By: Sara Wolf
Mr. Carreira’s AP Government and Politics class spent the last few weeks of class actively participating in the Kavanaugh hearings through class discussions, watching the hearings live, and listening to numerous news reports. Though Kavanaugh has since been confirmed to the Supreme Court, students in this senior class responded to a survey beforehand to voice their opinions on the situation. Here’s what the students had to say:
“While I believe that it is possible that Kavanaugh is guilty, it is impossible to know for sure and therefore I don’t think that it should not be assumed that he is,” said Elise Kemper. “Ford’s testimony was convincing but I don’t feel that that alone is convincing enough to make me definitively believe her since there is little evidence.”
“Dr. Ford put herself in too vulnerable of a situation to have done it for reasons that are not good. Even if Dr. Ford has made up these allegations, the way Kavanaugh handled himself during the trial makes it seem as if he is not a good candidate to be on the SCOTUS,” said Arden Lunay.
“Dr. Ford was poised, credible, and asked for the FBI to investigate her allegation further because she is sure Judge Kavanaugh assaulted her. Kavanaugh has been distant, dodging questions, and an emotional roller coaster during this process. He does not seem credible and has no substantial evidence,” said Jenna Luthman.
“I think both parties are using this as a way to extort the other and influence the population, not only in their opinions now or in the future, but the law making capability the government would have over the population,” said Devin Goodman.
“I think that if Ford’s allegations are true, this could be a dreadful win for the Me Too movement,” said a student who chose to respond to the survey anonymously. “The movement has become bad enough as is, but when it gets to a point like this, where women are winning cases without any proof, it’ll cause a serious rift between men and women, as well as political parties.”
Another anonymous student response said this: “I feel like Ford came in with this claim at the wrong time, because she told this accusation right before the vote which made it delay the entire procedure. There is also no evidence that he did or didn’t do it, so how can we accuse him? Isn’t everyone innocent until proven guilty, so why ruin this guy’s entire life when we can’t prove he is guilty?”
Students were also asked to consider whether or not they thought the outcome of the hearings would affect their political socialization–what CliffsNotes defines as “a lifelong process by which people form their ideas about politics and acquire political values.”
Caleb Stone said, “The response to this issue by both Republicans and Democrats creates an impression on me about the parties as a whole.” Zachary Mikhail agreed, saying, “I think this issue is very current and important in society today. It will change my views depending on how things go with the final decision.”
An anonymous response thought the opposite. “My political socialization is based on factors that are entirely outside of and unrelated to the current situation with Mr. Kavanaugh and Ms. Ford,” they said. “I do not foresee this incident swaying me in any particular direction because I do not feel that it has inherent political relevance.”