Forum, Oct. 2: Please Stop Degrading People

Monday, October 01, 2018
Please Stop Degrading People

Regarding the front-page faces of Brett Kavanaugh and Christine Blasey Ford (“Both ‘100 Percent’ Certain,” Sept. 28): I do wish you had Photoshopped a set of Dracula fangs onto his vicious, grimacing face and a few telltale bite-marks onto her wrinkled, contorted neck. That would have reassured us that you did indeed mean to lampoon the current nasty practice of public exposure and vilification.

Not having done so, however, leaves one uncertain as to whether the Valley News isn’t just another entity that is willing to degrade people and their images to objects useful only in serving your profound conviction of the moment.

One thing is not uncertain: When things become even worse, you’ll not feel the least responsibility for having helped them get that way.

Jack Barrett


Headline Was Sadly Revealing

The headline could just have easily been: “Kavanaugh, Ford Testify to Committee.” But no, you chose to name him and label Christine Blasey Ford as “Accuser” (“Kavanaugh, Accuser Testify to Committee,” Sept. 28).

What a potent metaphor for exactly the sad state of affairs in which we now find ourselves. Language is powerful. Choices are deliberate. For anyone who is interested, the original headline in the Los Angeles Times reads: “After Ford testifies she was sexually assaulted, Kavanaugh responds with anger and tears.”

Deborah Springhorn

West Lebanon

Like Gladiators in the Colosseum

I, like many others, was mesmerized by the Senate confirmation hearings last Thursday and Friday. But, in retrospect, it was like the Roman Colosseum with two gladiators.

The performance given by most of the 21 spectator senators was so bloodthirsty, in my view, that I shudder and fear for all our citizens. My eyes streamed with tears on Thursday for the sacrifice of two decent American human beings and their families caught in a container of swamp water. My eyes streamed again on Friday at the indecent rhetoric of pseudo-adult senatorial truth-seeking men and women leading our nation into more divisiveness.

What a fiasco.

I didn’t open my Valley News until late on Friday, in the midst of what had totally disabled my mind, to accept the front page pictures of the gladiators. The male’s predatory sense of power in conquest of a terrified female victim? What were the layout people thinking of?

There were no tears this time. Just embarrassment that people in the Upper Valley might be thought to endorse this image.

So, please: Can we tone down our violent antagonistic communications to one another? Can the Valley News help us do that?

David Davison

White River Junction

A Cynically Partisan Process

Brett Kavanaugh called his nomination process a national disgrace. He’s right, but for the wrong reasons.

He calls his accuser a liar, but what motivation has she for lying? The event in question has led to years of trauma and now has thrown her life into renewed pain and chaos. She calls it her civic duty.

Kavanaugh, on the other hand, has plenty to gain from lying. He is this close to becoming a member of a prestigious, powerful group of nine people. He feels entitled to it — all he has to do is deny it happened. It doesn’t help that he comes off as an elitist, privileged male.

It doesn’t help that the man who nominated him is a serial liar. Did Kavanaugh forget? Christine Blasey Ford doesn’t have that privilege.

The Republican explanations for pushing this nomination forward are garbled. Are they calling the victim a liar, or are they saying that this is not reason enough for not voting for him? Regarding the latter, you wonder what these Republican fathers would say to their daughters in a similar situation. Should she be quiet because, after all, that poor young man might become a Supreme Court justice some day?

The president has made a very divisive, self-serving nomination. The candidate represents oligarchy over democracy. Unlike the Merrick Garland nomination, the Republicans can’t move fast enough now, allowing little time for review of documents. The White House has refused to share pertinent information. This is a cynically partisan process.

Allan MacDonald

New London

Behavior Unbecoming a Justice

I was pleased to read Deanna Paul’s Opinion column (“Kavanaugh’s Defiance a Device to Deflect,” Sept. 29). I suggest that the #MeToo/#HeToo discourse be set aside and that Brett Kavanaugh’s performance in the nationally televised hearings be considered in the context of his reported extensive legal experience as a judge.

His shouts of rage, emotional outbursts, tears, lack of professional poise, rude responses to some senator’s questions and extreme partisanship in denouncing Democrats disqualify him as a potential Supreme Court justice. His behavior would not be allowed in court hearings, and certainly this partisanship does not belong on our deliberative Supreme Court.

Beryl Spencer