. His most influential teachers (chronologically) are: his parents, Wim Kan, Mozart, Harvey Jackins, Marshal Rosenberg, Reb Shlomo Carlebach and LBCHLCH, Rabbi Dr. Natan Lopes Cardozo and Rav Zev Leff. Previously, for decades, he was known to the Jerusalem Post readers as a frequent letter writer. His fields of attention are varied: Psychology (including Sexuality and Abuse), Medicine, Science, Politics (Israel, the US and the Netherlands, Activism), Oppression and Liberation (of young people, the elderly, non-Whites, women, workers, Jews, GLBTQI, foreigners, and anyone else who's dehumanized and exploited), Integrity, Philosophy, Jews (Judaism, Zionism, Holocaust and Jewish Liberation) and Veganism. Many of his posts will relate to current affairs from the news or the Torah Portion of the Week or to new insights that suddenly befell him. He always tries to bring a fresh perspective and to avoid boring you or wasting your time with the obvious, though original minds by necessity will be attacked by their contemporaries. In case you wonder - yes he's a bit dyslectic. He has moved - with his library. To sort this out will easily take half a year. Therefore, for the time being, no more 6 blog posts every week. But he expects to be back full force after Pesach 2019. Meanwhile, he feels that many of the hundreds of posts he wrote are worth (re)reading so that he's not really abandoning his readers. To send a personal reaction to him, scroll to the top of the blog post and click on Contact Me.
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